Austin Jail Release Attorney
Jail Release Lawyer In Travis County
When arrested, the first question is usually – how do I get out? For many people, it is often the first time they have ever even considered contacting a criminal defense attorney. Every minute spent in jail can seem like an eternity. Luckily, an experienced Austin jail release lawyer can help you get out of jail sooner. Sometimes this means just a few hours. In other cases, the wrong attorney can cost you weeks or even months as you await your day in court. Don’t spend any longer than you need to in a jail cell, contact ATX Legal today.
A bond is a way you can be released from jail while you wait for your court date. It is essentially a promise to appear in court. If you fail to do so, you will face consequences. Usually, this means that your bond will be revoked, a warrant will be issued for your arrest, and you will owe a sum of money, which will vary based on the amount of bail.
The purpose of bail is only to secure the defendant’s return to court, and to protect the community. That’s it. It is not supposed to be used as a punishment. Of course, in practice it often seems like a punishment, and also disproportionately affects the less affluent. Bail Reform is a hot topic right now but has not yet made it to Central Texas, which in many ways is still stuck in an antiquated system.
The best result for a jail release is always a Personal bond – also called a Personal Recognizance Bond or PR bond. This is a jail release without posting a cash or surety bond. Except for a small fee ($20-40), there is no cost at all. In some cases, Courts will grant a PR bond before an attorney is even hired. However, in other cases, an attorney is needed to plead the case for the defendant.
An experienced Austin jail release attorney will point out the many factors that point to ties in the local area while also demonstrating that there is no danger to the community. One way to limit the danger to the community is with bond conditions, which are discussed in more detail below.
Cash or Surety Bond
If a PR Bond is impossible, a defendant can also be released with a cash or surety bond. A cash bond means you deposit the full amount of the bond with the court. Once the case is done, you get the money back, minus a small fee. If the defendant skips town, the amount is forfeit.
A surety bond is posted by a bondsman. You will typically pay 10% of the bond to the bondsman, who then posts with the court. You do not get your money back from the bondsman. If you skip town after paying a surety, your bond will be revoked and the bondsman can file suit for the remaining amount of the bond. Sometimes bondsmen have other requirements, like a cosigner or collateral like a home.
If you miss court by mistake, it is important to rectify the situation as soon as possible. If you act soon enough, an attorney can request that your bond be reinstated without penalty. However, if you wait months or longer, the result is likely to be worse. The bondsman – or in the case of PR bonds, Pretrial Services can file a civil suit against you for the remaining amount of bond.
There is sometimes the option to settle the civil suit for a lower dollar amount. It is important to hire a veteran Austin jail release lawyer before reinstating your bond to potentially avoid a long sit in jail before the matter is handled.
A walk-through is a good option for handling an open warrant. To do a walk-through, you must hire an attorney to approach a judge or magistrate to seek a bond before you turn yourself in. Depending on the individual factors of the case, this can be accomplished with a personal bond, a surety bond, or a cash bond.
You can then turn yourself in at central booking simultaneously with posting bond. After you have your information processed, get a date for your next court setting and then walk out the door. This clears your warrant so you no longer need to worry about being arrested if you get caught speeding. The whole process usually takes less than an hour for the defendant.
Travis County is much more favorable for PR bonds. If you have an open warrant in Hays, Williamson, or other surrounding Counties, it is likely that you will need to post bond through a bondsman. Another option is to request a PR bond from a judge, but this might only be available after spending a few days in jail. Another way in which Travis County has an edge over other counties is that they have a magistrate on the bench 24 hours a day. An after-hours jail release on PR bond is possible in Travis County, but in surrounding counties, you will often have to wait until the morning.
Bond Conditions are a way for judges to protect the community when releasing a defendant. Of course, that’s the official reason. They are not supposed to be used as a punishment, but in practice that is frequently exactly how they are used.
Common bond conditions differ by case type. For DWIs, an ignition Interlock Device is common. For Family Violence, an ankle monitor or even house arrest may be ordered and the defendant is ordered to stay away from the complaining witness (accuser). Sometimes the stay-away order is in conjunction with a formal protective order, but not always. If there are any co-defendants, they are usually ordered to remain apart. It is the condition of virtually all bonds that the defendant refrains from consuming drugs or alcohol and refrain from further criminal activity.
Violation of the conditions can lead to the revocation of the bond. This would mean that the defendant would no longer have the right to remain free while awaiting trial. Depending on the severity of the violation, judges will sometimes give second and third chances for defendants who violate. For other violations, the bond gets revoked right away. New criminal charges virtually always lead to a revocation.
Contact An Experienced Austin Jail Release Attorney
Every minute in custody is an eternity. We offer 24/7 jail release in Travis County and jail release in other Texas counties during business hours. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a trusted Austin jail release lawyer to assist you with a quick and effective release so you can get your life back to normal.