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Here is everything you always wanted to know about the bail bond and surety process, but were afraid to ask.
In the United States, the bail system is part of the common law heritage of English jurisprudence. This system prevents authorities from jailing suspects and defendants against their will and without just cause. According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the bail itself is a deposit or promise made to the court. In other words, it is an assurance by the defendant that he or she will appear before the judge when ordered to do so.
When law enforcement officers take a person into custody because they have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, there are a few methods by which the person can be released from custody. Even if charges are filed by prosecutors, accused individuals have a right to a bail hearing.
At the hearing, the typical options for release are cash bail, release on own recognizance and surety bond. Cash bail amounts are set by a judge according to judicial guidelines. When people are released on their own recognizance, they do not have to deposit any funds or property with the court, and their word becomes their bond.
A surety bond is essentially an insurance policy. The bondsman acts as the insurance agent who posts the surety on behalf of the suspect in exchange for a premium payment. This premium is usually 10 percent of the bail amount in many jurisdictions around the country. This premium is not reimbursable. In a way, it represents the price of freedom, and it covers the costs incurred by the bondsman in keeping their clients out of jail.
Prior to posting the surety bond and securing bail for his client, the bondsman will collect some form of collateral. This is financial surety that the released individual will appear in court on the specified day. Accepted collateral includes:
If you fail to appear before the judge on the specified day, you may face consequences for jumping bail.
In the case of a home, the person or company that lent bail money to the accused produces a document that lifts the lien on the real estate. Personal property is returned. When the case comes to an end, all bonds are satisfied and returned by the court system.
To learn about how you can secure a bail or personal bond for you or a family member, speak to attorney Shahin Zamir at 713-223-8900.