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In Harris County or Houston City, there are pretty standard processes for being released from jail after an arrest. Depending on the circumstances, here is what you need to know about posting bond after an arrest in Houston or Harris County.
After an arrest, you will be processed and booked at the local jail facility, where you will also learn how much bail you must pay to be released. There is usually a schedule that lists out all of the costs that are associated with misdemeanor crimes and certain felonies. If you’re charged with higher-level offenses, then you might not find out your bail amount until after you’ve had a bond hearing in front of a judge.
If you find out how much you owe, and can pay the full amount, you will arrange with the officers to make a payment. If you cannot afford the amount in cash, then you may contact a relative or co-signer to vouch for your ability to pay in the future. If you require a co-signed to help make bond, then they need to understand the stakes of co-signing for you. Co-signers will be required to present financial information and proof of collateral or resources to pay the money owed.
When it comes to how you can post bond and gain release from jail, most defendants have three different options.
A surety bond is primarily used when the defendant isn’t able to afford to pay their bond in cash. In this case, they will use their resources to pay for their legal representation and form a surety bond between the court and a bail bond company. If the bail bond company agrees to pay the entire amount of the bond, then they will do so in exchange for 10% of the bond amount upfront. If the defendant fails to show up to any court hearing, then the bond is forfeited, and the defendant will be required to pay the entire amount of the bond immediately.
A personal recognizance bond is when a judge permits the defendant to be released from jail without paying any money. These bonds are usually the work of experienced criminal defense attorneys that can make a very good case for release for the defendant. Personal recognizance bonds are only ever considered during misdemeanor cases that do not include any drugs or violence.
Cash bonds can be used in two situations. The first is when the defendant has money to pay the entire bond upfront or can borrow it from a friend or family. The second time the judge may require a cash bond is if the defendant is considered a flight risk, or has failed to pay any court fees or fines associated with other cases. With cash bonds, the court will hold the money as long as the case is active. The defendant will get their money back if they show up for all hearings, despite as to whether or not they’re found guilty.
Depending on the jail, this process may be a bit different from place to place. However, if you are arrested in Houston or Harris country, you can count on your bond posting process to resemble what we’ve just outlined.
Before you make any impactful decisions regarding your bond, be sure to consult a qualified attorney or speak to legal representation to get a full overview of your options.
If you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges in the Houston or Harris Country area, contact the office of Christopher T. Gore to find out how he can help represent your case.