Hands unbuckling handcuffs

How Bail Works in Texas

Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III Aug. 10, 2023

In Texas, a person arrested and charged with a crime, except capital offenses, may be able to seek temporary release on bail pending trial. However, there are various state laws guiding bail and bail bonds. Therefore, getting reliable guidance is imperative to understand how bail works in Texas, the eligibility requirements, and the conditions attached to it. 

Since 1990, Tom Cox has devoted his career to protecting the best interests of individuals in custody and helping them seek bail. As a trusted Texas criminal defense attorney, Tom Cox can educate you about how bail works in the state, determine whether you qualify, and help post bail or bond. The firm proudly serves clients across Dallas, Mesquite, Irving, University Park, Highland Park, and Dallas County, Texas. 

What Is Bail?

Bail is the amount of money paid by an alleged defendant to get a temporary release from jail while awaiting trial or further criminal court proceedings. Generally, bail isn’t a fine. The purpose of bail is to release the defendant temporarily but ensure that they turn up for court proceedings. In Texas, the judge will determine the bail amount and set other conditions. 

Who Qualifies for Bail in Texas?

In order to be eligible for bail in Texas, the defendant must be: 

  • Charged with an offense punishable as a felony. 

  • Charged with a misdemeanor punishable by confinement. 

There is already a predetermined bail amount for many crimes in Texas. Hence, a defendant arrested and charged for any of these offenses will always automatically qualify for bail. However, bail may be denied if: 

  • The defendant committed a sexual offense involving a minor

  • The defendant committed a violent crime such as human trafficking, murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, or sexual assault. 

  • The defendant is a habitual offender. 

  • The defendant has a history of missing court dates. 

A reliable attorney can tell you about how the bail amount is calculated and help determine if you qualify. 

How Is the Amount of Bail Determined?

As mentioned earlier, most crimes in Texas have a standard bail schedule. If you’re arrested and charged with any of these offenses, you will know the exact amount of your bail immediately. Also, you can decide whether you have the means and will be able to post bail. 

If there is no pre-set bail for your offense, the judge will determine the appropriate amount. Conversely, if you’re unable to afford the bail amount, you can request a special bail hearing for the judge to reduce the bail amount or explore other alternatives, such as seeking the assistance of a bail bondsman. 

What Are Bail Bonds?

Bail bonds are surety bonds posted by a bail bondsman or bail bond company on behalf of the defendant to the court. Just like bail, the bail bond will serve as a guarantee that the accused person will show up at all court dates. The role of the bail bondsman is to provide a defendant who is unable to afford bail the required amount of bail – while charging a fee (usually 10%) and a kind of collateral. 

The Bail Process in Texas

If you’re arrested in Texas, you will be arraigned before a judge to know your charges. Depending on the nature of your offense or charges, you will know the bail amount immediately. You can either pay the bail or request a bail hearing to reduce the amount. Regardless of your decision, it is important that you work with a seasoned criminal defense attorney to advocate for your best interests during the bail hearing and for other court appearances. 

Discover Your Options Today

Understanding your rights and options with bail when facing criminal charges in Texas is crucial to make intelligent decisions. Attorney Thomas Cox III has the diligence and expertise to help clients navigate the complicated Texas criminal justice system. As your legal counsel, he can help break down the bail amount, attempt to reduce or eliminate bail totally or represent you at the bail hearing. In addition, Tom Cox will outline an effective strategy to help fight your charges and keep your record as clean as possible. 

Contact the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III today for a case evaluation with a dependable criminal justice lawyer. Tom Cox can advise you about your options for bail and help you navigate intelligent decisions. The firm proudly serves clients across Dallas, Mesquite, Irving, University Park, Highland Park, and Dallas County, Texas.