If you have been charged with DWI (or are facing any other kind of charge) in Texas, the first thing you want to do is get out of jail. While there are different options available to you, often the most expedient way is through a bail bond. Many people do not know how bail bonds work, but understanding the basics can help you move through the process more efficiently.
A bail bond is used to pay your bond, which is the means by which you get out of jail before your court date. Paying your bail with a bail bond does not mean that the charges you face have been dropped or have changed in any way. You will still face the DWI charge against you, but posting your bail via a bail bond (if you cannot afford to pay the bail outright) is your means of promising the court that you will return for your trial (and any hearings) after you leave jail. This is the way a bail bond works:
- The court sets your bail amount.
- You pay a bail bond broker a percent (usually 10 percent) of the face value of your bail bond. For example, if your bail is set at $1,000, you would pay your bail bond broker $100 (10 percent of $1,000) for your $1,000 bail bond, which will go to the court to cover your bail. That 10 percent serves as the bail bond broker’s fee. The bail bond broker will also seek collateral to pay the remaining 90 percent of your bond. Collateral refers to something of value that you own (such as the title to a vehicle).
- Once you appear in court and your case is concluded, the bail bond is dissolved, and your collateral will be returned to you.
- If a defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond is forfeited, and the remaining 90 percent owed will be paid to the court using the original collateral to obtain the necessary funds.
The Amount of Your Bail
Once you have been arrested for DWI – or for any other charge – you will go before a judge within the first 48 hours. Here, the judge will determine the appropriate amount at which your bail should be set. Federal and state law both dictate that bail should not be set at an amount that is considered excessive – instead, it should be set at an amount that motivates you to return for your court date. Bail should not be used as a form of punishment, and when it is, experienced criminal lawyers have the skill, fortitude, and resources to fight back.
You Need an Experienced Lawyer on Your Side
Whether you are facing DWI charges or any other charges in Texas, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen is committed to building your strongest case in defense of your legal rights. We are here for you, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.