How to Secure Bail in Las Vegas
Bail agents are risk assessors with a low call-to-sale ratio, so it is very important that your first attempt to secure a bond goes well. The state of Nevada does not allow for price discrimination between various bail agencies, so agencies only differ based on their extra services provided and their application policies. Although the standard application for a bond can be confusing at first glance, the fact is that most people do qualify for this kind of loan. However, an unprepared cosigner is disastrous for a defendant who needs to get out of jail quickly because if a cosigner fails their application, most local agencies will not continue the process with that defendant. This article will teach you essential tips for defendants and cosigners to pass that application without hassle and will also forewarn you of any instant disqualifiers that will arise during your background check.
Tips for Defendants
The best advice a defendant can get is to hire an attorney before hiring a bail agent. Although this might sound intuitive, many defendants who have never been in jail before will try to jumpstart their release before preparing the documents and finances they will need for their bail application. Besides the benefit of helping you prepare a defense strategy at the earliest opportunity, a competent attorney will (1) make an argument at your bail hearing to reduce your bail, if possible and (2) have personal connections to a professional bail agency. When a bail agent gets a call from an attorney in their network, they prioritize that assignment above everything else in their docket for the week, ensuring you will get the best quality service for all your pretrial needs.
Defendants also need to be aware that the bail agent will take a five-year residential and employment history to assess the stability of the loan. Unless you are retired, income from Social Security and disability payments will not be accepted as valid employment. Self-employment in any form – namely, owning an online business – will require the defendant to have a cosigner who has held the same job (for wages) for at least five years. Employment of under one year will not qualify you for a bail bond. Residential history can include rented and/or owned properties. If you own your own home, you will automatically qualify for this section of the application. Legitimate residences do not include hotels, daily housing, or weekly housing. If you rent an apartment, your name must be on your lease. Habitation for less than one year in the same residence will not qualify you for a bail bond.
The application process is more flexible for parents and locals. Be aware that the agency is only interested in servicing stable clients, so a record of a child’s education in the same school for multiple years, or evidence of a strong connection to the Las Vegas community will go a long way to relieving the stress of securing your bond. If you are a local, your agency will likely offer you a payment plan if you are suffering from financial hardship.
Defendants should always provide at least two references on their application that are not their spouse or cosigner; you will not be able to secure bail if you refuse to provide verifiable references. While you are in jail, it is essential that you add money to your phone account so you can make a collect call. Free calls last for five minutes at a time, and it is impossible to qualify a defendant over the phone in that amount of time. Expect your first call with a bail agent to last up to 15 minutes before the agent hangs up to contact your consigner. Finally, memorize your inmate ID number so the agent can find your record, in the event the court has misspelled your name.
Tips for Cosigners
Cosigners will go through the same five-year residential and employment background check that defendants will and are subject to the same requirements and disqualifiers. Consigners should be aware that they are assuming financial responsibility for the defendant and will owe the court the full amount of the cash bail in the event the defendant is absent on their court date.
There are two major payments due up front to secure a bail bond: premium and collateral. Premium is always 15% of the total cash bail. No discounts can be applied due to state law, but locals will be able to make a payment plan for as low as 60% of the premium. This money is collected before the defendant can be released, without exception. Collateral is also required for non-locals and for bail totaling over $10,000. Once the trial is completed, your collateral will be returned regardless of the defendant’s verdict.
Cosigners for non-local defendants with low bail must provide cash collateral in a travel expenses account, in the event the defendant does not appear for their court date. This expense increases incrementally depending on the distance of the defendant’s primary residence from Las Vegas but is usually not lower than $1000. Cosigners for defendants with high-bail must provide collateral covering at least 50% of the loan. Cash accounts, vehicle titles, and property deeds are the only accepted forms of collateral in these circumstances; titles and deeds take up to 24 hours to generate an appraisal. Defendants may contribute to this fund.
As much as bail agencies would love to help everybody, the fact is that there are a few deal-breakers. You can be better prepared for the release process by knowing these in advance:
- The defendant or cosigner lives in daily or weekly housing.
- The defendant has at least one count of failure to appear after posting bail within the last ten years in any jurisdiction.
- The defendant’s or cosigner’s primary income comes from illegal activities.
- If, during the background check, any item on the defendant’s or cosigner’s applications returns as false, the bond will be denied.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, call Hinds Injury Law today at (702) 940-1234 for a free consultation.