A lot of people are trying to figure out how bail bonds work in the state of Texas, so they look to online resources to give them a little bit of insight. What they fail to think about though, is that there are other ways that a person can get released from jail instead of getting a bail bond written. In some instances, waiting it out in jail might just be the best option. Find out why below.
The Basics of a Texas Bail Bond
The way that bail bonds work in the state of Texas is very similar to how they work across other states and jurisdictions. The biggest difference is the maximum percentage rates that a bonding company can charge. The second difference is that a bond doesn’t necessarily have to be written by a bondsman. They can also be written by a licensed attorney. There are plenty of options when it comes to bonds in the state of Texas.
You should be aware that depending on the charge(s) and the criminal history of the defendant, the bail may be set extremely high by the judge. If this is the case, then waiting it out in jail until the court date comes around might be the best course of action. For those that choose to get a bail bond written, they can expect to pay up to 20% of the original bail amount.
In it’s most simplistic definition, a bail bond is a written promise signed by a defendant or a surety (one who promises to act in place of another) to pay an amount fixed by a court should the defendant named in the document fail to appear in court for the designated criminal proceeding at the date and time specified.
Here’s how bail bonds work in a general sense. First, the Texas bail agent will determine the risk of the inmate by looking at his or her charges and criminal history. Then, the bondsman will look at the co-signer’s financial situation. To qualify as a co-signer on a bail bond, a person should have a valid Texas I.D., be a resident in the state of Texas with proof of residency, have the financial means to pay the full amount of bail if the inmate doesn’t show up to court verifiable by two recent pay stubs. The bondsman will then calculate a monetary figure that the co-signer must pay to get a person released from jail. For your convenience, here’s a nice map of some Dallas bonding companies.
Once the co-signer goes into the bonding agent’s office to sign the bail bond, the bail bondsman then delivers that document to the jail. As long as the bail agent or attorney is licensed to write bonds for that particular jail, then the process is very simple. You should be aware that the time that it takes to be released from incarceration varies from jail to jail.
Most defendants are financially unable to post their own bail, so they seek help from a bail agent, who, for a nonrefundable fee of 10 to 20 percent of the amount of the bail, posts bail. A bail agent becomes liable to the court for the full amount of bail if the defendant fails to appear for the court date. Before agreeing to assume the risk of posting bail, the bail agent requires collateral from the defendant, such as jewelry, Securities, or written guaranties by creditworthy friends or relatives of the defendant. This collateral acts as security to ensure repayment for any losses the bail agent might incur. If the defendant appears to be a “poor risk,” and unlikely to return to court for trial, the bail agent will refuse to post bail. A defendant who has a record of steady employment, has resided in the community for a reasonable length of time, and has no prior criminal record is considered to be a good risk.
Much of the information presented in this post was provided to us by Tx Bail Bonds in Dallas, Texas. For more information on the bonding process and how bail works, visit the linked resources on this page.