Once an arrest occurs, the first objective an arrestee and their loved ones have is getting out. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Follow the guide below and contact our criminal lawyers Austin Texas to facilitate a speedy jail release.
How is Bail Set?
Following an arrest and a formal charge, bail must be determined. At a magistrate (court hearing), a judge determines the appropriate bail for the individual. By law, a magistrate must occur within 48 hours of the arrest. Often, if an arrest occurs on a Friday, the earliest a judge could set bail is Monday; meaning the individual would remain in jail over the weekend.
A judge will determine the bail amount based on the following factors:
- the defendant’s criminal history
- the defendant’s financial situation
- the seriousness of the crime
However, jails often have a chart setting bail amounts for common crimes, expediting the process. The advantage to paying a fixed bail is an expedited jail release. The downside is missing the opportunity to argue for lower bail based on the individual’s circumstances.
Know Your Rights
The Eighth Amendment protects Americans from excessive bail requirements. The Courts have interpreted this to mean that the government can levy bail as neither punishment nor municipal fundraiser. Bail may only act as originally intended: a guarantee of appearance at the subsequent court date. By law, bail must be reasonably set to accomplish its function.
Although, there is one commonplace exception. Judges are known to set exceedingly high bails for arrested individuals with serious risk of flight. Typically, high-risk charges are murder, dealing drugs, or other crimes with severe consequences. Challenges to this type of excessive bail have been argued, but virtually all have been unsuccessful.
Additionally, the Court may set a reasonable bail that the arrestee is not financially able to meet. In these cases, the arrestee may request to appeal to the Judge to reduce bail during the magistrate or special hearing. The Judge will then decide if your financial circumstances warrant a reduced bail amount.
An individual may post bail via a few different avenues, including:
- Paying bail in full by cashier’s check or cash (usually this bail will be returned to you minus administrative court fees).
- Temporarily signing over property ownership rights.
- Providing a surety bail bond (a promise to pay if you fail to appear in Court).
- Signing a sworn statement that you will appear for your court date, known as a release on personal recognizance or PR bond.
- Providing an Attorney Bond (like a surety bond, instead of paying a bail bondsman the 10%, you pay the attorney 10% to secure the bail bond on your behalf).
The offer to be released on personal recognizance is not often extended. In general, if the Court permits a PR, one should take it. Most often, an arrestee must purchase a bail bond for 10% of the bail amount to secure release. So, if bail is set at $6000, a bond may be purchased for $600. Our attorney can arrange an attorney bond to accelerate jail releases.
Bonds are nonrefundable. Additionally, if you purchase your bond from a bondsman, they typically require collateral for the remaining portion of the bond. Should you fail to appear for your court date, the collateral is forfeited.
Getting Released on Personal Recognizance
The Court will only extend the option for PR to those with a high probability of appearing for their court date. Our attorney may petition the Court for a PR bond on your behalf. Generally, the Court will only agree to a PR if the arrestee falls into all of the following circumstances:
- No prior criminal history or only misdemeanors & minor crimes
- Grew up or lived in the community for a multitude of years
- Has close family living in the community
- Gainfully employed in the community
- Has a proven, impeccable record of appearing for court dates previously
Additional Conditions of Release
Contingent on the crime, a judge may order the arrestee to abide by additional conditions to secure release. For instance, if the charge is alcohol or drug-related, the Judge may prohibit the arrestee from using alcohol or drugs as an additional condition for their release. Most commonly, a Judge may prohibit an arrestee from traveling outside of the state until their court appearance.
An arrest and a conviction often alter the trajectory of your life. While it is imperative to facilitate release from jail, the next step is to prevent a conviction if possible. Contact our criminal lawyers Austin Texas to help determine the best course of action and defense to stave off a conviction. We’re here to get you out of jail and make sure you stay there.
To find out how we can help you, contact an Criminal Lawyers Austin Texas at 512-400-7070 or send us a message. We will schedule an initial client consultation to review your case details and lay out a game plan for your jail release in Texas. AZ Law Firm will pursue the legal action necessary to secure the fairest possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
- evaluating and explaining to you the pros and cons of your individual case
- discussing with you any available options and our proposed strategies as it relates to your case
- providing guidance and recommendations regarding any proposed settlement offer
- quickly and effectively communicating with you during each step of the process so that you are not left in the dark
- taking your case solely on a contingent fee basis
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
We understand times are tough and that there probably hasn’t been a tougher time in your life. Although we could get away with charging exuberant amounts, we prefer not to as we are a law firm by the people, for the people. We do not want you to worry about whether you can afford to hire an attorney to protect and defend your rights. Call us and be surprised at the quality you receive compared to what other law firms will quote you!
Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, one of our criminal lawyer Austin team will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.