If you are arrested for a crime in Nevada, the police will take you down to the station for booking and an initial court appearance. Afterwards, the police will usually release you if you give the court some money, which is called “posting bail.”
By posting bail in Nevada, you are promising the court that you will show up to all your future court hearings (arraignments, trials, etc.). All courts have their own “bail schedules,” which matches each crime with a standard bail amount. The more serious the crime, the higher the bail.
There are some instances, however, where a Nevada judge may not grant bail at all: If the crime was really serious, like a Las Vegas murder charge. Or if the suspect is considered a danger to the community or a “flight risk,” the suspect may be kept in custody through the trial. When Nevada courts deny someone bail altogether, this is sometimes called a “no bail fold.”
In most cases, Nevada courts will return bail money once the matter is resolved, even if there is a guilty verdict. The bail may not be returned, though, if you miss a court date. This situation is called a “Nevada bail forfeiture.”
Sometimes you may post bail with cash or other forms of payment, like money orders or cashier’s checks. If you cannot afford the bail, you may hire professional “bail bondsmen,” to post bail for you in exchange for a small percentage of the total bail amount (usually 15%). In other instances, you may be released on your “own recognizance” (an O.R. release) without paying at all, but the court will impose fines if you miss future court hearings.