The Van Nuys Jail and Police Department


The Van Nuys Jail...located within the Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys Community Police Station...serves as a temporary holding facility for men and women who are arrested by the LAPD or California Highway Patrol in the San Fernando Valley.

Arrestees are only held at this facility until they

  • are released on their own recognizance (known as an "O.R." release),
  • post bail, or
  • are taken to court for their arraignment.

Male defendants who must remain in jail...either because they can't post bail or because they have been convicted of their offense...will generally be transferred to a larger Los Angeles County jail such as the Los Angeles Twin Towers Jail, the Pitchess Detention Center, or the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail.  Female defendants will be transferred to the Century Regional Detention Facility.

In this article, our Van Nuys criminal defense attorneys1 will explain the following:

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. Procedures on How to Post Bail for an Inmate at the Van Nuys Jail

After an inmate has been booked into the Van Nuys Jail, his/her bail will be set according to the Los Angeles County Bail Schedule and based on the crime(s) for which the inmate was arrested.

"Bail" is the amount of money that is designed to assure the arresting agency and court that the defendant will make his/her court appearances after being released from jail.  Anyone can pay (or "post") bail on an inmate's behalf.

If you choose to post bail for an inmate, the Van Nuys Jail accepts four forms of bail: cash bail, cashier's checks, money orders and bail bonds, many of which are discussed in detail in our article "How to Post Bail in California".

You may post bail directly at the Van Nuys Police Station (where the jail is located) 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

The Jail is located at 

6420 Sylmar Avenue  
Van Nuys, CA 91401
(818) 374-9645

Free and metered parking is available on all of the streets that surround the police station.

1.1. Cash bail

If you elect to post cash bail, you must post the full amount.  Once you post cash bail, the inmate is released pending his/her arraignment.  If the inmate attends his/her court appearances, the bail will be returned following the conclusion of the criminal case.  If he/she does not, the defendant forfeits your money to the court.

1.2. Cashier's checks

Similar to cash bail, if you opt to use a cashier's check, you must post the entire bail amount.  The Van Nuys Jail only accepts certified California bank-drawn cashier's checks that are payable to the Los Angeles Police Department's Bail Account.  Cashier's checks should include the inmate's full name and booking number.

And because the funds must be verified before the jail will release an inmate, the inmate's release may take several hours or even a few days, depending on the time of day and whether the bail is posted on a weekday or a weekend.

1.3. Money Orders

If you opt to use a money order, it, too, must be for the entire bail amount.  The only money orders that the Van Nuys Police Department will accept are Western Union and U.S. Postal money orders.  Be sure to

  1. make the money order payable to the Los Angeles Police Department's Bail Account, and
  2. include the inmate's name and booking number on the money order.

1.4. Bail bonds

Posting a bail bond is the most common way to bail someone out of jail.  This is because you are only required to pay a maximum 10% of the total bail amount.

The downside is that bail bondsmen keep your 10% as their fee.  So if the defendant makes all of his/her court appearances, you pay nothing more, but you do not get that 10% back.  If the inmate doesn't make those appearances, you will be liable for repaying the entire bail amount to the bondsman.

Bail bondsmen advertise on the Internet and in the phone book.  Make sure you verify the bondsman's license, and keep copies of all documents for your records.

∗NOTE:  Once you post bail, you should immediately consult with one of our experienced Van Nuys criminal defense lawyers who can schedule a bail hearing to argue that the bail should be reduced or eliminated.   A skilled local attorney will also review the case to develop the most comprehensive legal defense to help your loved one fight his/her case.

2. How to Get Information about an Inmate at the Van Nuys Jail

In order to obtain information about an inmate at the Van Nuys Jail, you may

  1. call the Van Nuys Jail at (818) 374-9645,
  2. call the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Inmate Information line at (213) 473-6100, or
  3. access information via the web on the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's inmate information website. ∗The L.A. Sheriff's Department provides information for all inmates in Los Angeles County.

Before a deputy will release information, you must provide the inmate's correct full legal name or his/her booking number.

Typically, inmates who are being held in custody must be arraigned within two (2) days of being arrested.  At that point, the judge will either continue the arraignment or will set the case for a pre-trial hearing.

If you wish to look up this type of case information for an inmate being housed at the Van Nuys Jail, visit the Los Angeles County case information website.

3. How to Contact an Inmate at the Van Nuys Jail

When an individual is booked into the Van Nuys Jail, the staff allows the arrestee between 30 minutes and one hour to make free local telephone calls to arrange for bail, inform family members as to their whereabouts and contact an attorney.

Thereafter, all calls must be placed on a collect basis.  If you know that a friend/family member is being held in the Van Nuys Jail, you may want to contact your local telephone carrier to make sure that collect calls are not blocked on your telephone plan.

Inmates are not allowed to receive incoming calls.  And because inmates are only temporarily housed at this facility, they are not there long enough to receive mail.

You may, however, personally visit an inmate at the Jail, provided that you comply with the facility's visiting hours and policies described below.

4. Visiting Hours and Policies

Inmates may generally visit with one (1) guest once a day between the hours of 10:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:00pm seven days a week.  Visits typically last a maximum of 15 minutes. It is a good idea to call the Van Nuys Jail at (818) 374-9645 prior to your visit to make sure the inmate

  1. is permitted to receive visitors, and
  2. will be present in the jail and not in court.

Appointments are not required, and visits are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attorneys and members of the clergy are not bound by these restrictions and may visit an inmate 24 hours a day / 7 days per week.

All visitors must bring valid picture identification, such as

  • a California driver's license or identification card,
  • a U.S. Passport,
  • an alien registration card, or
  • a U.S. military card.

In addition, all visitors are subject to a search of their person and property.  Visitors may not bring anything illegal to the facility nor may they bring anything to the inmates.

The Van Nuys Police Department reserves the right to deny entry to anyone who poses a threat...either real or the safety or security of the Jail staff or inmates.

5. Procedures for the Return of Property

When an inmate is booked into the Van Nuys Jail, his/her belongings are collected and stored.  This property is returned to the inmate once he/she is released or transferred to a county jail.

Alternatively, an inmate who was arrested on a misdemeanor charge can fill out a property release form designating another person to claim that property.  Inmates who are arrested on felony charges must receive approval from a detective before they will be permitted to release their property.

If an inmate has chosen you to pick up his/her property, you must bring a government issued I.D. (listed above under Section 4. Visiting Hours and Policies) to the Van Nuys Jail lobby 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

There is no need to arrange this release ahead of time as this process may be completed during a regular visit.

Call us for help...

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If you or loved one is charged with a crime and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

1Our San Fernando Valley / Van Nuys criminal defense attorneys' offices are located at 14500 Roscoe Blvd., 4th Floor, Van Nuys, CA 91402.  Our telephone number is (818) 904-5900.  In addition, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have local law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, West Covina, and Whittier.


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The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

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