Tarrant County Bond and Jail Release Attorneys
It is always a startling event to find a loved one or someone close to you has been arrested and is in police custody. Most citizens who have been arrested by the police are entitled to be released while the charges are resolved later in court. At Ball & Hase in Arlington, Texas, our lawyers often help arrange that release.
There are several mechanisms for accomplishing a person's release from jail. Typically after a person is arrested, a judge or sometimes a police official will set a bond amount. This is a dollar figure that is supposed to be consistent with the type of offense a person was arrested for and their own personal circumstances (such as whether they have prior convictions or are a risk to flee the jurisdiction). Stable employment and ties to the community are important considerations in setting the bond amount.
Sometimes there is a delay in the setting of this bond amount from the time of arrest. This can occur when arrest occurs on a weekend or in a small municipality that does not have a judge on duty continuously. When this occurs, there is a mechanism to obtain an earlier release called seeking a Writ of Habeas Corpus. This is where an attorney attempts to find a judge to authorize an earlier release.
If a bond amount is already set, bond can typically be posted in three different ways:
- If the full bond amount is posted in case, the person is entitled to be released from custody upon presentation of the cash money to the holding agency. Some holding agencies will accept payment through major credit cards. The benefit of posting a cash bond is that when the charges are finally resolved in court, the cash bond is refunded to the individual that posted it. Of course the face amount of the bond may be a dollar amount so significantly high that an individual is not in a position to raise the amount of cash necessary to post a cash bond.
- Another arrangement is to use a professional bail bondsman or surety who will charge a percentage of the face amount of the bond to secure the person's release. Payment of that percentage causes the surety to sign documents agreeing to pay the full face amount if the person fails to appear in court later as required. Of course the downside to that is that the percentage (called the bond premium) is not typically refundable upon resolution of the charges against the accused.
- A third mechanism in some counties is called pretrial release which is a program that reviews persons in jail and authorizes release of low risk individuals who are not accused of extremely serious crimes. Those policies vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Pretrial release typically requires payment of a very small administrative fee which is typically much smaller than a bond premium charged by a bail bondsman or a professional surety. There are occasions when bond amounts are set so high that it is appropriate to seek legal counsel to go to court to ask that those amounts be reduced. The advisability of this varies from case to case. In any event, consultation with legal counsel can assist individuals securing a release of their loved ones pending resolution of the charges.
More About Bail Bonds And Our Law Practice
The attorneys at Ball & Hase, follow the ethical rule that is the law in most jurisdictions, although Texas is an exception. We do not act as bail bondsmen. We decided at the outset of our practice that we would be the best criminal law specialist lawyers that we could. We do not aspire to be good bail bondsman. The longstanding reason that attorneys posting bonds is not recommended is that there is a conflict of interest in trying to wear both hats. When an attorney posts bail, his financial interests are at risk which may conflict with the goal of providing expert legal services to the client. We cannot imagine asking a Judge to let us go off someone's bond and putting them in jail to avoid financial loss while at the same time representing them at their lawyer. We use reputable and professional bail bonding companies when necessary and leave the bail business to them.
Release Vs. Detention
In Federal court release is determined usually by a Federal Magistrate using criteria set in federal law. While those rules favor release on conditions, there are circumstances where the prosecutor will seek an order of detention. Release in federal cases is usually determined at a proceeding called an initial appearance. It is important to have a criminal law specialist appear with you at this appearance to increase the chances of release.
What To Do When Your Loved One Has Been Arrested
When a loved one has been arrested, it is important to obtain the name of the police agency, what jail the individual is confined in, and what the charge is. If you are able to communicate with your loved one, you should advise them not to speak to the police without the benefit of legal counsel.
How We Can Help You
At Ball & Hase, our lawyers will typically explain a variety of options to the client and the various costs involved, so that the client can make a determination as to which is the best and the most cost effective course to take. A call to Ball & Hase in the event of a bona fide emergency can be made after hours. A bona fide emergency is typically where someone has been arrested and is in custody.
Free consultation: If your loved one is in police custody in Texas, contact a board-certified criminal defense attorney at Ball & Hase in Arlington. In an emergency, call 817-412-7449. We answer calls 24 hours a day.