Ending up in jail is not something that anyone plans for and, in most cases, is an embarrassing and frustrating situation. If you face arrest and are booked in jail, your first thought is to secure a release and minimize the risk of making the situation worse. In Texas, defendants will stay in jail after an arrest pending trial.
However, by posting bail, you can protect yourself or a loved one from the psychological trauma that results from being in jail. In addition, bail acts as an assurance that you will return to the court to answer your charges as scheduled.
You can post bail in cash or property, depending on your situation. However, the most convenient way to secure a release for your loved one is by contacting a bail bond company. At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we understand the urgency of you going home to be with your family while your case is pending. Our McKinney bail bond agents will secure your bail on time and allow you to go home and build your defense.
How Bail Bonds Work in Texas
According to the Texas judicial system, bail is money or property surrendered to the court to secure a defendant's release before trial. If you cannot pay bail, you may have to remain in jail until your case ends. In Texas, you can be released without bail if you are facing minor charges. The court will only require that you make a written promise to appear as scheduled. However, most defendants will require a monetary commitment before a release.
If you appear in court as scheduled, your bail money will be fully refunded. However, skipping bail can prompt bail forfeiture. In this case, you will lose the amount posted as bail to the court. If you are convicted, the court may deduct fines and court fees from the bail money. When you cannot pay cash bail, you can seek surety bond services to secure a quicker release. A McKinney bail bonds agent will post your bail, and you will only be liable for a percentage of the bail which acts as service fees.
Factors Affecting Bail Amounts in Texas
Even for a similar criminal offense, bail amounts vary depending on the specific circumstances of your situation. After an arrest and booking, you will meet a judge to determine your bail. The following are some factors that could influence a judge’s decision when setting bail:
- Bail Schedules. The bail schedule is a list that sets forth the amount of bail required for each type of crime. Judges must adopt uniform bail schedules for all bailable offenses. However, it is crucial to understand that you will not pay the specific amount indicated on the schedule. The court has the discretion to increase or reduce bail depending on the circumstances. At a bail hearing, you can negotiate to have your bail amount reduced to an affordable amount.
- Victim Impact. Before setting bail, the court will consider your effect on the victims of your crime when you are released. If your release on bail poses a risk to the safety of others, the judge may set a high amount or deny the bail.
- The severity of the Alleged Crime. The more severe your charges, the higher the bail you may need to secure a release from jail before trial. If you face charges for a serious felony punishable by a death sentence, you may not be eligible for bail.
- History of Failing to Appear Before the Court. Bail is an assurance that you will attend your court hearings as scheduled. Your bail amount may be increased if you have a history of failing to appear in court or you have skipped bail in the past.
- Likelihood of Flight. Flight risk is the likelihood of fleeing and failing to appear for your hearing as scheduled. One of the conditions of bail is that you must appear for the hearing. If the judge feels that you skip bail, they may set a high bail. Some of the factors that could indicate baila flight risk are lacking community ties or a stable job.
Benefits of Hiring a Bail Agent
You may be tempted to handle the bail process alone when your loved one faces an arrest. However, there are many more advantages of working with a McKinney bail bonds agent.
- Quick Access to Funds. Bail agents are always available at any time you need them. When you do not want your loved one to spend any more time in jail, it would be wise to contact a surety bond company. Gathering enough money to pay for bail can be challenging, especially since arrests are unexpected. A bail agent has the resources to post your bail regardless of the amount and allow you to go home.
- Avoid Financial Investigations. Facing criminal charges means that you are already under investigation. If your bail is set too high and you pay in cash, the situation could open up doors for financial scrutiny. The court will attempt to determine the source of your funds. This may be the case whether or not you face charges for a financial crime. A financial investigation may take some time and can delay your release. Therefore, it would be wise to hire a bail agent to avoid suspicions.
- Protect your Assets from Liquidation. In most cases, you do not have money sitting around waiting for a friend or relative to be arrested. Therefore, you may need to liquidate some of your assets to acquire the amount required for bail. When you are in a hurry to put together a bail, you may be tempted to sell the property less than its value, causing you a loss.
- Confidentiality. A bail agent understands the necessity of privacy when your loved one is in jail. Borrowing money from friends may arrest your loved one in public which is not desirable, especially when they face false accusations. A bail agent will handle the matter with discretion and honesty to make the process easier.
Cosigning Bail Bonds
No one wants their loved one to be stuck in jail. By acting as a cosigner to bail bonds, you can help your loved one secure a quicker release. A cosigner for bail is required to guarantee that the defendant will attend the scheduled hearings. The relationship between a cosigner and the defendant may significantly influence the bail bondsman towards posting the bail.
As a cosigner, you will be responsible for the defendant’s conduct while out on bail. Also, you may be tasked with paying their premium, which is the service fee for bail bond services. If an individual for whom you acted as a cosigner skips bail, the bail bond agency may charge you a recovery fee to find the defendant and return them to jail.
Bail bonds agencies do not accept anyone as a cosigner. However, before deciding to cosign bail for your loved one, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a good credit score. You can be a suitable cosigner if you have a good credit history and regularly make your payments. This is because you have the financial backing if you need to pay the bond money.
- You should be responsible. Cosigning a bail bond is not an easy task. If the defendant fails to do their part, you should be ready to deal with the consequences of the agreement. Also, you will be held accountable for the defendant’s appearance for the court hearing.
- You need to have a good job history before co-signing a bail bond. If you have held a stable job position for a while, the surety bond company will be comfortable with you as a cosigner.
