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What happens when you are arrested in Texas and how does it affect your bail?

According to the Texas State Bar Association and other references:

-The officer takes you to a police station, jail or other detention facility. The police do not file the charges, they only provide information to the prosecutor who decides what to file if anything.

-Just after arriving at the jail, you are allowed to contact an attorney or bail bond agent.

-You may be required to participate in a lineup, present a sample of your handwriting, speak phrases associated with the crime charged, wear certain clothes and give samples of your hair, blood, etc. You may be fingerprinted or photographed.

-In terms of bail, the most important event for you is the arraignment, in Texas this is sometimes called first appearance and sometimes called the bail hearing. You appear before a magistrate (court official) who will inform you of the charges against you and your rights. At this time, you may find out if you qualify for bail and if so, how much it will be. Your actions at this time can have a major affect on your bail. The magistrate has wide descretion regsrding bail and will make the decision based upon a number of factors including your risk of flight and your danger to the community. How you behave will influence how he looks at those factors. You may be released on your own recognizance without requiring bail, you may have bail set from a small amount up to millions of dollars, or you may not qualify for bail at all. It is important that at this arraignment that you make a good presentation.

Be professional, speak clearly, answer the questions honestly, when asked about the criminal activity you engaged in to end up there, give solid reasons and do not make excuses. Speak postively about your job, your family, your participation in the community. All these things can help your bail situation. Of course, doing the opposite can result in no bail being set and you may end up with a long stay in jail waiting for your case to be resolved.

-If it is a felony offense you will have to appear at a Preliminary Hearing to review probable cause. Once a Judge determines that there is probable cause, that is, there is enough evidence to support the charges against you, he moves the case to Superior Court for trial. At this point additional charges can be added as well as readjusting the bail amount. This is a critical time to get your bail lowered.

-Once moved to Superior Court, the prosecutor will file a charging document called an Information. The Information is the list of charges against you and you will be asked to plead innocent or guilty.

-After the trial, bail will be refunded if you made all scheduled appearances.

How to find a bail bondsman in Texas

Texas is a little different than most other states which regulate bondsman. In most states bondsmen are licensed by the state itself but in Texas, counties have bail bond boards that are responsible for licensing and regulating bail bondsmen in each county in accordance with Chapter 17.04 of the Texas Occupations Code. The bondsman is issues an identification number and this number must be present in the bond itself. Therefore, the laws and rules regarding bail will vary by county. Because it is a county by county affair, the offices for the bondsmen are usually located very close to the couthouses. So Brownsville may be different from El Paso, for example.

We strongly suggest that you visit a bondsman’s website. They always have their email prominently displayed. Email the name of the defendant and the location the defendant is being held, if you know. Ask them how much they charge, including ALL fees. Email the same questions to three bondsmen. You can then make an intelligent decision regarding which one to go with. The email provides a written record of what they charge, you don’t want hidden fees added on later after all. also since you probably don’t know much about bail and your mind may not be focused anyway, you won’t have to worry about forgetting everything you have been told. The bondsmen work 24 hours so it will also be helpful to see who responds quickest. Since you want someone that will get your loved one out sooner rather than when they get around to it.

Nothing stated herein should be construed or interpreted to grant rights or remedies not otherwise granted under federal or state law. This information is provided as a public service and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice or representation by a lawyer or bail bondsman. We recommend you email a bail bondsman for more information about your situation.

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