A Guide to Bail in Nevada
Recently, two criminal cases in Nevada saw two very different bail amounts set by the courts. In one, a man and a woman were charged with plotting to kill Las Vegas police officers in order to draw attention to their antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement. The woman’s bail was set at $200,000. Her companion, David Brutsche, an ex-felon, had his bail set at $600,000. In the second case, a Carson City man arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and obstructing and resisting an officer had his bail was set at $450.
If you are arrested, bail is the court’s way of ensuring that you keep appearing during the course of the proceedings. From these two cases, it is easily seen that the amount of bail set by the judge depends on the severity of the charge and the criminal history of the defendant. When determining the bail amount ― or whether to grant bail at all ― the court considers the following:
Are you a danger to the community?
In trying to persuade the court that you are not a danger, your lawyer should inform the court of the following, if applicable:
- You have no criminal record, or only a minor one
- You are not on probation or parole
- The charge against you is for a nonviolent offense
- You have a reputation in your community as a solid citizen
Are you a flight risk?
The factors raised to indicate that you are not a flight risk include:
- You have strong ties to the community (family, job)
- You have never missed court appearances in the past
- You have no immigration issues
The court usually decides the bail amount very early in the process, usually at the first court appearance. While most bail hearings are fairly quick, sometimes a defense attorney will call witnesses to testify on the defendant’s behalf about the defendant’s community ties and reputation, to convince the court to set bail as low as possible.
If you have been arrested and want to make sure your bail is low enough to allow you to remain free while you prepare your defense, it is crucial to retain the expertise of an experienced Reno criminal defense attorney.