How to Bail Someone Out of Jail in Houston, TXPublished: Jan 04, 2023 in Criminal Defense
When you get a call that a close friend or family member has been arrested, you may be anxious to do whatever it takes to get them released from custody. One of the top ways to do so is by posting their bail.
Once you post the bail amount, the accused can be released until they face trial. Here is more about how you can go about bailing a loved one out of jail in Houston, TX, and the steps you should take if you cannot afford bail.
The Bail Process in Texas
Before bail is set and you can post it, there are several steps along the way. First, you can expect to wait between 48 and 72 hours after a loved one’s arrest before they are granted a bail hearing. The amount of time it will take to get a bail hearing will depend on how busy the court is at the time of their arrest.
At the bail hearing, the prosecutor will argue for a higher bail amount, while your loved one’s defense attorney will argue for a reasonable bail amount. The amount you may be expected to pay can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of their case.
You must pay or post a bail before your loved one can be released from police custody. If you need to go with a bail bond, be prepared to pay the bail bondsman a service fee. Generally, this amounts to approximately 10 to 15% of the amount of the arrestee’s bail. This is not money you will get back but a fee paid to the bail bonds company of your choice.
Common Types of Bonds
Multiple types of bonds may be available when the judge grants bail. The kind of bond best suited for your friend or family member’s case will vary depending on their circumstances. Some of the different types of bonds that may be available include:
- Cash bonds
- Surety bonds
- Personal recognizance bonds
- Attorney bonds
- Property bonds
First, there are cash bonds. Here, you can provide the city of Houston with the amount of cash as required by the bail amount, which will guarantee that the arrestee appears at their next court date.
Failure to appear at the next court date means the bond will be forfeited. Alternatively, if the defendant appears in court and is not convicted, the cash bond can be refunded to the person who paid it.
Surety bonds are paid by bail bonds companies and are often considered a type of loan. Here, the arrestee pays a percentage, usually between 10% and 15% of the bail amount. When they show up in court, you get your money back. If they do not show up in court, the money is forfeited to the bail bondsman.
Personal Recognizance Bond
A personal recognizance bond means you are not going to have to post bail. Instead, once your loved one has been released, they will need to report to what is known as a personal recognizance bond office, who will then continue to monitor them and likely charge service fees.
Sometimes, a criminal defense lawyer can post bond on the defendant’s behalf. Your loved one can contact their attorney to pre-arrange bail so they can be released from jail immediately after an arrest. One of the top benefits of attorney bonds is the fact that there is no requirement to obtain a bond or be supervised by a personal recognizance bond office.
Property bonds are used when someone cannot afford the costs of posting bail. A person may use the equity in their home, or other valuable assets, such as their vehicle, as collateral.
However, these are not commonly used in Texas because the court may need to take the time to put a lien on property. Property bonds will often need to reflect 150% of a bail amount to release someone, so an individual may not qualify for a property bond until they know what their bail has been set at.
How is Bail Determined?
There are many factors the judge will take into consideration when determining the amount of your loved one’s bail. Some of the most common factors include the following:
- The severity of the charges against them
- Whether they are considered a flight risk
- Whether they are putting society at risk
- Their criminal history
- Whether they were out on bail or on probation when arrested
What if I Can’t Afford Bail?
There are many instances in which defendants cannot afford the costs of their bail. When this happens, they should work with their criminal defense lawyer to try and get the bail amount reduced. A defense attorney must convince the court that the defendant is not a threat to society or a flight risk. If a defendant can show their ties to the community, the judge may be more willing to reduce their bail amount.
However, if a defendant has the resources to potentially flee the state or country and avoid the charges against them, bail may be set at a higher amount.
Contact Attorney Ned Barnett Today
If you are unsure how to post bail for your friend or family member, your loved one is unable to afford the costs of bail, or you are hoping to get help requesting a bail reduction, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Ned Barnett.
Contact our team for a confidential case review today and learn more about the steps you need to take to get someone out of jail. Fill out our secure contact form or call us at (713) 222-6767 to get started as soon as today.