Being incarcerated for a charge of driving while intoxicated or any other crime is a traumatic experience for many people. That person’s freedom is taken away despite the fact that they may have done nothing wrong. To find out how to get out of jail after an arrest, call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 as soon as possible to learn how a DWI lawyer can make all the difference.
The process of bonding out of jail is usually straightforward, and a person who is incarcerated can be out of jail relatively quickly in most cases. Typically, bail will be determined at an initial hearing within 24 hours of the arrest. Once the amount is determined, the court may be paid the total bail amount or a bail bondsman may help.
What is a Bail?
Bail is usually a cash payment made by a defendant or a private bail bondsman to the court. When people are released from jail, courts want assurance that they will come back to court. Bail is a security that defendants will appear when they are ordered to do so by the court. If someone doesn’t appear in court when required, bail is forfeited. When defendants return to court on schedule, they get the cash bond back, although, sometimes court fees are withheld.
The actual bail bond is the paperwork that informs a person that they are free from jail based on their personal promise to return or the cash or surety bond posted. This will also tell them the date they are required to return to court.
How the Bail is Set
Bail is usually set within 24 hours of someone’s arrest by a judge or magistrate. If a person is arrested in the middle of the night, they may be able to have their initial hearing in the morning. If they are arrested during the day, they might see a judge or magistrate the same day or have to spend a night in jail.
Whether someone is allowed out of prison on a personal promise, cash, or surety bond is based on the Texas criminal code as well as the judge’s discretion. The judge or magistrate will take into consideration the offense, any past criminal court activity, and the individual’s ability to pay bail.
If bail is required, then the amount is determined by local statute or the judge’s discretion. The purpose of bail is to be high enough to ensure people return to court, but not so high that it is a harsh punishment or oppressive.
There is no predetermined amount of bail for a DWI. First-time offenders who did not hurt anyone or cause property damage may be released for a few hundred dollars. However, aggravating circumstances can increase the bail amount significantly.
Release on Your Own Recognizance
In some circumstances, the court will release people with just their promise that they will return to court. They do not have to put up any cash or work with a bail bondsman to be released. The court may also make a personal release conditional on a drug and alcohol assessment, educational program, or treatment. For most DWIs, a defendant needs to post a cash or surety bond.
Cash bail means the defendant, a friend, or family member pays the full amount of bail to the courts. This is often possible if bail is set at only a couple hundred dollars. However, if a person cannot afford the bail that has been set, The Law Offices of Ned Barnett recommend working with a credible bail bondsman. If someone pays cash bail and returns to court, the amount will be returned to the person minus necessary fees. If a person fails to return to court, the bail may be forfeited.
A surety bond takes place when a bail bondsman pays the full bail amount to the court, but the defendant or a friend or family member pays 10 to 15 percent to the company. Bail bondsmen often require collateral backing the agreement that the individual will pay the company the full amount in the future, if necessary. If the defendant fulfills their duty to return to court, the bondsman gets the returned bail and money already paid to the bondsman is applied as a fee for their services.
If you need to work with a bail bondsman, it is important to work with an experienced and respected business. The company should have a bonding license.
Contact a Houston DWI Defense Attorney for Help
When someone you love has been arrested, your first thought is likely how to get them out of jail as soon as possible. No one wants to be behind bars, particularly when they have not been proven guilty of a crime. It may not be possible to get out of jail immediately, but once bail is set, you can quickly work with a bondsman to have your loved one released.
For more information on how to get someone out of jail after a DWI or on the bail bond process, call the Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 for a free consultation.