The majority of Texas offenders don’t spend long in jail. The state of Texas typically offers some type of bond for your release. A bond is a type of collateral for the courts. It’s a promise by you that you’ll attend all your upcoming court dates if you’re released on bail.
Not all crimes require a bond, but if yours does it’ll be told to you by your first appearance. You can pay your bond yourself or through a third-party bail bondsman. The amount of your bond will depend on a variety of factors including your economic status, the crime, and if you’re a flight risk.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it’s imperative you gain trusted legal representation.
Attorney for Bail Bonds in Harris County, Texas
Being released on bond can significantly affect your defense. You will be able to visit with your defense attorney privately to discuss your case. In addition, it’s much easier to collect any needed paperwork or evidence if you’re released on bail. If you or someone you know has been charged with an offense and given bail, it’s important you contact an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. years of experience in both criminal trials and bond proceedings. Our attorneys can negotiate with the judge for a lowered bond amount. What’s more is we can help you formulate a strong defense to fight your charges. Call us now at (713) 224-5529 for a case consultation.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represents people accused of crimes throughout the Harris County area including Bellaire, West University Place, Pasadena and Houston.
Overview of Bail Bonds in Texas
- Types of Bonds in Texas
- Factors to Determine Bond
- Bonds for People Arrested Without a Warrant
- Can I Get a Refund for My Bond?
- Additional Resources
Types of Bonds in Houston, Texas
The court will offer you one bond amount, but there are a variety of ways to pay it. Each has its own pros and cons, which you can evaluate with your defense attorney. Listed below are the three types of bonds you can post to be conditionally released from jail.
- Cash Bonds – You can pay your bond fully yourself through a cash bond. This can be paid in money order, cashier’s check or cash.
- Surety Bonds – Third-party companies can pay your bond for you, this is referred to as a “bail bond.” The bail bonding company usually will charge a fee of 10 or 20 percent of the total bond amount and must be approved by the court.
- Personal Bonds – A personal or personal recognizance bond allows you to not pay anything for your release. The courts only give personal bonds to nonviolent offenders who they believe the crime stemmed from a simple lapse in judgement. A judge will review a variety of factors to see if you’re eligible for a personal bond including your criminal history, the nature of the crime and your standing in the community.
Factors to Determine Bond in Texas
Your bond will be determined by your first appearance in court. A judge will review a variety of factors when determining your bond amount. Listed below are some of those factors.
- Economic Status – The criminal system is hard if you’re financially struggling and judges realize this. They will assess your monetary situation and employment status when determining a bond. In some cases, they will give a personal bond or lowered bond amount if the crime was nonviolent and minor.
- Nature of the Crime – One of the biggest deciding factors for bond amount is the crime. Minor nonviolent crimes tend to have low bail amounts. A violent or felony-level crime typically will have a high bond. Some crimes aren’t eligible for bonds altogether.
- Criminal History – A strong factor in determining bond is your criminal history. People with little to no criminal history will likely have a low bond. An extensive criminal history could result in a high bond if the judge believes you’re a risk to society.
- Flight Risk – Bond is a type of collateral to ensure you’ll attend your court dates. So, the court will deny bail to anyone who is itching to run from the law. If you have a history of avoiding court dates or running from authorities, the judge may not grand you bail.
Bonds for People Arrested Without a Warrant in Texas
It’s rare, but you could have been arrested without a warrant. Texas has different bond procedures for people arrested without a warrant. If the magistrate hasn’t determined probable cause, then they must follow the guidelines in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 17.033.
People arrested without a warrant must be given a bond. The bond cannot exceed $5,000 and must be determined within 24 hours of the arrest. If your crime was felony-level, then the bond cannot exceed $10,000 and must be determined within 48 hours. If you’re unable to financially pay the bond amount, then the court will release you on a personal bond.
Can I Get a Refund for My Bond?
Once your criminal trial is over, where does your bond money go? It depends on the type of bond you used for bail. A cash bond will be refunded to you in full once all the bond’s conditions are satisfied. The court may impose a non-refundable fee associated with the bond.
If you used a bail bonding company, then the company will be paid in full amount. They will then return the funds to you in exchange for 20 or 30 percent. It’s imperative you compensate a bail bonding company if you use one. Failure to pay could result in them filing a formal complaint and attesting for legal action.
Bonds serves as a type of insurance for you and the courts. It’s a promise you’ll attend all your upcoming court dates without question. If you don’t show up at court without a reasonable cause, then your bond will be forfeited. If you used a third-party company, then they will forfeit the amount they paid.
Texas Bail Rules – Visit the official website of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure to learn more about bail. Find more information about bonds, requisites for a bond, crimes that don’t allow bail and requirements for third-party bail bonding companies.
Bail Bound Board in Harris County – Visit the official website of Harris County to learn more about their Bail Bond Board. Access the site to learn more information about bonds, the upcoming agenda for the board, bail bond schedule, and approved bondsmen in Harris County.
Lawyer for Bonds in Harris County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been posted a bond out of your financial range, it’s important you gain legal counsel now. A skilled attorney can schedule a bond hearing to contest your bond amount.
Call the attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. today for quality legal representation. We have years of legal experience under our belt concerning bonds. We can contest your bail amount in court with an effective and efficient defense. Contact us now at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston area including Pasadena, Tomball, Bellaire and West University Place.
This article was last updated on March 8th, 2019.