The quick answer is that it will take, on average, about 2-5 hours to get a person out of jail on bond, assuming all the paperwork and finances are on hand and can be submitted in a timely manner.
What is a bail?
Bail is a monetary value put in place by a judge or magistrate, usually in addition to several release conditions, such as protective orders against alleged victims, or no driving without a license in the case of DWIs, all to help ensure the accused will show up in court when ordered. The idea is that if enough money or things of value are collateral, the accused will be less likely to flee.
What is a Bail Bond?
Often bail is set at exorbitant prices, upwards of $20,000 for most felony cases, and even higher for more serious charges, although luckily here in Austin the Judges set very reasonable bails, and rarely take advantage of the bond system.
In theory, the court is supposed to account for the length of time a person has lived in the community, nearby family, other social ties like a full time job or mortgage, all of which would help prevent flight, however in reality bail is mainly set according to the charge.
Few people can come up with that amount of cash, and refinancing or selling property and possessions can be too time consuming and nearly impossible from a jail cell.
And so Bail Bonds companies offer the service of covering the bail for you, in exchange for typically a 10% fee and collateral -- which is a Fee and non-refundable. Sometimes the fee may be increased or reduced depending on the amount of collateral a person owns.
A bail bond is a promise from the bondsman to pay the court, or more specifically, the Sheriff, the amount of the posted bail). If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond company primarily assumes the liability for not appearing, which means, if that occurs, the defendant potentially must pay the full amount of the bail, including any bail bond financial responsibilities such as liability, bond forfeiture and re arrest.
Keep in mind that a bail bonds company charges a non-refundable fee for their services, but that fee is much lower than having to post the entire bond personally (as stated above, typically 10% of the total bail amount).
Basics of the Texas Criminal Justice System
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