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.