After being arrested, booked, interviewed, and placed in a jail cell, the last thing you want to do is remain in custody for a long period of time. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, or certain felonies, there are multiple procedures for getting you released from jail.
The first step in the processes is setting your bond amount. This is done by a judge after you are arrested. The judge will set a bail amount based on how serious the charges are and your previous arrest history.
Here in Travis County, judges set bail from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., so if you are arrested after 1a.m. the only way you can get out of jail is with a Hobby Release. A Hobby Release allows you to be released in the custody of a lawyer under the condition that you will return the next day to complete your paperwork.
There are four different types of bonds that you can use to be released from jail. They are:
– Cash bonds – deposit the entire amount in a cashier’s check or money order
– Personal Bonds – if you qualify, you will be required to pay a $20 PR Bond fee
– Lawyer Assisted Bonds – can aid in getting a percent of the cash deposit approved, can assist in Hobby Releases
– Surety Bonds – hire a bail bond company or an attorney with a bond account to guarantee the amount
There are pros and cons to each of these bonds, so this is why it is always a good idea to retain a lawyer to assist in the process. The problem with cash bonds is that the money you have deposited with the jail will be tied up until the case is resolved, and that can take a long time. Personal bonds are not the best alternative because if you are arrested after 1 a.m. the judge probably won’t set the bond until the afternoon of the next day, meaning you will be in jail for a while. Hiring a bail bond company is not always a smart idea. For starters bond companies typically charge 10% to 20% of the bail amount, and this money can’t be applied to attorney’s fees and is money that you will never see again.
Lawyer assisted bonds help you get out of jail faster in more ways than one. Lawyers are often able to speed the Personal Bond process and assist in Hobby Releases, saving you time in a cell. In many cases, we can help obtain a personal bond for the defendant and allow the money that was put down to be applied to the defendant’s attorney fees. Thus, by hiring an attorney, you will avoid paying twice with a bail bond company and the money you put down will be used to help the defendant in the courtroom.