If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, the most important decisions come quickly. Within 48 hours, the court will review the police report and without any input from the accused or his lawyer, will set bail for most offenses except for category A felonies. That means that the accused and his or her family will have to immediately make a decision – hire an attorney or post the bail.
Should you post cash bail or a bond or hire an attorney? Ask three people and you’ll get three different answers. Getting out of jail is really important because it is well known amongst experienced criminal defense attorneys that out-of-custody defendants get better results. However, defendants with experienced criminal defense attorneys also get better results than those with a public defender.
So what should you do?
Rather than post a bond or bail, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to get the bail amount lowered, will have a reputation in the community that the prosecutor will respect and will save you money.
For instance, if the current bail is set at $20,000 due to the standard bail setting, the amount a bail bondsman will require is around $3,000 as a non-refundable fee. That means that if you pay that amount to the bail bondsman, you will never see that money again.
An experienced criminal defense attorney you can save a lot of money by filing something called a bail reduction motion or a motion for an own recognizance release. That is basically a request made to the court with supporting facts and law to either release the accused without bail due to the accused’s contacts with the community and factors in Nevada Revised Statutes 178.4853. The motion could also ask for a reduction in bail based on the same factors. So, if the attorney gets the bail down to $10,000, that would be a savings of $1,500.
Once the motion is filed, the State will have an opportunity to respond. It is critical that the accused and his family be as straightforward with their attorney to make sure he or she knows all of the facts going into the bail hearing and isn’t blindsided by the State’s argument. Once both sides have had an opportunity to respond in writing, the court will hear oral arguments and make a decision. Many times, the results of this hearing will save money for the accused and his or her family if the family hires an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Do you have a loved one in jail? Contact the attorneys at Mueller Hinds & Associates for a free consultation. We are experienced, aggressive and results-oriented.