What Is a Bail Bond?
It is an agreement by a defendant to pay some amount of money set by the judge so that they appear for trial to get the money back at the end of the case. A bail agent, bonding company, or bail bondsman gives a bail bond in return for the release of the defendant until their court date.
A criminal bail bond is for the defendants jailed for criminal charges and mostly has a significant bail amount. This type of bail bond ensures that the defendant will appear in court on the trial date and guarantee to pay for penalties and fines against the person. On the other hand, a civil bail bond offers payments of penalties or debts in civil cases.
This bail bond system only exists in America and its former territory Philippines. Generally, in other countries, there are certain conditions and restrictions on defendants in exchange for their release.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
These bonds are one of the most common ways to release the defendants from jail, especially in serious cases. You also need to know that severe charges lead to high bail amounts. If you are not able to make bail, you can contact a bail bond company, and they will post bail on your behalf. However, in return, you need to pay a bail premium to the company. This premium can be anywhere between 10% and 20% of the bail bond amount.
Moreover, if the defendant appears before the court on all the trials, the court will pay the company’s money back. But you will not receive the premium back. In comparison, if the charged person misses a trial, the company will lose all its bail money. The defendant has to pay the company in full. If not, they can take legal action against the defendant to recover the money.
Types of Bail Bonds in Texas
There are three types of Austin TX bail bonds that you can choose depending on your charges. Let’s discuss them.
In this case, you need to pay the bail bond money to the country as a promise to appear on trial. Suppose the bail amount is $10,000; this money needs to be posted as a Cash Bond to release the defendant from custody. Additionally, you will receive the money when the case gets over, except the 5%, which will get deducted as a fee for the country charges.
It is a type of bail bond in which you hire a company or a bondsman that takes a fee from you in exchange to agree and sign to act as a surety. They assume the responsibility to pay the bail amount and give the court the guarantee that you will appear on the court date.
Personal Recognizance Bond
This bond is only a promise to show up on the court date. In this case, you don’t need to post any money or hire someone for surety. You simply have to sign an agreement and do promise to arrive at every hearing. But if you fail to appear, you will have to pay the bail amount. PR bonds are only offered to individuals who have strong ties with the communities, such as working and living in the community for decades. The court doesn’t have any concerns that the defendant will not appear in the court.
How Much Can Bail Bond Cost?
The amount of bail that your judge will set greatly depends on the criminal charges. Generally, the bail amount is higher for the felonies compared to the misdemeanors. Plus, courts also have the option to deny the bails. They can even release a person without bail.
It is important to note that every court has its own bond schedule. These schedules suggest the amount for every type of criminal offense. However, judges have full authority to charge higher or lower than the recommended amount of the bail based on the circumstances.
The following are the factors that can increase the bail amount.
- Any prior convictions
- Level of the alleged crime
- Restraining orders against the person
- The Defendant is a flight risk
- The Defendant is a threat to other people
Can You Leave the State while out on Bond in Texas?
As we have mentioned, courts have certain rules for bail. Only paying a lump sum will not set the alleged criminal from responsibility until their court date. The bail may also impose certain penalties and entail additional obligations and restrictions for violating the court’s rule. Based on the severity of the offense, the court can stop you from traveling during your bail period. Not to mention, this restriction is mostly non-negotiable unless a serious situation occurs that you have to leave the state while out on bond. Your bails bondsman or agency can also enforce some restrictions that you have to follow in order to avoid more court cases against you.
Therefore, if you ever hire a bail bondsman or bail agency, make sure to check their policies. Also, revise the rules set by the court carefully when you are posting bail. Violating these laws or rules can lead to penalties as well as impact your case.
When it comes to bail bonds, it’s better to contact reputable, experienced, and professional lawyers to help you decide the best possible plan for your bail. They can help you determine which type of bail bond will be suitable for you. Additionally, experts in the field, like Austin DWI Lawyer, can guide you throughout your court case.