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Las Vegas Criminal Defense

Understanding Bond and Bail


When awaiting trial, there are several options that can keep you out of jail. In some cases you may be able to post bail to get out of jail; if you’re lucky, you can avoid jail altogether with a bond payment.  Without question, those who are arrested and manage to take advantage of bail or bond appreciate the opportunity to evade incarceration. But not everyone can come up with the dough to do that, which is why some policy advocates believe that cash payments shouldn’t be allowed for anyone. Certainly, discrimination that exists based on socioeconomic factors results in Black and brown people and those with lower incomes filling jails at disproportionate levels. Even so, the system continues to embrace these options in most states.

How Does Bail Differ from Bond? 

The biggest difference between these two options is who makes the payment to the court.  With bail, the defendant makes the payment, while with bond, the bondsman makes the payment, along with the risk of the defendant failing to appear.  That’s why bondsmen typically charge the defendant a non-refundable fee of 10 percent, making bond a more expensive option than bail.

 Options for Bail

Getting out of jail is the bottom line. That can occur in several ways:

  • Paying a cash bail to the court;
  • Taking out a property bond that allows you to put up collateral for the amount of a bond;
  • Getting out based on personal recognizance, meaning the court takes you at your word when you commit to coming back for your trial date;
  • Taking out a surety bond so a bail bondsman posts the required bail amount for a fee.

Bail is a great option for those who can afford it and wish to be released from custody right away.  It can be a boon for family relationships, employment, and personal life in general.

Bond Options

A surety bond involves the court, the defendant, and a bonding company, who puts up the required bond for a percentage of the cost of the bond. It’s a good option for those who cannot afford bail but want to stay out of jail. The types of bond available include:

  • The defendant can pay the full amount to the bondsman with a cash bond;
  • Collateral (like a home or vehicle) is put up for the bond in a property bond;
  • Non-citizens facing problems with immigration authorities may use an immigration bond;
  • Federal bonds are available for federal crimes.


The amount for each bail or bond setting is determined by the judge, and is usually non-negotiable, although appeals courts have been known to adjust them. Defendants who appear for all of their court dates get the full amount of the bail or bond refunded (minus the bondsman’s fee for a bond posting).

Fighting for Best Outcomes 

At the Lobo Law, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are committed to working toward the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our Las Vegas office today.



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