The law recognizes that an accused is not required to remain in police custody until their trial ends in conviction. So, they are allowed to partially resume their lives and prepare for their trial by submitting a security with the court, called ‘bail’. Under Section 17 of the Texas Penal Code, bail is defined as “the security given by the accused that he will appear and answer before the proper court the accusation brought against him, and includes a bail bond or a personal bond.”
Amongst the numerable types of bail bonds, this article will focus on the two most common ones – PR bonds and Surety bonds. So, what is a PR bond? If the court decides to grant bail without requiring any money as security, it is referred to as a recognizance bond or PR bond.
But for most of the charges, the court requires submission of a security amount known as a bail bond. If the defendant has enough funds to pay the whole bond amount in cash or by check, they can easily do so and get bail. In case they are not in the financial condition to pay the bond themselves, they can get a third party to pay their bail bond for them. This third party then acts as a surety responsible for ensuring the defendant’s appearance in all their hearings.
This third party can be a bail bondsman or an attorney, who can be hired to post a surety bond in Austin. Let’s discuss why hiring a lawyer, instead of a bail bondsman in Austin Tx, can save you a lot of money and how it can help you with your case in the long run.
Hiring a Bail Bondsman – Should You?
A bail bondsman is a person, agency, or corporation licensed by the State to act as a surety and pay bail bonds on behalf of the defendants. They generally charge a fee of up to 10% for these services. At first glance, hiring a bail bondsman in Austin Tx may seem like the easiest option, especially under all the confusion and stress of the situation, but it can prove to be a bad move in the long run.
The bail bondsman industry makes more than $2 billion every year, so there is no denying that it does work. But when you look at it from the point of view of the general public who pay these people and corporations, you will realize that they are at the short end of the stick. Especially because the extra fee paid to a bondsman can easily be avoided if only you hire a criminal defense attorney instead. Texas Law allows a criminal defense attorney to act as a surety for an accused, and in that case, the bond fee can be used against your legal cost as well as to secure your bond.
Can an Attorney Be a Bail Bondsman?
The fact is, you will need an attorney for your trial as soon as you get out of jail. If you hire a bail bondsman in Austin Tx, you will pay them the bond fee (a percentage of your bond amount, usually 10%), over and above the fee, you will need to pay to an attorney. So, by hiring an attorney who will in turn become your surety, you are actually avoiding double payment.
Keep in mind bail bonds in Austin Tx can easily go up to $10,000 (and higher), so you end up saving a lot of money by acting smart and not just quick. But savings in terms of cost is not the only reason for getting an attorney on board from the beginning. If you contact an attorney right after your arrest, they can get the judge to prioritize the release of your bond in case of delay, e.g. if the arrest is made on a Friday, the judge is not under the duty to release the bond until Monday unless specially pleaded to do so.
Also, an attorney can help you lower the bond amount if it is justified in your case. They can represent you in the bail hearing and ensure that the bail is set to a fair amount. In short, your attorney can help you get everything right from the very beginning.
When three parties are involved in a bond – a surety, a defendant, and a bail agent, the bond is termed as Surety Bond. In these cases, the surety takes on the responsibility to ensure the defendant will appear for all their hearings without fail. If the defendant fails to do so, the bond amount paid by the surety is forfeited by the court. Since there is a major risk involved on the part of the surety, they charge a percentage of the bond amount as a fee for their services.
If you hire an attorney to pay the bail bonds in Travis County or any other area in Texas, this fee is then used towards your legal costs. The attorney will not need to remit the complete bond amount for your release. And you can get a head start on your case before you are even released from jail.
Different Criminal Charges
So, if your loved one has been arrested in Texas, the best all-round solution is hiring James Gill, an Austin criminal defense attorney with years of experience in handling criminal cases. With him representing you from the very beginning and holding your surety bond in Austin or other areas in Texas, you can rest assured, you will get the best counsel in and out of the court.
Here are some of the common charges that can lead to an arrest, and you will need Attorney James Gill by your side to get the best possible outcome.
- Drug Charges: Drug possession or trafficking can be considered a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the type and quantity of drug recovered from the accused. Similarly, the bail bond in Austin Tx for these charges depends upon the severity of the act. Possession of a small amount of some drugs would not get you a heavy bond, but trafficking can get the bond up to as high as $ 250,000.
- DWI Charges: DWI bail bonds in Austin Tx usually range from $ 3,000 to $ 7500 for a Class B misdemeanor. But this amount can go much higher for higher blood alcohol concentration, repeat offense, and involvement in accidents. If someone is convicted of DWI 2 or more times, the bail bond can range from $ 10,000 to $ 30,000.
- Theft Charges: Bail bond in Austin Tx for theft will also depend on the classification of the charges which is determined by the value of the property stolen. It can be from $ 0 for a Class C misdemeanor to $30,000 for a 1st-degree felony.
- Domestic Violence Charges: This is a morally wrong offense, so in Austin Texas, bail bonds for these charges can range from $ 5,000 to $ 15,000 depending on the allegations. In case of a repeat offense, the amount can go as high as $ 100,000.
- Violent Crime Charges: The bail bond in Austin Tx for violent crime charges can go as high as $ 100,000 depending upon the intensity of violence.
No matter the severity of charges levied against the defendant, everyone deserves a fair chance to prepare their best for their trials. This will become extremely difficult if you or your loved ones are stuck in jail.
Austin Tx Bail Bondsman Vs. Austin Criminal Lawyer for Jail Release
There are numerous benefits of hiring a lawyer to be your surety instead of a bail bondsman. The obvious one is the monetary benefits of not paying an additional fee for securing the bond. Having an attorney by your side since your arrest will help you overcome a lot of obstacles and make the legal processes a lot easier for you.
One of the underlying problems with involving a bail bondsman is since they are not bound by any attorney-client privilege, anything you tell them will be reported to the law enforcement officers. And in a stressful time like that, you would prefer to hire someone who can provide you with legal advice while keeping all your conversations confidential.
Hire Expert Austin Criminal Lawyer, James Gill
Austin Criminal Lawyer James Gill has several years of experience under his belt, defending those facing DWI arrests, domestic violence cases, and other criminal charges in Texas. We pride ourselves in providing around-the-clock bail bonds services. If you need any assistance with getting your loved ones released from jail in Austin, call today at 512-829-0552 to schedule a consultation and get the best all-around solution under one roof. The Law Offices of James Gill, PLLC serves all of Austin, Westlake, Kyle, Buda, San Marcos, and the surrounding TX communities.