Are you wondering how bail bonds work in Texas? Each state’s system may differ slightly, but there are basic concepts about bail bonds that apply to any state. Learning these basics will help you gain an understanding of bail bonds and how bail bonds work in Texas.
Following is an overview of some terms and processes that are important to know. Use this guide to learn the basics of how bail bonds work in Texas.
You need an understanding of a few key terms to comprehend how bail bonds work in Texas:
- Bail: This is the money or property given to the court in exchange for the release of a defendant from jail. The release is temporary, with the understanding that the defendant will return to court for trial.
- Bail bond: This is the promise made by the defendant that they will forfeit the bail funds if they do not return.
- Surety: This is a person who promises to pay for the defendant. This may be a friend, family member or a bail bond agent.
The defendant must wait for the judge to decide how much the bail amount will be. Some courts set bail at specific amounts for specific offenses. However, judges are free to set bail outside of these guidelines for extenuating circumstances. The judge may also decide not to grant bail if they believe the defendant is a flight risk or poses a danger.
Once the judge has set the bail amount, the defendant or surety can post bail (pay the amount) to the court clerk. If paying after hours, this will need to be done at the jail. A receipt will be issued to show that bail was posted.
The purpose of bail is to allow the defendant to leave jail until their court date. If they do not return for their court date, a forfeiture hearing will be scheduled and the court will issue an arrest warrant for the defendant. If no valid excuse is provided for missing the date, the court keeps the bond funds.
Often, defendants work with bail agents, or bail bondsmen, to act as their sureties. The agent pays the bail, charging the defendant a fee. A typical fee is 10 percent of the bail amount. If the defendant does not show up for court, the agent forfeits the bond amount they paid. Because they are responsible for this bail, the agent can arrest the defendant to bring them to court. The agent may also sue the defendant to recover their lost bail funds.
Would you like to learn more about how bail bonds work in Texas? Contact Brazoria County Bail Bonds. We offer more than 20 years of experience and can answer any questions you have about the bail bond process. Our team specializes in misdemeanors, felonies, probation violations, theft, drug offenses, DWIs and more. We make it easy and affordable to meet set bail requirements, allowing your loved ones to return to their lives while they await their day in court.