In addition to the responsibilities you have as a cosigner, you have rights that must be respected. You have a right not to be the cosigner, even for your relatives. Before ending the agreement, you should fully understand the nature of the deal you are entering.
If, after co-signing the bond, you feel that the defendant will not appear for the hearing or will not fulfill bail conditions, you can revoke the bail bond. First, however, you must contact the court and surety bond company to inform them of your desire to terminate the agreement.
If your family member or friend is arrested, you should work with a knowledgeable bail agent who can guide you on bail co-signing process.
Things you should Consider When Working with a Bail Bond Agency
If your friend or loved one is stuck in jail, you will probably go through the feeling of uncertainty, and you find a quick and cheap way to secure their release. Also, understanding the complicated legal process surrounding bail can be challenging.
Fortunately, there is a fast and reliable way to secure bail, which involves hiring a McKinney bail bonds agent. However, when dealing with a surety bond company, there are factors that you must consider to ensure a smooth process. Some of the things that you should keep in mind when dealing with a bail bond agency include:
Don’t Work with a Shady Agent
Striving to secure a release for a friend or loved one from jail could create desperation. Unfortunately, not all bail bond agencies have your best interests when offering their service. Therefore, the first thing you need to look into is the validity of the agent’s claims. You can take the following measures to protect yourself from shady agents:
- Request to see their license. All bail bonds must be legally licensed before providing bail bond services. If the bail bondsman fails to produce their license, it may indicate that they are not genuine.
- Know their address. Before hiring a bail agent, you should ensure to obtain their physical address or postal code.
- Research online. By doing an online search about a bail bond, you can understand what to expect from reading reviews from previous clients. Also, the online reviews may either give you confidence in their services or prompt you to find another agent.
Avoid Giving False Information
As part of the process of applying for surety bond services, a McKinney Bail Bonds Agent will need specific information about the defendant. Before posting your bail, the agent will want to know your address, full names, and the crime you are charged with, among other information. Offering the wrong information could ruin your chances of receiving surety bond services. Also, you may run into deeper problems when your dishonesty is discovered.
Seek Clarification of your Bond Conditions
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation, the court may issue bail conditions that you must fulfill. For example, some of the bail conditions could involve surrendering travel documents and follow-up hearings. If you do not understand what is expected per the bail conditions, it is crucial to seek clarification and work closely with your bail agent to avoid making mistakes.
Regardless of your bail conditions, some conduct is not tolerated while you are out on bail. Failure to fulfill bail conditions could result in rearrests and bail forfeiture. When you post bail through a surety bond company, you should avoid being rearrested at all costs. This could cause the surety bond agency to lose the amount they put up as bail for you. Since collateral is often required when acquiring bail bonds in Texas, you may lose the property you used as collateral.
Always Contact your Bail Agent First
If you are arrested and detained in a jail cell, your phone calls may be limited. Instead of wasting the call time informing people of your arrest, it would be wise to contact a bail bond agency. This will ensure that your bail is handled quickly and save you from a prolonged stay in jail.
Bail Payment Plans
Purchasing bail bonds can be cheaper and more effective compared to paying bail in cash. However, sometimes you may lack enough money to cover the bail bond premium. Nevertheless, lack of enough money should not deter you from seeking the services of a McKinney Bail Bonds Agent. A surety bond company can organize a payment plan that allows you to pay your premium depending on your financial capability.
When a surety bond company provides its services for you or your loved one, you will be required to pay at least 10% of the total bail as a service fee. When you cannot pay the total amount, the payment plan allows you to pay a smaller amount than the 10% and continue to pay the rest in installments.
If you can come up with a larger down payment for your service fee, you will have a better chance to secure the bail. Some other factors that the bail bond company could consider before allowing you to pay premiums using a payment plan will include the nature of your employment, your arrest history, and your credit score. For example, if you have stable employment and a good credit score, you are more likely to receive bail services.
When you pay for bail bond services using a repayment plan, the balance remaining after you pay for premiums may be subject to interest. A bail repayment plan works like a loan, and the company may consider the availability and value of collateral before entering the agreement. Therefore, before you settle for a bail repayment plan, it is vital to find out if the interest applied to the remaining balance is applicable.
Since you will have a chance to negotiate your repayment plan, you should state a monthly payment that you can afford. Also, you should avoid skipping payments which could increase the interest.
Information on courts serving McKinney, TX, includes
McKinney Municipal Court
130 S Chestnut St
McKinney, TX 75069
Collin County Courthouse
2100 Bloomdale Rd
McKinney, TX 75071
Collin County Justice of Peace
2300 Bloomdale Rd
McKinney, TX 75071
List of jails in McKinney and their information
Collin County Jail
4300 Community Ave
McKinney Police Department
2200 Taylor Burk Dr
McKinney, TX 75071
Collin County Juvenile Detention
4700 Community Ave
McKinney, TX 75071
Find a Competent Bail Agent Near Me
When you or a loved one faces an arrest in Texas, you are detained in a local jail. On your first arraignment, you will know if you are eligible for bail. The judge will inform you about your rights and the amount of bail required to release you before trial. If bail is set, you will remain there until the amount is paid. Time taken to raise enough money to post a cash bail can delay your release and prolong your stay in jail.
However, if you want a quick release, you can opt to go the bail bond way which is cheaper and faster. An experienced bail bonds agent will work with you to cover bail costs and handle other complicated paperwork involved in the bail process. At the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, our bail agents have extensive experience helping individuals requiring bail in McKinney, Texas. Call us today at 800-930-8999 to discuss more details of your situation.