How Bail Bonds Work in Texas The Easy Way
When it comes to understanding how bail bonds work in Texas; co-signors should know that the bail bonds process, fees and oversight is typical in Texas as in most states. The bail bonds Texas authorities use to release those arrested from jail before their court date has been in place for many decades. Understanding how the bond process works along with the charges and fees associated with bail bonds is very important so that you will know what to pay and who to pay.
The Bail Bond System in Texas
When a person is charged with a crime and taken to jail, there is a booking process that will usually last for an hour or two before the defendant is given a court date where they will face their charges. At this point, the individual may choose to remain in jail until their court date or get a bond to post bail. If they choose the latter, they will need to contact a licensed county bail bond agent or have a friend or family member do so for them.
In Texas, there are three ways a person can be released from jail;
- Released on Own Recognizance (ROR)
- Cash Bail
- Surety Bail
Being released on their own recognizance does not require any money being used for bail purposes. The defendant simply signs a note stating they would return for any and all court appearances in the county. A cash bail means that the full amount of the bond is paid for in cash to the jail or court. While you will get a 100% refund of your money, this is a costly option.
However, most cases generally use a surety bond which is arranged by a bail bonds agent. This will require a preset premium being paid to the agent and the bail will be covered by the company. At this point, the bail bonds agent is now responsible for the person getting a surety bond to appear in court at the appointed time.
Bail Bonds Charges & Fees in Texas
As with most states, the Texas bail bonds agent will charge a 10% fee of the total amount of the bail that has been set. So, for a $5,000 bail, a $500 fee will have to be paid. The fee is non-refundable and will provide a defendant with the money needed to make bail and be set free until their court appearance. Bail bond agents in Texas do not necessarily need to be paid in cash as some take credit cards or use collateral to help secure the bond. Some bondsmen can even accept Western Union Money-Grams to receive payments from out of state co-signors.
The collateral generally falls to vehicles, real estate or other valuables which can be re-sold for the total amount of the bail that was set. Once the court appearance has been made, the collateral is returned to the individual, although the 10% fee is still non-refundable. Many bail bond agents will also provide loans to cover the 10% if needed and re-payment will be based on collateral or a set payment schedule.
As with any Texas bail bond, co-signors and/or defendants needs are finding the most reputable bail bond agent will be very important, so it pays to do a little research before making a commitment. Keep in mind that all bail bondsmen must be licensed within the county they are providing bail services in.
Texas Bail Bonds Are Different Per County
Each Texas bail bonds company can only write bonds in the county in which they are licensed. A bailbonds license does not extend throughout the state as is typical in most US states. Each county a bondsman wants to operate in they must be licensed through that counties Bail Bond Board. More about the laws of Texas bail in the PDF listed below:
For more information about how bail bonds work Texas residents may consult with the Texas Department of Insurance website, a part of the state government that oversees bail bond agents. A person who needs Texas bail can also contact the local county bail bond board. Or by visiting the local bail bond association in that county. To see the bail bond assoc in Hidalgo county, Texas, visit Hidalgo County Bail Bond Association | HCBBA
Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Texas
Texas Bail Bonds Information
How bail bonds work in Texas? The Texas bailbond agent will post the bail bond once the 10 percent premium is paid. The bondsman then guarantees the full amount of bail to the county they’re licensed in. If the defendant does not appear in any of their court hearings or at trial, the bondsmen is required to bring the defendant, now a fugitive, back to justice. If the defendant cannot be found in a reasonable time, the bail bonds company is liable for the entire bail amount.