Bail is money that the court requires you to pay in order to assure your court appearances. You post bail by either paying the full amount in cash or, more commonly, through a bail bond. Basically there are two parts in the bond. The 10% fee is the fee charged to the customer and it can be paid by credit card, cash or check. This fee is what the bail bond company charges to assume the risk of your non-appearance.
Amount of bail
The amount of bail depends only upon the state and the crimes involved. All counties have their own bail schedules that set forth the amount for bail for each type of crime. Generally the bail is set for Class A and B Misdemeanor offenses and Felony offenses originally by the Harris County District Attorney. The amount of bail can be changed by a judge at anytime at the discretion of the judge. A criminal defense attorney can ask the court to lower bail, and in many cases this is done successfully. As you can see, posting bail can put a serious strain on your finances. This is why it is important to request a bail hearing to ease some of this burden. After all, you need to focus on getting the money to hire a lawyer, whose efforts will have long-term consequences, not on a bondsman.
Houston bail hearing
When a person is arrested and held in jail, a bail hearing is scheduled for a particular person. At the time of hearing, the judge sets the bond. In Harris County, this is often a jail magistrate who initially sets the bond, at the prosecutor’s request, generally according to a bond schedule. If a defendant is charged with a severe crime, the jail magistrate may not set a bond so that a formal bail hearing is set for the elected judge to receive more information than nature of the charge. During these bail hearings, the elected judge can receive information about a defendant’s criminal history, any special circumstances surrounding their current charges, evidence of possible flight risk, and evidence of a defendant’s ability to post bail. As long as the condition is related to the criminal case, the judge can utilize bond conditions to guarantee safety and compliance.
The states of Texas takes drug offenses seriously. Drugs are perceived as a major cause of violent and property crimes. Further, Harris County, Texas, has little patience for drug users, not to mention drug sellers, even addicts. In other words, just because you are an addict does not mean you will get a “hall pass” and Harris County prosecutors will sympathize with you. The punishments for drug offenses generally depends on several factors, including:
The most serious drug crimes are:
The maximum penalty for misdemeanor drug offenses ranges from:
Of course, any serious drug, such as cocaine and crack (a form of cocaine), ecstasy, heroin, and LSD, puts you in the felony range. That means, depending on the offense, you could face as much as 15 years to life for possessing with intent to distribute drugs.
To put into perspective, if you commit murder or child molestation, the minimum you could receive is five years’ imprisonment. But possess a few kilograms of cocaine, and the minimum you face is 15 years’ imprisonment.
So why are prosecutors so tough on drugs? Because politicians, pandering in the “war against drugs,” have passed draconian drug laws that are proportionally tougher on defendants than even violent or sex crimes. No one wins votes promising to surrender in the war on drugs.
Another reason for the war on drugs is the “criminal justice industrial complex” that has arisen from tougher laws and stricter enforcement. In Harris County, for example, money seized from drug dealers can be forfeited. And when it is forfeited, the county gets to use some of those funds for government vehicles, etc.
Which brings up another point about drug cases. Forfeiture of property, such as vehicles and money, frequently arises in drug cases. You need to make sure you hire a criminal defense lawyer in Harris County, Texas, who knows how to handle not just the drug case but also the forfeiture.
Because of the special challenges of drug cases, including the complexity of search and seizure law and of forfeiture, it is especially important to hire a qualified drug defense lawyer. Hence do not wait to get a lawyer who is Board Certified in criminal law, truly cares about your case, and has a proven track record.