Facing arrest and criminal charges is a scary experience. While it’ll be critical to defend yourself against the criminal charges and avoid a conviction if possible, the first thing you would want is to be released from jail. Securing release while the case is still ongoing usually requires an arrestee to make bail. At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we can help you or your loved one maneuver the bail bond process and secure your release. Call us if you’ve been arrested in Collin County, TX, for quality and fast bail bond services.
Arrest and Booking
When the police place you under arrest for a criminal offense, they will either take you to jail or a police station. While in jail, you will have to undergo a booking process. During the booking procedure, the arresting officer generally:
- Records your personal information
- Records information concerning the supposed crime
- Conducts a record search of your criminal background
- Takes your photographs and fingerprints
- Searches your person and seizes any personal property you have like purse and keys
Once all this is done, the police will place you in a holding cell as they submit the official arrest report to the prosecutor, who decides whether they will file charges or not. Booking takes anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours, depending on how many people need to be booked. After you have been booked and charges have been filed, the next step will be for you to be taken before a judge or magistrate to determine whether you should be released on bail.
The Bail Hearing
A bail hearing is the hearing in which the judge determines whether to grant bail. Usually, the first appearance before a judge after your arrest, the purpose of this hearing is for the judge to look into the possibility that you’ll reappear at your criminal trial after release on bail. The hearing also sets the precise bail amount the court will require you to post if granted. The judge evaluates the case’s details and nature of the criminal offense and considers several factors when deciding whether to grant bail or not and the amount to impose. These factors include:
- How severe the crime is
- Any of your past convictions and court appearances
- Your ties to the community
- Your family responsibilities
- Your employment and financial status
- Whether or not you are a danger to the society
- Personal history and character
If the judge grants bail, they may also set specific conditions that you have to meet to remain out of jail. Often, these conditions are regarding alcohol and drug testing, travel restrictions, employment requirements, periodic meetings with an officer, or psychiatric treatment. The judge can also deny bail depending on the proof presented or lack thereof. If this is the case, you’ll have to remain in custody until your trial date or appeal the decision to a higher court.
So What Is Bail?
Bail is the money you temporarily deposit with the court or jail facility to allow you out of custody until your trial date. This money acts as a guarantee that you will make all court appearances, including trial. Often, the terms bail and bond are interchangeably used when talking about jail release, and even though they’re closely related, they do not mean the same thing. A bond is posted on an accused’s behalf, usually by a bail bonds company, to secure their release.
Bail isn’t meant to be a punishment. Instead, it’s a means of securing your agreement to comply with various conditions and make court appearances. On this note, bail is like collateral you leave with the court to make sure that, after your release from custody, you’ll show up in court until your case is over. If you fail to show up or violate any of the conditions for being free, you may forfeit the bail amount you paid. Likewise, if you posted a bond, the bail bonds company forfeits the money.
Types of Bail Bonds in Collin County
There are four ways in which you can be set free on bail. They are through:
Personal Recognizance Bond
A personal recognizance bond (P.R bond) is whereby the judge releases you from custody without making you post bail. Here, your promise to make court appearances is accepted as the bail. P.R bonds are usually granted after a defendant is considered likely to appear in court after being interviewed with a pretrial release program. Keep in mind that the magistrate cannot authorize a P.R bond for certain crimes, such as aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, burglary, capital murder, etc. Only the court in which the case is pending can authorize a P.R bond in these kinds of cases.
After release on a personal recognizance bond, you’ll most likely be required to report to a personal recognizance bond officer. Even though the court doesn’t set bail before releasing you, the personal recognizance bond associates will monitor you until your trial date and are likely to charge a fee for these pretrial services.
Cash bail means paying for the total bail amount in actual cash. Some jails and courts allow payment through money orders or a cashier’s check. You could pay cash bail with your own money if you have it or money borrowed from your family or friends. You deposit the whole bail amount with the court or jail facility, and your cash will be given back to you when the case ends and you have fully complied with the requirement to make court appearances. And if you don’t make court appearances as required, you may forfeit all your money—meaning you could lose all the money to the court.
Cash bail is the easiest and fastest way to secure your release from jail. However, the bail amount is often substantial that most people do not have that much money in their possession when they need to post bail. Therefore, cash bail is not a common way of securing release from a Collin County jail.
Also, if the amount deposited is significant enough, it may lead to unexpected attention from the police. There could be concerns as to where the money originated from and how you acquired it. Provided you acquired the cash legally, there shouldn’t be any problem. Another disadvantage of cash bail is that the money you posted as cash bail is held up until the case ends, which may include several court dates over an indefinite period. This means your money will be lying idle in court, and you won’t be able to do anything fruitful with it, like investing.
Surety bonds are the most prevalent type of bail in Collin County. A surety bond is whereby a person, not the defendant, accepts responsibility for making sure the defendant makes court appearances after release. This other individual is called a surety. Usually, the surety is a bail bonds agent working for a bail bonds company. Bail bonds agents will charge you a premium (usually 10% of the total bail amount) for using their services.
But if the risk the agent is taking is too high, they may charge more than a 10% premium. For instance, a defendant who is likely to flee, who doesn’t come from within, or whose bail amount is too high will likely pay a higher premium than a defendant who works and lives locally and faces non-serious charges.
Additionally, some sureties may require you to provide some form of collateral just in case you fail to appear. The collateral is meant to cover the bail amount the company would deposit with the court for you so that if you don’t appear in court and it forfeits the money, it can sell the property and recover it.
