Las Vegas Bail Bondsmen Claim City Stealing Business - Page 2
Las Vegas bail bondsmen are crying foul. Their contention is that this new program is setting up law enforcement as de facto bail agents. They contend that when law enforcement accepts payment from a defendant and in return are allowing defendants to remain free, they are in fact offering a bail transaction. With revenue down sharply and bail agency lay offs up in Las Vegas, local bail bondsmen are pointing to the city's new program as a root cause.
The City of Las Vegas maintains that the program doesn't violate any laws, state bail laws or otherwise. The city also points out that marshals are not accepting payments directly. They are however sometimes assisting defendants with the phone calls to the court.
As was astutely noted in the Las Vegas Review Journal's article, applicable Nevada statutes define bail as "a deposit made with a court or other government agency to secure or continue the release of custody and to guarantee the appearance of the defendant in a criminal proceeding."
While the Las Vegas program is limited to traffic warrants, the impact is still very significant to an average Las Vegas bail bondsman's business. These smaller amounts are the bread and butter bonds to a bail agency, which in aggregate equate to a large percentage of the annual total attainable market.
Las Vegas bail bondsmen as individuals, and collectively, are filing complaints with city and state officials over the new program. The results of their efforts have yet to be determined, as the process is still early.
Once that process does conclude, Las Vegas bail bondsmen will finally be able to point to an illegal city program that has damaged their businesses or have to admit they are just feeling the unintended consequences of an innovative municipal revenue generation strategy. However, one thing is for sure. They may not make it long enough to find out the answer.