Criminal Booking And Bond: Frequently Asked Questions
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Parviz Heshmati can teach you about the basics of criminal law, including classification of crimes, tips on how to handle your arrest, types of evidence, and the language typically used and what it means.
Booking And Bond: What's The Difference Between Bail And Bond?
Bail or bond is the most common way to get out of jail before trial. The terms "bail" and "bond" are often used interchangeably. Bail is the money or other value that must be posted with the court for a person charged with a crime to get out of jail until his or her trial. A bond is essentially a third-party payment of bail on behalf of the defendant.
Judges are responsible for setting bail. The United States Constitution prohibits "excessive bail." Courts produce standard bail schedules for each specific charge. In Nevada, an attorney can file a motion to reduce the amount of bail.
1. Reduction Of Bail
If the defendant can't raise the amount of bail specified, a criminal defense attorney can petition the court to reduce the defendant's bail and/or to release the defendant on his own recognizance. This usually occurs at the first court hearing (arraignment), or the defendant may through his attorney request a separate hearing on the reduction of bail.
When determining the appropriate bail amount, the Judge considers such things as the crime in question, the potential penalties, the defendant's ties to the community, whether or not the defendant is employed, and the defendant's history of appearing as scheduled in any other court proceedings. These factors help the Judge to weigh the likelihood that the defendant will appear for his or her trial.
A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney will be able to explain which factors carry the most weight in the local court system and what kinds of evidence will be the most helpful at a bail reduction hearing.
If the defendant is not able to cover that bail cost on his own, he will have to work with a bondsman. A bondsman writes a bond that guarantees the bail, so that the defendant doesn't have to produce the full amount in cash.
2. Working With A Bondsman
The advantage of working with a bondsman is that the defendant can get out of jail with a much smaller cash investment ‒ usually about 15 percent of the bail amount. The downside is that the 15 percent posted is the bondsman's fee. That means that even if the charges are ultimately dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty, he still doesn't get that money back.
3. Release On Recognizance
In some cases, the defendant can be released "on his own recognizance." This means that the defendant is released on his promise to appear for all future court dates. The eligibility of a defendant to be released on his own recognizance depends on factors similar to those applied in setting bail:
• The crime in question
• The defendant's criminal history
• The defendant's history of appearing in court as scheduled
• Family and/or longtime residence in the community
• The defendant's ties to the community
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, Las Vegas defense attorney, Parviz Heshmati, may be able to best explain the bail and bond process with regard to your charges.
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