If you are charged in Texas for DWI, you may be freed from jail before your trial through a process called bail. In exchange for completing the judge’s requirements, you may be freed with a guarantee to the court that you will return for your upcoming court sessions. In reality, the Constitution provides you the right to reasonable bail. But how does this affect you? The bail process can be perplexing, especially for people with low financial resources. How do you be sure you’re being treated fairly?
The quick solution is to speak with a skilled Texas DWI attorney. Bail for DUI in Texas may usually be arranged with the prosecution in your case. That means hiring a skilled DWI lawyer is your greatest shot at freedom without having to spend money you don’t have. A skilled attorney can utilize that knowledge to provide you with reasonable expectations about the judge’s bail decision.
What is the definition of bail in Texas?
Bail is a set of pre-trial conditions that a defendant agrees to in return for being released from jail pending trial. It is simply a conditional release in which the defendant agrees to return to court for trial and to comply with additional requirements. The most prevalent requirement for bail in the United States is the payment of a monetary bond to the court. This money, known as a bail bond, is retained by the court as a promise that the prisoner will appear at trial.
The money will be repaid at the end of the case if the defendant satisfies all of the bail requirements and appears at all court dates. However, if a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the money is lost. Furthermore, the person will very certainly face a warrant for failing to appear.
Excessive Bail vs. Reasonable Bail
Bail is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution, with a few limitations. The 8th Amendment stipulates that “excessive bail shall not be imposed,” thereby ensuring that if you have a right to fair bail, you must have a right to bail, period. Excessive bail is defined as any monetary bail sum that a defendant cannot afford.
Fairness vs. Cash Bail
Cash bail has been under intense criticism in the United States over the years. Many have contended that the cash bail system disproportionately affects individuals with lower socioeconomic standing. In other situations, defendants will spend years in prison awaiting trial on minor accusations because they lack the money to post bond.
Because of this criticism of the cash bail system, jurisdictions such as New Jersey and Alaska have banned the use of cash bail in most situations. Texas, on the other hand, continues to employ a cash bail system. Consult with a Texas DUI attorney right away if you want to be treated properly during the bail procedure.
In Texas, how is bail determined following a DWI?
When you are arrested for DWI and sent to jail, you are usually required to wait until law enforcement is satisfied that you have sobered up. Even so, there’s no assurance you’ll be released right away. In Texas, there are three options for obtaining your release from jail:
- on your own recognizance
- cash bail
- surety bail
Released on your Personal Recognizance bond (PR bond): Being released on your personal recognizance simply entails signing a paper committing to appear in court on your court date. There is no exchange of money. This is only utilized in the most minor of circumstances.
In most situations, the court will establish a bail sum that you must pay in order to be released from jail. A cash bail is when the entire bail money is paid directly to the court. Given that bail may cost hundreds of dollars, this is a costly choice.
A licensed bail bondsman is used in surety bail. You will pay a premium to the bondsmen, who will then cover the whole bond amount.
Surety Bond Fees and Charges
To secure your release in Texas, your bail bondsman will charge you 10% of the entire bail amount. While this saves you from having to pay the entire bail amount, the bondsmen will keep 10% as a charge even if you show at every court date. Consider the following scenario:
You were arrested in Texas for drunken manslaughter. Given the gravity of the offense and a past failure to appear conviction, release on your own recognizance is out of the question. Bail will be set at $50,000 under Harris County rules. You have two choices: come up with the $50,000 yourself or hire a bondsman.
To get your release through a surety bond, you must pay the bondsmen 10% of the bail amount, which is $5,000. The bondsmen will then post the entire $50,000 with the court on your behalf to ensure your release. You will never have to pay the $50,000 bail as long as you keep your court dates, but you will not get the $5,000 paid to the bondsmen.
Even 10% of the bond is out of reach for many people. As a result, many bondsmen will lend the defendant the 10% fee. This implies that the bondsmen pay the whole sum upfront, but the defendant will pay more, in the long run, owing to interest.
It is a widespread practice to use collateral in lieu of cash. In rare circumstances, ownership of a car or even a house is put up as collateral to obtain a bond.
Is the bail for a minor DWI and a felony DWI different?
In most cases, yes. Each bail schedule differs from one county to the next. In most counties, however, a felony DWI has a larger bond sum than a misdemeanor. Bail requirements for more serious DWI-related offenses, such as intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter, are significantly higher.
In Harris County, for example, a felony DWI might result in a bail of up to $35,000. If you are not released on your own recognizance for a first-offense DWI, which is a misdemeanor, the case might entail a $500 bail.
Hiring one of Texas’ finest DWI Defense attorneys can make a significant impact in your case. Charges are routinely reduced or dropped, and the difference in bail amounts between a felony DWI and a misdemeanor DWI can be significant.
How is bail determined in Texas for a DWI?
In Texas, there is no statewide bail standard. Bail is largely administered at the county level, with many jurisdictions establishing their own bail schedule. These schedules will actually set out the bail amount in many cases, which means a bail amount can be set without seeing a judge first.
Before bail may be established for more serious offenses, a hearing in front of a judge is necessary. Among the major offenses are:
- Any capital offense
- Any type of first-degree felony
- Family Conflict
- Failure to Appear and Bail Jumping
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Furthermore, even though your present criminal accusation is unconnected to the above-mentioned offenses, you may be forced to appear before a court at a hearing in order for bail to be established. Among these conditions are instances in which your recent arrest occurred while:
- On felony bail for any offense;
- On bail with many minor offenses pending from various arrests;
- On felony probation or adjudication deferred;
- Violation of certain court orders or bail terms (for example, domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking);
- Using a dangerous weapon to commit a crime;
- A felony including a prior felony conviction; and/or
- With two prior felony convictions, involving a felony (higher than state jail felony).
In Texas, do juveniles arrested for DUI have to post bail?
In Houston, Texas, juveniles charged with DUI do not have to post bond. In Texas, there is no bail system for juveniles. As in most situations, the judge in a case will determine what is best for the kid. A juvenile will be remanded into the custody of a parent or guardian in the majority of minor instances.
If the court feels it is in the juvenile’s best interests to keep the child in custody, the minor will be detained in a juvenile facility until the case is concluded or it is in the juvenile’s best interest to return home. Juveniles have the right to a decision on their custody within two business days of being held. If the detention happens on a Friday or Saturday, the decision must be decided on Monday. The hearing must be informed to a parent or guardian, but if the parent or guardian cannot be found, the court will designate a guardian ad litem to represent the child.