What Is Pretrial Services? What Do They Do?
Pretrial Services is a department in Travis County that employs pretrial officers who interview inmates for personal bonds. Once these interviews are completed, the pretrial officer will complete a work-up which involves verifying references and information and checking local and national criminal history data in order to come up with a recommendation about whether or not the defendant should be released on a personal bond. These officers also monitor defendants while they are out on bonds to make sure that they are complying with the conditions of their release. If you are released on a bond with conditions, you will be required to report around once a month. The Pretrial Services officers, while they cannot issue warrants on their own, will be reporting to the prosecutors and to the judge on any violations, so it is important to comply with their requests.
If you get arrested and a Pretrial Services employee approaches you to do an interview, it is important that you cooperate with them because that is the best way to be released on a personal bond, without having to hire an attorney or a bondsman. Even in the event that you do not believe that you will qualify for a personal bond, your attorney’s job will be made much easier if you comply with the interview and provide them with as much information as possible. The only circumstance in which I might recommend a refusal to do an interview with them would be in the rare circumstance of a sex offender who is required to register their address, because admissions of where they are living on the personal bond form might be able to be used against them to show that they were not in compliance with their registration requirements. While pretrial services is an entity of the state, they do not work for the prosecutors, and working with them is often a good way to make sure that your case is able to resolve more favorably down the road.
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