You’ve heard the term “bail bond” before but unless you have been in jail or had to get someone out, you really don’t know what it is. The following is an overview of what a bail bond is, who needs it, who pays it, the purpose of the bail bond, and how it all relates to getting someone out of jail.
1FIRST, WHAT IS A BAIL BOND?
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, “Bail” is the security given by the accused that he will appear and answer before the court the accusation brought against him. A “bail bond” is a written undertaking entered into by the defendant and the defendant’s sureties for the appearance of the defendant before a court to answer a criminal accusation. In other words, a bail bond ensures that the person accused of a crime will come back to court while his or her case is pending and answer the allegations against him or her. It allows the defendant to leave jail and resume their lives (instead of sitting in jail) while the case is still open.
2WHO SETS THE AMOUNT OF BAIL FOR A DEFENDANT?
A court, judge, or magistrate sets the amount of bail and is governed by the Constitution. The bail should be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the defendant will comply with appearing in court and should take into account the nature of the offense and circumstances under which it was committed. They should also take into consideration the ability to make bail and the future safety of the victim of the alleged offense and the community. The bond amount should not be so high so as to merely be an instrument of oppression. Additionally, the court or magistrate may set conditions on the bond. For example, they may require an accused to do drug testing, submit a DNA sample, require an interlock device, or require an accused to not go near a child or victim.
3WHAT TYPES OF BAIL BONDS ARE THERE?
There are generally 3 types of bonds – cash bonds, surety bonds, and personal bond (often called a P.R. bond). A cash bond is a payment in cash for the full amount of the bond set by the court. Upon completion, the cash bond may be released to the arrestee. A personal bond is a bond is where the court releases someone from jail without posting a cash bond or a surety bond. Due to the nature of some crimes, personal bonds may not be authorized. A surety bond is the most common type of bond. This is the type of bond most people think of when they hear the term “bail bond”. We, at Mission Bail Bonds, write surety bonds. We are referred to as the “surety”. We accept the liability for ensuring that the accused returns to court. With surety bonds, the surety, or bondsman, will charge a fee rather than the full amount of the bond and post the bond for you. This allows the accused to invest their money on a quality defense lawyer.
4HOW MUCH DO BONDS COST?
We get this question all the time and it is impossible to answer without knowing more information. The answer depends on the amount of the bond, the accused history of going to court, where the accused currently lives (in the Tarrant County area versus out of state, etc), are they currently employed, etc. As a general rule, even if someone has been in trouble multiple times before, if they have been consistent about showing up for their court dates and don’t have any “bond forfeitures” on their record, the fee is pretty straight forward.
5WHAT IS A “CLASS C MISDEMEANOR” AND HOW DOES A WARRANT OF ARREST GET ISSUED?
take a driving safety course or similar other task. When you sign the citation issued by the Police officer, you promise to appear in court. You may be arrested if you do not voluntarily come to court as you have promised. In addition, you may be arrested if you do not pay the fine assessed by the Court, which you promised to pay. The Court issues two kinds of arrest warrants: Alias Warrants - are issued for: not appearing at the Court as promised. not taking care of original Class C citation. A Warrant of Arrest is prepared on both the original charge and the failure to appear charge. If you are arrested, you may post a bond to be released from jail. Capias Warrants - the second type of warrant is called a “Capias Pro-fine” warrant. This warrant is prepared for people failing to obey Judge’s order to pay a fine on or before a certain date. In lieu of payment a person may serve jail time for the fine at a rate of $100 per day. When you have a “Capias Pro-fine” warrant, you do not have the option to post a bond. You can only pay the fine by giving the amount due in the form of cash, cashiers check, or money order, or by serving time in jail.
6WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A PERSON IS “BOOKED” INTO JAIL?
This is a process documenting a person’s entrance into the jail. The process includes collecting information such as the person's name, address, a reason for the arrest (criminal charge(s)), and inventorying of personal property. A photograph and fingerprints are taken as well.
7WHAT OCCURS DURING AN ARRAIGNMENT?
An arraignment is a formal meeting between a judge and a defendant. The judge informs the defendant of his or her charge(s), reads the defendant their rights, and advises the defendant of the bond amount.
8WHAT HAPPENS IF I’VE BEEN BONDED OUT OF JAIL ON A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR?
If you have been bonded out of jail on a Class C misdemeanor, your appearance date (the date you are to appear in court) is usually set on the bond receipt, which you should have received upon release. If you hire an attorney, this date may be moved to a later date. It is important to be in contact with the court and appear at any and all court dates. If you do not appear for your hearing, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and an additional charge of failure to appear will be issued.