When a loved one is in jail, one of the first things people want to know about is bail. The only purpose of bail is supposed to be to ensure a defendant appears at trial. However, this purpose has been altered over time, with many people believing that bail should be punitive or set so high that defendants accused of particularly disturbing crimes cannot afford to pay their bonds even if they are not a pre-trial flight risk. A bail bonds service in Georgetown, TX can help secure a defendant’s release even if the defendant cannot pay the full amount of the bail.
How Does a Court Set the Bail Amount?
Some states have statewide bail schedules that stipulate a particular bail amount or a bail range for particular offenses. Texas does not have a statewide bail schedule, though different courts or counties may choose to adopt bail schedules. This means judges or magistrates have discretion when choosing the bail amount.
However, under Article 17.15 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, there are some rules that courts should follow when setting bail for a defendant.
- The bail should be high enough to ensure the defendant appears at trial.
- The bail should not be oppressively high.
- The court should consider the nature and circumstances of the crime.
- The defendant’s ability to make bail should be considered.
- The court should consider the future safety of any alleged victim and the community.
In practical terms, what these rules mean is that defendants charged with less-serious, non-violent offenses will have lower bail amounts than defendants charged with more serious or violent offenses. Theoretically, it should also mean that indigent defendants who are deemed bail-eligible should have lower bail amounts than defendants with resources, but this does not always occur.
What Happens When Bail Is Too Expensive?
If a defendant cannot pay bail, they may have a few options. Defendants can request bail reductions or look to crowd-sourcing to help cover the costs of bail. They can also use a bail bonds service in Georgetown, TX. A bail bonds service charges a non-refundable fee to issue a bond, which is their promise to the court that the defendant will appear at trial. If a defendant fails to appear, the bail bondsman is responsible for the full amount of the defendant’s bail. Visit the website for more information about bail bonds.
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