When an individual is arrested for a crime he or she has a constitutional right to bail in all but a few select instances.What is the difference between bail and bond?
Bail is a cash deposit designed to ensure the Courts that a person charged with a crime (a defendant) will show up for all future Court dates, including trial. Once a bail is deposited, or “posted,” the defendant is released from custody. The Defendant is required to be present at all Court dates when out on bail. The Court’s consider a number of statutory factors to determine what the amount of bail should be. They consider things like the risk of flight and the danger to the community when determining what amount bail should be. The monetary amount of bail varies from crime to crime and is set according to a “standard bail schedule” and the individual circumstances of a particular case. When a cash bail is posted, and the case is over, the bail is no longer needed to ensure the Defendant will show up to Court. Since the case is no longer going on, the bail amount is returned to the person who deposited it.
Bond involves paying a portion of a bail amount and a premium, either in collateral or cash, to a bond company, who will then ensure a Defendant’s presence in Court. Normally, 15% of the bail is paid to the bond company and the bond company posts the remaining 85%. However, unlike bail, the money is not returned to the Defendant after the defendant appears in court.How is the bail amount determined?
The Court sets the bail amount based on factors such as the risk that the Defendant will flee or the danger to the community. Generally speaking the more serious the crime is thought to be, the higher the bail amount.
In some cases, such as where a Defendant has already been out on bail and picked up new charges, or where a person is accused of First Degree Murder and the “proof is evident and the presumption is great,” the Court will rule that no bail is warranted. This is called a “no bail hold." In cases where there is a no bail hold, the person charged must remain in custody until their case is over. In almost all other cases however, a person accused of a crime has a Constitutional right to bail. In fact, Article 1 Section 7, and NRS 178.484, of the Nevada Constitution provides that “[a]ll persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties; unless for Capital Offenses or murders punishable by life imprisonment without possibility of parole when the proof is evident or the presumption great.”
The factors to be considered by the Court are found in the Nevada Revised Statues, in Chapter 178. Among the factors to be considered by the Court in determining bail are the following (found in NRS 178.498 and 178.4853):
- The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
- The financial ability of the defendant to give bail;
- The character of the defendant; and
- The length of his residence in the community;
- The status and history of his employment;
- His relationships with his spouse and children, parents or other members of his family and with his close friends;
- His reputation, character and mental condition;
- His prior criminal record, including, without limitation, any record of his appearing or failing to appear after release on bail or without bail;
- The identity of responsible members of the community who would vouch for the reliability of the person;
- The nature of the offense with which he is charged, the apparent probability of conviction and the likely sentence, insofar as these factors relate to the risk of his not appearing;
- The nature and seriousness of the danger to the alleged victim, any other person or the community that would be posed by the person's release;
- The likelihood of more criminal activity by him after he is released; and
- Any other factors concerning his ties to the community or bearing on the risk that he may willfully fail to appear.
Yes. You can. A person charged with a crime always has the opportunity to request that the Court lower his or her bail. This is done by way of a Motion filed with the Court. An experienced criminal law attorney knows the law to present and the arguments to make to best convince a Judge that the bail amount should be lowered. Many times, how a Motion for bail is presented and argued is the difference between remaining in custody until the time of Trial, or spending that same time with your friends, family and loved ones.
If you, or a loved one, is in custody following an arrest, contact our office right away. We will evaluate your unique situation and tell you if we can assist in obtaining bail, a lower bail, or an “OR” release. We can be the difference between talking to your loved one through bars, or at the dining room table in your own home. 702-895-6760.