If you were arrested for a Houston sex crime and later released on bail, be very careful about what you do. A mistake can result in your bail getting revoked. This means dealing with your charges from behind bars and seriously damaging your case.
Defending against sex crime accusations is crucial, but you also need to think about securing your release from custody and how to act while out on bail.
If you need assistance posting bail after you or a loved one was charged with a Houston- area sex crime, reach out to attorney Ned Barnett today. Call (713) 222-6767 or contact us online 24/7. We’ll review the situation, help secure your release, and explain what comes next.
The Bail Process for Sex Crimes
The bail process in Harris County, TX works by releasing a defendant in exchange for money that the court holds until the proceedings are complete. This is to ensure you show up for court dates in order to recover the bail amount.
In many cases, the court proceedings in sex crime cases can take weeks or months, and if not for bail, you would have to wait in jail until your trials began. At the minimum, this presents a financial hardship because you won’t be able to work or potentially lose your job altogether. In addition, you’ll also miss out on their life.
The amount of bail depends on the severity of the crime, whether a bail schedule is applicable, and the judge’s own discretion. In determining bail, a judge may also consider your criminal record, ties to the community, whether you are considered a danger to others, and any other concerns raised by your attorney.
Things to Remember When You’re Out on Bail
After bail is set, you, your family, or friends will put up a sum of money, assets, or both so you are released from custody. This is a big risk because you are now responsible for what happens to these resources. Failure to comply with the terms of your bail can send you back to jail or result in losing everything you put up.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you are out on bail for a sex crime:
Show Up for Everything
You must appear for all of your court dates on time. Get to court early. Missing a court appearance will automatically result in the revocation of your bail. Through the process, you may need to appear many times.
Make Good Decisions
Making bad decisions may have led to your arrest in the first place. If so, learn from your mistakes, and start making good ones. Don’t use illegal drugs and don’t get drunk. If substance abuse was a factor in your current charges, consider entering treatment .
Bad decisions may also lead to more trouble, like driving while intoxicated, getting involved in arguments or fights, or committing another crime. If you’re arrested while out on bail, your bail for the first crime will be revoked and you probably won’t be released for the second crime.
Limit Your Travel
You may need to surrender your passport, wear an electronic tracking device, or promise not to leave the area or state. You may also have a curfew. You may be under house arrest and have little or no ability to go anywhere. Obey these limitations. Don’t think you can sneak around without getting caught. You need to sit tight until this is resolved.
No Contact with the Victim or Witnesses
Contacting the alleged victim or witnesses after a sex crime arrest would be a major mistake. This includes being near the person or communicating with him or her electronically. Stay off social media. Don’t ask someone to pass a message to a witness or alleged victim. What you say and post could be used against you.
It will be difficult, but while on bail, imagine that those people no longer exist. Breaking this condition of bail will raise red flags and will likely get bail revoked. Even if you mean no harm, what you say may be interpreted as threatening the victim or an attempt to tamper with witnesses. This could result in additional charges.
Accused of a Sex Crime? Contact Attorney Barnett
If you’ve been charged and released on bail for a sex crime, call our office. Your freedom, future, and ability to support yourself and your family are at risk. We can answer your questions and give you further advice about how to deal with charges the right way.
This is a critical time. A conviction of a sex crime could result in years in prison. You may have strong and effective defenses that could result in a case dismissal, reduced charges, or a plea bargain that may get you through this with fewer consequences.
As a former prosecutor with decades of experience and a track record of success, Ned Barnett knows what you’re up against and which defenses are available to you. Let us discuss your situation and how we can help.