One of the more common questions asked by people contacting my office after they, or a family member, has been arrested is – – “How much will bail be.”
While the State Court System in Las Vegas, more precisely in Clark County Justice Court, has had a “standard bail schedule” for many years, effective September 1, of 2011, the Court implemented a simplified system, which is commonly followed by Courts in Las Vegas when setting bail in criminal cases.
The Justice Court, Las Vegas Township STANDARD BAIL SCHEDULE can be found online and is often the main point of reference for judges setting bail in criminal cases.
The STANDARD BAIL SCHEDULE sets bail by individual offense or by level of offense, as identified in the Nevada Revised Statues (or “NRS”).
Some crimes have no standard bail and are typically referred to as “set in court” bail amounts. In those instances, judges will traditionally listen to argument from the parties (the prosecutor and the defense attorney) before setting bail. Among the offenses which are “set in court” amounts are:
Category “A” Felonies:
Category “A” Felonies are the most serious charges in Nevada. By definition, a category “A” felony is any crime which can carry the potential of a life sentence. They include the following crimes and offenses: MURDER, SEXUAL ASSAULT, FIRST DEGREE KIDNAPPING and HIGH LEVEL TRAFFICKING in a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE; and
The Category “B” Felonies of ATTEMPTED MURDER and DUI RESULTING IN DEATH OR SUBSTANTIAL BODILY HARM.
All other Category “B” Felonies are generally a standard bail of $20,000.00 per count. A category “B” felony in Nevada is any crime for which the minimum term of imprisonment is between 1 year and not more than 20 years, as provided by specific statute.
Category “C” Felonies are generally a standard bail of $10,000.00. There is an exception to that rule however, in a crime of Battery Domestic Violence which is alleged to have been committed by strangulation or which is alleged to have resulted in substantial bodily harm. In that instance, the Standard Bail amount is $15,000.00 $15,000.00 is also the standard bail amount for any allegation of a violation of a temporary or extended protective order. A Category “C” Felony is a crime that carries between 1-5 years in Prison and the potential of a $10,000.00 fine.
For a Category “D” or “E” felony, which are punishable by 1-4 years in prison, the standard bail amount is $5,000.00.
Gross Misdemeanor offenses have a standard bail amount of 2,000.00
A typical misdemeanor offense has a standard bail of $1,000.00. There are exceptions for that however, including the following: BATTERY/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE $3,000, BATTERY/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2ND OFFENSE $5,000.00, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE $2,000.00, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE 2ND OFFENSE $5,000.00.
Another important consideration that many people don’t realize is that there are additional bail amounts imposed for many of the statutory crime enhancements found within the Nevada Revised Statutes. Unless one of these enhancements an element of the crime, they DOUBLE the standard bail amount listed above. These include crimes involving School Property, using the Assistance of Child, using a Handgun Containing Metal-Penetrating Bullets, and any offenses involving the use of Deadly Weapon (known as the Deadly Weapon Enhancement), Violation of a Protection Order, a victim 60 years of age or older, a Vulnerable Person, Hate Crimes based on the characteristics of the victim, Furthering the efforts of a gang (known as the Gang Enhancement and/or Terrorism. The Statutory definitions of all of these enhancements are found in NRS Chapter 193.
It is extremely important to know that these bail amounts are simply a “standard” bail schedule, designed to give the Justice Court’s in Nevada guidance in the setting of bail. A knowledgeable and experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney will be able to meet with you or your loved ones and guide you through the process of challenging bail amounts. Attorney Josh Tomsheck has handled thousands of bail hearings and is often successful at lowering or eliminating bail, allowing someone charged with a crime the ability to “fight their case” from outside the detention center.