Bail bonds can take a number of different forms. That includes personal recognizance, cash bonds and surety bonds as well as others. Getting arrested or even helping a loved one who has been arrested can be scary, but the more you know, the easier it will be. Here's a look at some of the most common types of bail bonds in Texas.
Personal Recognizance Bonds
If you are accused of a minor crime and have a relatively clean record, the judge may release you on your own recognizance. Called a personal recognizance bond, this simply means that the court takes your word that you will return for your scheduled court date. You don't have to pay any money to be released.
Cash Only Bond
A cash only bond is when the courts require the bond to be paid in cash. Unfortunately, if the judge sets a cash only bond, you cannot use a bail bonds company to help. You can only get out if you pay the bond in cash or in verified funds like cashier's checks.
However, it's a bit of a double-edged sword. If the courts set a cash only bond for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and you produce that amount the next day, law enforcement may get suspicious about where you get the cash. Ideally, you should be able to prove that you obtained the cash legally. If you show up for your trial, you get the money back.
This type of bond may be the exact same amount as a cash bond. The only difference is that the courts allow you to work with a bail bond company to cover the bail.
The word surety is synonymous with guarantor or sponsor, and it refers to a person who takes responsibility for another person's actions. In this case, that's the bail bond company. In a nutshell, you pay the bail bond company a small fee, the company covers the bail for you, and the company helps to ensure that you show up for your trail.
If you pay your own surety bond, the entire amount is refundable to you. If a bail bond company pays it, the company gets a refund when you show up to your trial, but you don't get a refund of your fee. That covers the services provided by the bail bond company. There's more information on this type of bail bond on our FAQ page.
Property bonds are relatively rare in Texas, but they do pop up once in a while. If the courts issue a property bond, it simply means that they are willing to accept a property deed in lieu of cash or a surety bond. You are also allowed to work with a bail bond company for this type of bond.
Basically, you or whoever is bailing you out of jail gives a property deed to the courts, and the courts put a lien on that property. If you show up for your trial, the lien is removed, but if you don't show up, the courts have the right to seize that asset.
In most cases, the courts require the property to be worth substantially more than the bail amount. They may require value of 150% or even more. This option is ideal for people who own property but don't have access to cash
If you are being detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, you may be offered an immigration bond. This works just like a surety bond, but it's for cases involving immigrants or citizens of other countries. The bail bond company may require a higher fee for this type of bond, but that's just because of the increased risk of the individual returning to their home country instead of showing up for their trail.
In addition to these categories, there are also situations where the judge may not set bail or may levy a fine instead. If you have questions or need help, we're here. Contact us at Austin Bail Bonds today.