Texas’ Bail Bonds and How the Bail System Works

All across the United States, the process of being arrested for a crime looks quite similar. Police can either obtain an arrest warrant in order to arrest you or arrest you from the get-go in if they have enough reason to believe you committed the alleged crime. Once you’ve been taken into custody, the trial date is decided, during which the judge sets the bail amount.

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines bail as the security given by the accused that they are going to appear in court. The process involves releasing the accused after they’ve paid the bail money as a promise that they will be present during trials. However, a lot of the time, people do not have that kind of money on hand. In such a scenario, since waiting in prison until the court hearings begin is not an ideal situation, you’re able to obtain the bail money using alternate methods.

These alternate means to acquiring bail money are called bail bonds. In Texas, there are four kinds.

Surety Bond

Bail bond agents are able to post your bond at a 10% fee of the total amount of your actual bail money. After you’ve paid the fee, you enter a surety bond with your bail bondsman, who in turn vouches for you that you’re going to be present for trials. If you do not appear in court, however, your bail bondsman then becomes responsible for the full amount of bail. This usually results in your bail bond company hiring a bounty hunter, a commissioned security officer whose duty is to return you to custody.

Other Bail Bonds

While the surety bond is the most common type used in Texas, you’re also able to turn to other types of bail bonds as well.

Property Bond: If you own any residential or commercial property, you can use its equity as the surety that you’re going to appear in court. However, if you fail to show up or do not comply with bail restrictions, you could end up losing your property.

Personal Recognizance Bonds: The judge may release you without having to pay the bail money if you’re deemed a reliable person on the basis of your criminal history, background, etc.

Attorney Bonds: Similar to how bail bondsmen work, the attorney working on your case can secure your bail bond after you’ve paid them a 10% fee of your original bail money.

Bail Restrictions

 A court hearing in session

According to Article 17.40 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the court is able to impose reasonable conditions of bond on you. This means when you’re out of prison via bail, you still have to comply with certain bail restrictions until your charges are dropped.

The factors that influence the strictness of your bond restrictions are the nature of your crime, your criminal record, and your personal risk assessment. Depending on your charges, common bail conditions typically include a restriction on the distance you’re allowed to travel, not being able to consume alcohol or drugs, and reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis.

If you or a loved one cannot afford bail money, contact us at Freedom Libertad in San Angelo, Texas, and we’ll help you be released from prison with our bail bonds service. We are a bail bondsman agency that specializes in bail bonds, immigration bonds, and many other services, including a warrant search.

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