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Blackburn Betts PLLC

There are four ways, in Travis County, that someone can be released from jail. Once they are arrested, they will have a bond set, which, on a misdemeanor, will take up to 24 hours, on a felony, it will take up to 48 hours. Once the magistrate sets the bond on the case, the defendant will have several options. The first option is to pay the entire amount of the cash bond. That money will be held by the Sheriff until the case is over. At the end of the case, you are entitled to all the money back, less a $50 administrative fees. Most people do not take advantage of this option, generally for lack of funds.

The second option, if you are prequalified by Pretrial Services, is a personal bond. After arrest, Pretrial Services will interview you for your personal and demographic information. They will take that information back to their office, check the local and national criminal history, call references and verify address information, and based on that they will put a risk score on you. If your risk score is low enough, then they will recommend to the magistrate judge that you be granted a personal bond. If the judge approves the personal bond, then that person is released and they are required to come back to court. If they fail to do so, the county can sue them for the entire amount of the bond.

The third option is a surety bond, which is posted through a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman is someone who lives in the county, owns property in the county, and gets an assessment from the sheriff on how much their property is worth. That assessment gives them their total bond writing power. They can get people out of jail on bonds that total up to the amount of the value of their property. If these people do not show up to court, then the county will sue the bail bondsman, and they know that the bail bondsman has properties sufficient to cover any judgment against them.

The incentive for the bail bondsman is to make sure that that person returns to court. They are going to require references and they will be checking in with that person to make sure that they are showing up to court dates. Bondsmen typically also employ bounty hunters, who will go after that person if they fail to show up to court, getting them arrested so that the bondsman will not end up being sued on their surety bond and bond forfeiture.

Bail bondsmen charge between 10% and 20% of the bond amount, if they agree to post the bond. It is possible that they would make a risk assessment and refuse. The percentage paid to the bondsman is not returned to the defendant upon the case’s completion.

The fourth option is a personal bond through an attorney. Typically, this would occur in a situation where a personal bond was previously not approved by Pretrial Services. You would pay the attorney at least 10% of the bond amount, and the attorney would go to Pretrial Services and pick up the bond interview package. Or, in the event that the person who is in custody refused to be interviewed, the attorney interviews that person and takes that interview to the judge. If the defendant does not show up to court, he or she will be sued for the entire amount of the bond. Most attorneys will allow the money that they are paid on the jail release to go towards representation on the case. That way, you are not paying for an attorney and paying for a bail bondsman.

Most of the time, if an attorney is not able to get the personal bond approved, they will refund the money. You may be charged a higher fee if the attorney feels that it is very unlikely that they would be able to get the bond done. They are using an expectation value because they are going to be returning the money if they cannot get it done. They do not like to work on a bond and then have to refund the money because then it means they did the work for free.

For more information on Getting Out Of Jail After An Arrest, A Free Case Evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 601-0009 today.

Blackburn Betts PLLC

Call For A Free Case Evaluation
(512) 601-0009