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Houston Criminal
Law Blog

Tips For Paying Bail and Staying Out of Jail

Posted on July 17, 2013 by Mintzer Law

When a person is arrested, their first thought is often how quickly they can be released. For almost every violation or criminal act, there is a bail amount that is set by the judge. The amount of time it will take a person to be released from the jail is dependent upon factors such as how large the amount of bail is and how busy the jail is. There are a few ways that people can pay bail, and this is determined by the nature of the offense.

Minor Violations

In cases of misdemeanor violations, the person who was arrested can often pay their own bail if they have the money readily available. This means they can go free almost instantly as long as they sign court documents and promise to return for the court case.

Severe Violations

Those who have committed serious crimes usually cannot post their own bail because of the high cost. This type of bail often has to be given by a licensed bail bonds company that operates in the local area. The bail bonds company lends money to defendants so that they can pay bail and get early release. If a criminal defendant decides to flee or not show up for court on the specified day, the bail bondsman is also tasked with finding and apprehending the runaway.

Working with a Bail Bonds Company

Working with a bail bonds company will often involve multiple steps that a defendant must follow. The first step will be to pay the bail bonds company at least 10 percent of the total bail amount. This fee is kept by the bondsman and cannot be refunded.

The person will then be required to use some form of collateral to cover the rest of the bond amount. This collateral often takes the form of valuable property that is owned by the defendant. Some items that may be taken as collateral include:

  • Vehicles
  • Expensive jewelry or electronic devices
  • Residential property or real estate

This collateral is seized and kept safe until the court date arrives. Once the defendant has been to court and learned the outcome of the case, they will get their property back.

Peace of Mind

Bail bonds exist so that people can try to continue their lives in as normal a fashion as possible. Regardless of a person’s circumstances, it is often possible to post bail and return to a normal life once the court case has been completed.

Talk to Rand Mintzer today at 713-862-8880 to learn about your options for paying bail.