BAIL BONDS IN TEXAS
What is a Bail Bond? Tarrant County Jail Release.
Many of our clients have no prior experience in the criminal justice system and one of their first questions is, “How do I get my loved one out of jail?” The answer, for most people, is a bail bond. When a person is arrested – in lieu of being held in custody until trial – courts will release that person as long as they promise to appear for court to take care of the case sometime in the future. As a form of collateral, courts require a certain amount of money to be posted (or held) with the court. This money is called bail and is held with the court and returned to the citizen if they return to court to address the case. If the person does not return to court, the court takes the bail money indefinitely.
More Information on Tarrant County Area Jails
How much bail money does the court require to release a person from jail?
The amount of bail depends on the specifics of each individual case and the arresting agency. The court takes into account a number of factors as set out by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure when determining how much to set bail at. The five factors that the courts take into consideration are:
- The bail shall be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking will be complied with.
- The power to require bail is not to be so used as to make it an instrument of oppression.
- The nature of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed are to be considered.
- The ability to make bail is to be regarded, and proof may be taken upon this point.
- The future safety of a victim of the alleged offense and the community shall be considered.
In Tarrant County Texas, there are guidelines already established to help judges in determining bail amounts. In general, the recommended bail bond amounts in Tarrant County are as follows:
- Class B Misdemeanors – $500
- Class A Misdemeanors – $750
- Domestic Violence Misdemeanors – $2,500
- State Jail Felonies – $1,500
- Third Degree Felonies – $2,500
- Second Degree Felonies (Non-aggravated) – $5,000
- Second Degree Felonies (Aggravated) -$10,000
- First Degree Felonies – $25,000
- Capital Offenses – $500,000 +
Can I pay the full amount of my bond without using a bondsman?
Yes. You can choose to post a “cash bond” by depositing the full amount of the bail with the jail or bond office. However, beware of fees. For example, in Keller, the jail charges fee for persons wanting to post a cash bond. The fee is almost 10%, which is the same amount would have to pay a bondsman to handle the bail for you. Sometimes, if you have to pay a fee anyway, it is better to let the bondsman handle the matter.
What if I don’t have enough money to pay the full amount of the bail?
This is where a bail bondsman can help. If a person cannot afford to post the full amount of a bail bond him or herself, then a bail bondsman can post the money for them on their behalf. When using a bail bondsman, it’s important to know that the bondsman charges a fee to the person who is jailed and then posts the full amount of the bond. The fee is not returned and the person employing the bondsman will not get their money back. This is how a bondsman makes a profit. Once the citizen accused completes their case, the bondsman gets his money back.
It’s also important to know that a bondsman can request the bond back for good cause. Because of this, a bondsman will likely require the person they’ve posted bond for to report regularly back to them while on bond and not travel unless given permission.
How much will I have to pay a bail bondsman in Fort Worth, Texas?
Bail bondsmen use the total amount of the bond to calculate their fees. Bondsmen charge a percentage of whatever the total bond is set at. Most bond fees are set between 10% and 15% of the total bond. For example, if a person is arrested and has their bond set at $20,000.00, that person would pay the bondsman $2,000.00 if the bondsman is charging a 10% bond. Remember, the person arrested will not get their $2,000.00 back.
What happens is a bondsman “goes off” my bond?
When you hear of a bondsman “going off” a bond that means that the bondsman is withdrawing his or her money from the court. A bondsman must have good cause to do so. Common reasons for withdrawing off of the bond would be that the person arrested has stopped communication with the bondsman, has left the jurisdiction or has been arrested of a new offense while on bond. If a bondsman goes off of the bond, then a warrant is issued for the person’s re-arrest and that person must again make the bond him or herself or employ a new bondsman to post the bond.
Does my attorney have any dealings with my bondsman?
Generally, your attorney works separate from your bondsman. Our criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth, Texas do communicate with the bondsman if the need arises. Ultimately, the only reason that an attorney may need to contact the bondsman is if he can’t get in communication with the client by any other means.
Can my attorney be my bondsman?
Texas is one of the only states that still allow an attorney to also serve jointly as a bondsman. The reason most states prohibit attorneys also posting bond for the client is because it presents the potential for a conflict of interest if the client does not show up for court. When that happens, the attorney now has an adverse interest to the client and may need to come off of the bond and have a warrant issued. It’s never a good thing for your defense attorney to be seeking your arrest. Our attorneys do not post bond for our clients. Our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers can put you in touch with the right bondsman to bail you out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll never put ourselves in the position of adversely representing our client’s interests.
Contact Us for Immediate Jail Release
We have close relationships with reputable Fort Worth bondsman and can secure jail release at a moment’s notice. Regardless of the time of day, the bondsmen that we use can get to work helping to get the bail bond over to the jail. Call us anytime and leave a message if we are unavailable. Be sure to say that you need immediate assistance with jail release. We will act quickly to help get your loved one released with a bail bond.