A bail is a certain amount of money required to release a person after an arrest. When someone posts the bail, the defendant is released from custody while awaiting trial. When bail is not posted, the defendant is held in custody until their trial.
The amount of bail depends on the criminal offense and the court where the case is heard. Under certain circumstances, Texas courts allow defendants to be released on “personal recognizance” without posting bail.
Once you post bail in order to be released from custody, you must comply with the bail conditions. If you follow the conditions of the bail, the court will return the amount of money you paid to post bail.
Missing a court hearing or violating any other bail conditions may result in the forfeiture of the bail money.
If you have been arrested and are considering posting bail, contact a Gatesville criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options and defense strategies.
What is Bail?
After an arrest, the court sets a bail, which is an amount of money that a defendant can pay to be released from custody after an arrest. Once bail is posted, the defendant can await trial at home rather than in jail.
Texas courts set bail to motivate arrested defendants to attend court hearings instead of going into hiding. If a defendant posts bail and then fails to appear at a court hearing, the court will forfeit the bail money.
When a defendant who posted bail complies with all of the conditions of the bail, the court will return the bail money once their criminal case is resolved.
How to Post Bail in Texas?
There are three possible ways to post bail after an arrest in Texas:
Cash bail. You can give the court cash or a check equivalent to the full bail amount to be released from custody.
Bail bond. You can use a bail bondsman, including bail bonds agencies, to post bail on your behalf. Usually, bail bondsmen get a fee for their services.
Property bond. You can also be released from custody by allowing the court to put a lien on your property, such as your house or car.
How to Use a Bail Bond to Post Bail in Texas?
In many criminal cases, defendants post bail through a bail bond, especially when facing serious criminal charges. Serious crimes require high amounts of bail money.
When the amount of bail money is so high that the defendant cannot pay post bail with cash, they can contact a bail bondsman. When this happens, the bondsman or agency will post bail on your behalf for a bail premium. Usually, the bail fee ranges from 10% to 20% of the bond amount.
If you comply with all of the bail conditions, the bail bondsman gets all of their bail money back. However, you will still be required to pay the bail premium to the bondsman.
If you miss a court date or violate other bail conditions and the court forfeits the bail, the bail bondsman will lose the posted bail money. However, the bondsman will take legal action against you to pay them back.
How Much Does It Cost to Post Bail in Texas?
The amount of money needed to post bail in Texas depends on the criminal offense and several other factors. As a rule of thumb, defendants prosecuted for felonies must pay a higher bail amount than defendants facing misdemeanor charges.
When a defendant is accused of a severe crime, the court may prevent him or her from posting bail to be released from custody. Each court in Texas sets their recommended amounts for bail for all types of criminal offenses. However, judges can deviate from the recommended amounts to set higher or lower bail amounts.
Factors that affect the amount of bail are:
The type of the criminal offense;
The circumstances of the offense;
Whether the defendant has a criminal record and past convictions;
Whether there are any restraining orders against the defendants;
Whether the defendant was on probation when they got arrested;
Whether the defendant is likely to leave the state or country to hide; and
Whether the defendant poses danger to public safety.
In some cases, courts deny bail, especially if the defendant is being prosecuted for a serious crime such as murder or aggravated sexual assault. When bail is denied, the defendant must await trial behind bars.
In other cases, courts can agree to release a defendant without having to post bail at all. This is known as the release on personal recognizance.
Can I Reduce the Bail Amount?
Yes, the required amount of bail money could be reduced during a bail hearing. Your attorney can help argue for reduced bail amount in your case. You have a right to request a bail hearing by asking the court to reduce the bail amount. When requesting a hearing, you are required to explain why the court should reduce the bail amount.
During the hearing, you and your attorney will have an opportunity to present your case to convince the court to reduce bail. Typically, courts agree to reduce bail when defendants have spent a considerable amount of time awaiting trial because their case has been delayed.
Call a Gatesville Criminal Defense Lawyer to Talk About Your Case
Being arrested and spending days and nights behind bars are some of the most stressful and traumatizing things you can endure in life. The devastating impact of being held in custody cannot be overstated.
That is why it is important to post bail to await trial at home and be able to prepare a defense strategy more efficiently. You need a Gatesville criminal defense lawyer to help you get released from jail and comply with the bail conditions.
At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your options if you are facing criminal charges in Texas. Let our lawyers help you avoid a conviction and secure a favorable outcome in your case. Call 254-501-4040 for a consultation.