Bail process in Las Vegas. The process of obtaining bail in Las Vegas cannot begin until a person has been booked and processed into one of the area’s detention facilities, such as the City of Las Vegas Detention Center of the Clark County Detention Center. A defendant arrested for a misdemeanor likely will know the bail amount immediately because of the bail schedule for Clark County. Once bail has been set, a defendant can pay cash to be released from jail or contact a family member or a bail bond agent for assistance. The process may take longer when a felony is involved because some felonies require bond hearings that may be held the next day.
Types of Bail in Las Vegas. There are four options for posting a bond to be released from jail in Las Vegas. The choice will often have to do with the amount of the bond. The options include:
- Own recognizance. This option is known as an OR release and is used in only limited situations. A defendant must have no significant criminal record and have strong connections to the community. Generally, an OR release is not available when a crime of violence or one involving juveniles is involved. The defendant pays no money but signs a document promising to show up for all scheduled court hearings.
- Cash bond. A defendant choosing this option must pay the full amount of bail. That money is returned, minus costs and fees, as long as the defendant does not violation any release conditions. A co-signer can also pay a cash bond on behalf of a defendant.
- Surety bond. This is the most common type of bond used in Las Vegas because many defendants cannot afford to pay the entire bail amount in cash. Under Nevada law, bail bond agents charge a 15 percent premium and guarantee the total amount of the bond to the court. In some cases, a bail bond agent may require collateral from a defendant or co-signer for larger bail amounts.
- Property bond. This type of bond can take one or two days – or longer – to complete because of the paperwork required to confirm ownership of the property, as well as the value of the equity in the property. Under state law, a property bond must be equal to at least 150 percent of the value of the bail.
Setting bail. Although there is considerable discretion given to court officials in setting bail for defendants, Clark County has a standard bail schedule that sets out bail amounts for felonies and misdemeanors. That information is available at https://www.clarkcountybar.org/2015/standard-bail-schedule-updated-for-las-vegas-justice-court/. The bail for common misdemeanors is $1,000, but there are a number of exceptions in the schedule. For example, bail for a misdemeanor DUI arrest is $2,000 and $5,000 for a second-offense DUI.
Bail costs and options. While some states allow bail bond companies to charge customers up to a certain percentage of the cost of the bond, Nevada law sets the premium that can be charged by bail agents at 15 percent. That means it is illegal for a bail bond company to offer a rate below – or above – that 15 percent figure. Any defendant posting bail in Clark County must pay a $50 fee in addition to any premium charged by a bail bond agent. Cash bail is returned to defendants and co-signers, minus court fees and courts.