By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
This is actually an easy process to understand, but unfortunately it moves at the speed of government.
First you need to learn exactly what they are being charged with by the police.
Once you find out what they are charged with, your next step is to find out whether they have been before a magistrate judge to set a bond. A bond is an amount of money paid or pledged to insure the accused appears for court.
Section 14.06 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure gives the police 48 hours to take someone arrested before a magistrate for the purposes of setting bond in felony cases. If they don’t, then it triggers an automatic $10,000 bond under Section 17.033. Rarely will anyone wait that long. You can expect someone to be taken before the magistrate within the first 24-hours of arrest — hopefully sooner.
You have several ways to satisfy the bond. If you pay the bond in cash then the bond is refundable once the case is over and the defendant complies with all the terms and conditions of bond. If you cannot pay the bond, you can either contact an attorney-surety approved by the local county or you can contact a bail bondsman. Both attorney-sureties and bondsman pledge to pay the county money in the event of non-appearance of the defendant.
Make sure any bondsman or attorney-sureties are licensed, bonded with the county, and reputable.
If the bond is too high, you can have an attorney petition a Court to have it lowered.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.