Bail Bond Types in Texas
After someone gets arrested, waiting for a court trial in jail is tough. It’s not only uncomfortable but also stops the person from working and supporting their family. Instead of spending a long time in jail, the person’s family can use bail bonds to get them out.
Securing a bail bond is the quickest method for your family member to exit prison and await their trial date at home. A bail bond is money paid to the jail to show the court that the person will come back for their hearing. Once we get the bail bond, the person can go home until their court date.
Now, let’s go through the bail bonds used in the state of Texas.
What is a Bail Bond?
Before we dive deeper, it’s crucial to grasp the words we use when talking about bail. In the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, “Bail” is described as the way courts let someone accused of a crime leave jail while waiting for their trial. Basically, it’s like a temporary payment to the court, letting someone out of jail until their trial, and it’s a guarantee that the person will show up for the trial.
How a Bail Bond Works?
Bail works by letting someone accused of a crime go home before the case is settled. It involves someone, often not the accused but maybe a family member or friend, paying the court. This payment makes sure the person accused will show up in court, giving them a reason to come without having to stay in jail.
The judge decides the bail amount. For violent crimes or if there’s a risk of the person running away, the judge might deny bail or set a high amount.
Judges have a lot of freedom in setting bail, and it varies by location. Minor, non-violent crimes might have bail as low as $500, while serious crimes, especially felonies, can have much higher bail—sometimes $20,000 or more.
Types of Texas Bail Bonds
When someone gets arrested, being stuck in a local jail isn’t great. Usually, the court decides on bail, letting the person go back home until their trial. But paying bail is tricky – it’s good to get out, but not everyone can afford it. That’s when different ways to pay bail become important.
Surety bonds are the top choice for bail bonds in Texas. It’s like a loan – if the defendant’s family can’t pay the full amount, they can ask a bail bondsman for help. The bail bond company puts up the bond, making sure the defendant gets out of jail on time.
In order to secure a surety bond, the accused typically provides the bond agent with a fraction of the total bail amount, generally around 10%. This money is non-refundable, and depending on the amount, the defendant might need to promise extra stuff as collateral.
These are bonds backed by security, often property. If someone can’t afford to pay cash for bail, they might go for a property bond. Here, the person in trouble or the one guaranteeing the bond uses their home’s value as a promise. The property can be different things, like real estate, vehicles, jewelry, or anything valuable enough to cover the bond’s full amount.
Unlike fast cash bonds, property bonds take longer, about one to two weeks. This bonding process includes getting a thumbs-up from the judge, checking out the property, getting a nod from the clerk, and seeing how sales compare.
Personal Recognizance Bond
A personal recognizance (PR) bond is granted by the judge if they feel the accused isn’t a threat to society. If you’re well-connected in the community—like being a student, having a job, or leading in the community—it makes it more likely for you to score a PR bond. The person can be released from jail without making a deposit or offering collateral, depending on their criminal history and the current charge. In essence, a PR bond allows them to leave without any upfront payment.
If you have a lawyer handling your case, they can pay your bail. They just need to show they’re your lawyer before doing that. Attorney bonds are somewhat like surety bonds. Typically, you have to give them a 10% fee, similar to what you’d pay a bondsman.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
Choosing the right bail bond boils down to factors like your finances, community connections, and whether you’ve got legal representation. Having an attorney bail bondsman is crucial. They know their way around bail stuff, making sure you decide quickly and know what’s up.
Having a savvy lawyer can speed up the release process, letting you hang out at home until your court date. Knowing your bail choices and having a legal whiz by your side puts you in the driver’s seat. You can make smart moves in legal situations.