​Bond Hearings & Reductions2020-07-10T09:04:58-06:00

Project Description

Texas Legal Process:

Bail Bonds, ​Bond Hearings and Reductions

A Bail bond is a financial promise that you will come to Court.  The money put down acts as an insurance between you and the Court that if the Court releases you from custody, you will come to court when required. Bail bonds work differently depending on the county and court your criminal case is in.  It is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with the bond procedures in the county where your case is pending.

Why is it important to contact an attorney BEFORE posting a bond?2020-07-28T12:49:22-06:00

By getting an attorney involved IMMEDIATELY you could save yourself time and money when posting your bond.

  • It is important to contact an attorney before posting a bond because there could be a possibility for a bond to be lowered or you could be eligible for jail release programs that do not require upfront money.
  • Once you have paid to post a bond, there would be no opportunity to adjust the amount you have already paid.
  • Your attorney can assist you in making arrangements to post a bond and get out of jail as soon as possible.

 

What if I know I have a warrant? What do I do?2020-07-28T12:59:05-06:00

Knowledge of an active warrant can be incredibly stressful.  If there is an active warrant for you, this means that you can be arrested at any time on the warrant—including when you are at work, school, or any encounter law enforcement where you give your name.

Regaining some control: Hire an attorney immediately! Your attorney can contact a bondsman, if necessary, and make arrangements with the jail to assist you in turning yourself in and, depending on the charged offenses, potentially lessen your bond amount and speed up the process.

What factors can the Court consider in setting my bond amount?2020-07-10T08:46:20-06:00

The Judge may consider the following factors in setting a bond amount:

  • Your work record
  • Your family ties and ties to the community
  • How long you have lived in the community
  • Prior criminal history
  • Whether you have been on bond before and whether you complied
  • Whether you have other outstanding bonds
  • The severity of the charges you are accused of
  • Your ability to pay

These factors are typically presented in a formal bond reduction hearing in front of your assigned Judge.

What are the different types of ways to bond out of jail?2020-07-10T09:02:12-06:00

There are three types of bonds: Cash Bonds,  Surety Bonds, and Personal Recognizance Bonds (PR bond)

Cash Bonds:

  • Cash bonds are bonds where  you choose to pay the full bond amount assessed by the Judge to guarantee you will come back to court.
  • The County or District Clerk holds your bond money until your case is resolved.
  • Once your case is resolved, the bond will be returned to you. Nominal fees are attached to a cash bond.
  • If you fail to come to court and your bond is revoked, the County will keep the full amount.
  • You and your attorney will be responsible for monitoring the case and will not receive any notices or reminders of court dates.

Surety Bonds:

  • A surety bond is when you choose to use a bond company to assist you in posting the bond. A bond company typically requires a percentage of the bond to be paid to them and they will post the full bond amount with the County.
  • People normally choose to use a surety bond when they are unable to come up with the full amount of the bond.
  • All bonding companies are different in their fees and monitoring.
  • Typically a bonding company will require 10% fee of the total bond as payment.
  • Some requirements of bonding companies often require co-signers to a bond, monthly check-ins with the company and weekly call in’s with the company.
  • Bonding companies may ask the court to remove themselves from your bond for issues such as non-payment, lack of contact or if you are arrested again.

Personal Recognizance Bonds (P.R. bond):

  • PR bonds are given to those who do not have money for bond/bail.
  • These types of bonds are given by the Court in a case by case basis.
  • PR bonds are typically reserved for non-violent offense and for people with limited criminal history.
  • The judge at the jail will evaluate your case to see if you would qualify for a P.R. bond.
  • Your attorney can approach your assigned Judge to ask for you to be considered for a P.R. bond, if you are not granted one at the jail.

Other Programs:

  • Pre-Trial Release contracts are agreements between you and the Court that if you are released from jail, you will abide by certain court rules.
  • Pre-Trial release contracts are issued for certain types of offenses. If you request this type of release, you will be interviewed by a county pre-trial officer to determine if you are a good candidate for this program and to determine what, if any, conditions would be necessary.
  • In exchange for your promise to attend Court, the Judge can require you to complete certain conditions such as routine drug tests, going to counseling, GPS monitoring, more frequent Court check ins, and monthly fees.
  • These types of contracts are not typically given by the Magistrate. Your attorney would have to ask your Judge directly for consideration.
The bond is too high! How can I lower my bond?2020-07-28T13:11:41-06:00

Hire an attorney as soon as possible to start working FOR YOU.

  • Bonds set by the judge at the jail are typically not permanent.
  • If you do not have enough money to make your bond, your Attorney can approach your assigned Judge and prosecutor well before a first court date to discuss your bond amount and conditions.
  • If an agreement cannot be reached , your attorney can file a formal motion for a bond reduction.
  • Your attorney will be able to call witnesses at a live hearing, to establish why the bond amount is too high and request for a reduction in bond or for you to be interviewed for pre-trial release programs, if applicable.

 

How Is My Bond Set?2020-07-28T13:03:28-06:00
  • When you are arrested, the arresting agency may ask for a bond amount or request the magistrate set the bond.  The bond amount is typically determined solely by the type of offense charged.
  • In almost all criminal cases, the Court is required to assign a bond to a criminal case within 72 hours of an arrest. The judge at the jail has little to no information about you or the case.
  • The bond amount is set at the discretion of the judge at the jail.  The main goal of the judge at the jail is to issue you a bond amount, order conditions of the bond, if applicable, and assign you to a Court.
  • The Judge in your assigned Court will then have exclusive control in setting or adjusting your bond.
  • Your first court appearance will be set typically 4-6 weeks after arrest.

 

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