The 10% (or higher) premium is non-refundable—it’s the bail bonds agent charge for permitting you to utilize their services. Here, you simply pay the bail bonds agent’s fee instead of the total bail amount then the agent uses their own money to pay for the total bail amount. And once you’ve fully obeyed your obligation to make court appearances, you won’t be refunded since it wasn’t your money that was used to post bail. So instead, it’s the surety (bail Bonds Company) to be refunded.
Note that the bail bond company will have financial interests in ensuring you appear in court as required. If you fail to show up in court, they may send a bounty hunter to find you. The court may also send law enforcement officers after you for not appearing in court.
A property bond is an option if you can’t afford to make cash bail or a surety bond. Here, you use your home’s equity as collateral. However, property bonds are less common since it takes the court much time to place a lien on a property than to process cash bail or surety bond. Due to this additional hassle, courts generally dictate that property bonds should reflect 150 percent of the total bail amount. By this, it means you cannot know if you qualify for a property bond until you know the precise bail amount the judge will set for you.
How Bail Amount Is Determined
The bail amount that courts set for pretrial release depends significantly on the charge the defendant is facing. Generally, bail amounts are higher for felony crimes than misdemeanor offenses. Each court has its bail schedule, which sets the recommended bail amounts for every type of crime. Judges have the power to set bail lower or higher than what’s indicated in the bail schedule, depending on various factors. Factors that could raise your bail amount include:
- How severe the supposed offense is
- Any past convictions
- If you were on probation at the time of your arrest
- If there’s a protective order against you
- You’re a flight risk
- You’re a danger to another person’s safety
- if you have any family or community ties
As we mentioned earlier, courts may deny bail in given cases, usually those involving severe charges like capital murder. Also if you’re likely to flee or are a threat to public safety, the judge is likely to deny bail. If you’re denied bail, you’ll have to wait for your trial in jail.
Rules that Govern How a Bail Amount is Set
Both the Texas and United States Constitutions dictate that bail shouldn’t be excessive. To help establish what a fair bail amount ought to be, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines rules for the judge to use. They include:
- The bail amount ought to be sufficiently significant to guarantee that the defendant will make court appearances when required.
- The amount shouldn’t be too high that it becomes a means of oppression.
- The judge ought to consider the circumstances and nature of the crime. The more serious the offense, the higher the bail amount
- The bail amount should be in a way that the defendant can afford to pay it. Judges are prohibited from setting an amount that would prove impossible for the defendant to pay
- The judge must consider the community and the alleged victim’s safety. If they feel the defendant is a danger to someone else, they can set the bail amount higher.
You Can Seek for Your Bail Amount to be Lowered
Constitutional protections and the federal Bail Reform Act gives you the legal right to demand a lower bail amount if the amount the court set initially is so high for you to pay. You can do this by filing a writ of habeas corpus or motion seeking bail reduction through your attorney. When you file either of these motions, a hearing will be held. At this hearing, your lawyer can present proof in support of lowering the bail amount. The DA may oppose the motion, arguing that the bail amount should remain unchanged.
And though the judge has to take your arguments into account, they aren’t supposed to set a bail amount that you can effortlessly pay. They can set the bail amount sufficiently high to induce you to make a great effort to raise the money without violating the Bail Reform Act or constitution. Provided the judge’s actual motive is not to compel you to stay in jail waiting for trial, they can set any amount of bail provided they can justify it. Once you inform the court that you can’t afford the set bail amount, it has to specify the reasons why the set amount is an indispensable condition for release from detention.
Your bail amount can also be lowered if you have already spent enough time in jail waiting for trial.
Note that just as you have the legal right to request a bail reduction, the prosecutor can also demand that the judge sets a higher bail amount basing on the likelihood that you will flee or hurt the victim or any other person in society. Additionally, the court might convene a hearing to look into the source of the bail money it suspects could be illegal (for instance, proceeds from drug sales), especially if you posted cash bail.
Warrantless Arrest and Bail
In warrantless arrest cases, there are special rules that involve bail. If you were arrested with a warrant, the judge has already established that there’s probable cause to believe you committed an offense. This isn’t the case in warrantless arrests, and the judge is required to establish probable cause.
If you’re arrested for committing a misdemeanor, the judge has to establish probable cause with twenty-four hours of the arrest. If they don’t do so, you have to be set free on bail that doesn’t exceed five thousand dollars. And if you can’t afford cash bail or surety bond, you still have to be set free on a PR bond.
If you’re arrested for felony accusations, the judge has to establish probable cause within forty-eight hours. If that isn’t done, you must be freed on bail that doesn’t exceed ten thousand dollars. And if you can’t afford cash bail or a surety bond, you still have to be set free on a PR bond.
Collin County Jail Information
Collin County Jail
4300 Community Ave.,
Collin County Sheriff’s Office
4300 Community Ave.,
McKinney, TX 75071
City of Frisco Jail
Pkwy, Frico, TX 75034
Collin County Court Information
Collin County Courthouse
2100 Bloomdale Rd,
McKinney, TX 75071
Collin County Sub-Courthouse- Frisco
8585 John Wesley
Dr, Frisco, TX 75034
Contact a Collin County Bail Bonds Company Near Me
At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, our bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to cater to your needs. We answer the phone at all hours and provide the assistance you need irrespective of the time. We can come to meet you at the county courthouse, in jail, or you can visit our offices, and we’ll offer you professional services. We can also serve you through the phone and handle all paperwork and payment remotely. If you have been arrested in Collin County, call us at 800-930-8999 to secure your release now.