How Bail Bonds Work in Texas
A Look at a TexasBail Bondsman's Job
If you've ever wondered how bail bonds work, you aren't alone. Maybe you have someone in jail that you want to get bailed out. Maybe you're wanting to become a bondsman yourself. Whatever your reason for wanting to know the inner-workings of the bonding process, this page will address your questions.
We've compiled a lot of data from various sources and have cited them on this webpage for your convenience. This way, you can take a look at the original documents yourself instead of just taking our word for it.
Once you read this article, you'll definitely understand how a bail bond works.
What is Bail?
Understand What Bail is to Understand What a Bond is.
"Bail" refers to the money that you must post with the court in order to be released from jail. It is a way of ensuring the court that you will attend your future court appearances. In many instances, the judge will release you on your own recognizance (commonly referred to as an O.R. release). If the judge releases you "O.R.", you don't post bail...you simply promise that you will attend your court appearances. And, under certain circumstances, and in connection with certain crimes, the judge will deny you the right to post bail. However, most of the time, bail is required.
Bail varies crime-to-crime, county-to-county. The amount of bail varies depending on the crime involved. All Texas counties have their own bail schedules that set forth the amount for bail for each type of crime. For example, if you look at the Rockwall County bail bonds information, you'll see that your bail could range anywhere from $20,000 for the least serious offenses to $5,000,000 for the most egregious offenses. That said, it is the judge who ultimately sets your bail.
Texas criminal law bestows the judge with quite a bit of discretion, allowing him/her to deviate from the bail schedule, depending on your criminal history, your flight risk, and the facts of your specific case.3 As you can see, posting bail can put a serious strain on your finances. This is why it is important to request a Texas bail hearing or an or a release to lessen some of this burden.
There are essentially three ways to post bail: though cash bail, through a bail bond (which is the most common way to post bail), and through a property bond (which means that you allow the court to place a lien on your property and if you fail to appear in court as instructed, the court is authorized to institute foreclosure proceedings against you...Although this type of bond is available, it is rarely utilized).
How Cash Bonds Work
In order to be released on a cash bail, you must deposit the full amount with the clerk of the court or with the arresting agency.
Depending on the policies of the particular court, you may pay by cash, a traveler's check, money order, personal check, or a bank cashier's check.
According to this Tarrant County bail bonds page, if you attend all of your court appearances, you will receive a full refund 60-90 days following the resolution of your case.
If you fail to appear (also known as an "FTA"), you forfeit your money to the Texas court system.
How a TexasBail Bond Works
Since most people don't have the means to post cash bail, bail bonds are more frequently used.
The process of obtaining the bond only takes about 20 minutes. However, once you secure the bond, it generally takes between 30 minutes and 4 hours for the suspect to be released from custody.
Bail bondsmen (also called bail agents) post your bail in exchange for a non-refundable premium (which Texas law sets at a maximum 20%). If, for example, your total bail is $50,000, you will pay the bondsman $5,000 - $10,000. However, some bail companies offer discounts to certain clients. For example, this Dallas County bail bonds company charges 10% less than other bonding companies for clients who are represented by attorneys, government employees, union members, members of the U.S. military, or any of the above who is a family member who will cosign for the bond. Contracts with bail bondsmen typically last for one year.
If your case extends beyond that period, the agent will likely require you to pay a renewal premium. Collateral In addition, many bondsmen may also require collateral. "Collateral" is something of value that you offer the agent to assure you won't "skip town". If you do, the agent has the right to keep or sell your collateral. This, too, is something that varies according to the bail agent. Larger bail bond companies do not require collateral on bail amounts under $100,000.
About the Tx Bail Bonds Website
We’re better than just another bail bonding company. We’re an organization that has researched all of the top bonding companies in Texas and provide you with the contact information of only the best.