How Your Bail Amount Is Determined In Texas
Once you have been arrested you will await an appearance before a local judge. That appearance will take place within 48 hours of the arrest. The judge will review the details of your case and decide whether or not you are eligible to receive bail. If you are eligible, then the judge will also decide how much the bail should be.
There are various laws regulating bail and some of those laws vary according to your location. The Eighth Amendment also plays a role in regulating bail amounts. In Texas, the local constitution states that a person’s bail should not be considered “excessive” in relation to their crime.
Texas also has a Code of Criminal Procedure that is used to set an appropriate bail amount. Even so, setting bail is a tricky process. If it is too low, then the defendant might pay the fee and then avoid the court case. And if it is too high, then the defendant might wind up stuck in jail because they cannot afford to pay it.
According to the U.S. Constitution, no citizen should be forced to pay more than is needed for the state to accomplish its purpose, which is generally to ensure that the defendant can make it to court. Unfortunately, this outlined reasoning is rarely used as a basis for setting bail. Often times, a judge uses bail as a form of punishment and thus sets it higher than it needs to be. What’s most troubling about this is that at the time of setting bail the defendant has not yet been proven guilty. If this happens to you, then you should seek the legal help of a professional DWI attorney.
Most people use bail bonds to pay their bail and get out of jail prior to going to court. There are three different types of bonds commonly used for this purpose and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Personal Recognizance Bond
This is commonly referred to as a PR bond. It is the most difficult type of bond to receive because the defendant can be released without paying for a bond. All that is required is a promise that the defendant will appear at all scheduled court dates. While there isn’t a bond fee in the traditional sense, the defendant will still need to pay a personal fee that is equal to $20 or 3% of the bond amount, whichever is higher.
It is up to the judge to determine whether you are eligible for a PR bond. The court assumes a large risk when they grant these bonds so they are not very common. There are also certain charges that make a person ineligible for such a bond.
As the name implies, a cash bond is paid fully in cash. The defendant will receive a refund later after the case has been closed. They will receive the refund even if they are found guilty of the crime. Paying a cash bond may seem like the easiest route, but most people cannot afford the full cost of bail or they simply cannot wait for the case to close before receiving the refund.
The surety bond is the most commonly used type of bond. It is granted by working with an attorney or a bondsman. You will pay a non-refundable fee, which is generally ten percent of the bail value. After paying the fee, the supplier of the bond will pay the bail using their own funds. In most cases, they will require some form of collateral to cover the risk they are assuming.
You can choose to have your attorney act as your bondsman in the state of Texas while also acting as your legal representation in court.
To get more information on provisional licenses or to get answers to any other questions you might have about DWIs and various other legal matters, get in contact with us today. Call us now for immediate assistance!