If you've had the misfortune of bailing a loved one out of jail, or they've just been arrested, the first thing you may want to know is when you will get your money back. There are probably a lot of other things floating around your head as well, but when it comes to your money, property, and finances, you want to be sure nothing is in jeopardy. Here is everything you need to know about getting your bail money back in Las Vegas.
Will you get back your bond premium?
If you used cash to bail out your friend or family member, a bond premium is totally irrelevant. But if you end up hiring a bondsman to post bail, you will have to pay a premium, and this is not refundable. Premiums vary by state, but in Nevada, they're a mandatory 15% of the bail bond. So if the bond amount is $15,000, you'll have to pay a non-refundable premium of $2,250.
Be aware that if the case takes between one and two years to get resolved, the bail bondsman can ask for another premium payment.
What if you paid cash for the bail?
If you paid cash for the bail, it is returned once the accused shows up for their trial. If the trial takes place over the course of several days or weeks, that money is not returned until the trial is over.
The good news is that in Nevada you will get your money back whether the party is found guilty or not or if the case is dismissed. In other states, like Utah, a guilty verdict means forfeiture of all or part of the bail money. In other words, the bail money will go toward the court fees, and the government will get an additional 3%.
What if you used a bail bond?
There are several different kinds of bonds in Nevada: property bonds and surety bonds.
A property bond is not always allowed by the court. It really depends on a number of factors, and the best way to find out is by speaking with an attorney or the clerk of court. Property bonds are essentially a pledge that if the accused does not appear at their scheduled court date, the state can levy the property or move for a foreclosure. If the defendant does show, your property will not be touched.
A surety bond is provided by a third-party bail bondsman, and they may or may not require collateral. Collateral can include the title to your car, stocks and bonds, real property, and even a life-insurance policy. Once again, as long as the defendant shows up for all court dates and hearings, then the bond is exonerated, meaning it is no longer active or valid, and you don't have to pay a thing beyond the premium. Even your collateral will be returned.
If you're concerned about the defendant not showing up for some reason—maybe you think they will take off or forget about their court dates—this is where things can get a little tricky.
Once a court date is missed, the court will notify the bondsman. A warrant is issued, and in many cases, the bondsman is given the authority to arrest the defendant once they are found. Bounty hunters are also used if needed. If the defendant returns within a set length of time—usually six months—the bond will be exonerated, and you will get any collateral back that was used. In most situations, you won't even have to worry about this, as most bondsmen are careful not to post bail if they think the defendant won't show up.
If, however, the defendant fails to show up within that six-month period and take care of all necessary legal proceedings, then the bail bondsman has to pay the entire bond to the court. From there, you will be responsible for any posted collateral as well as paying back the bond amount.
How long will it take to get your money back?
Provided there aren't any delays as far as missed court dates are concerned, you can expect to get your bail money back in 2–6 weeks. But be aware it can take up to 90 days in some jurisdictions.
Talk to a company such as All Star Bail Bonds for more information.