If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Texas, you have certain responsibilities that you must fulfill as you navigate the state’s criminal justice system. While every criminal case is unique to its own set of facts and circumstances, there are general procedures that apply to all. Understanding your responsibilities can help ensure that you do not jeopardize your case moving forward.
Arrest and the Bond Process
After being arrested for a crime in Texas, you will likely remain in jail until your bond hearing, which is when the judge determines the amount of bail you must pay to be set free until your court date. Posting bail generally occurs in one of two ways, including:
- You use your own funds – or funds borrowed from a friend or family member – to pay your bail. Your money will be returned to you after your case is finalized.
- You enlist the services of a bail bond agent, which entails paying a certain percentage of your bail money upfront (money that will not be returned to you) for the service of having your bail paid on your behalf (money that is returned to the bail agent upon finalization of your case). Your agent may also require you to provide collateral beyond this cash payment (dependent upon the ascertained degree of risk).
Showing up for your court date remains your responsibility.
Your Court Appearance
The most critical component of your case is appearing before the court at the scheduled date and time. The consequences of a criminal conviction can have overarching negative effects that are far too serious to ignore. Working closely with an experienced criminal lawyer will help ensure that your rights are well protected throughout the legal process and that you obtain the best possible resolution of your case.
If you have been charged with a crime in Texas, you need professional legal counsel, but there are also steps that you can take to help safeguard the outcome of your case. These include:
- While awaiting your court appearance, mind your p’s and q’s. Now is not the time to take risks.
- Stay off social media. Social media. The fact is that the prosecutorial team is waiting for you to slip up, and social media platforms offer a cornucopia of information. Remember that a picture says a thousand words, and make it your policy to bypass social media for the time being.
- Arrive at your court date wearing clothing that signals respect while tapping into your most respectful demeanor and letting the court know that you take the situation extremely seriously.