If you are arrested and charged for a crime in Harris County, the judge hearing your case may require you to be detained in jail until your trial. However, bail is hardly denied unless a defendant is a flight risk, a danger to the community, or has committed a heinous crime. If this is not your situation, you may be released on your own recognizance, or the judge will set bail, allowing you to secure your freedom until your trial date. If you cannot afford to place a cash or property bail, all is not lost. You can obtain a bail bond and rejoin your family. At the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we can help you raise the bail money quickly and conveniently.
Under normal circumstances, you cannot be sentenced to spend time in jail until a judge or jury delivers a guilty verdict during the trial. By settling bail, you assure the courts of your commitment to attending hearings until your case is determined. Unfortunately, the bail amount is often set at an amount that most people cannot afford without some sort of financing. This is where we come in and rescue the day.
Bail Bond Defined
If you have never brushed shoulders with the authorities, the chances are that you only understand bail bonds as they are roughly described in movies. Well, unlike typical bails that can be paid in cash by a defendant or their friends or relatives, a bail bond is a licensed bondman’s pledge to settle the bail money if a defendant fails to appear on the set court dates.
In Harris County, you need to settle a bondman’s fee of 10% of the total cash required for your bail. You may also need to put up collateral to assure the agent that you have a vested interest in attending court dates and ensuring the courts don’t seize the bail money. Another option is to find a suitable co-signer to guarantee that you will show up for court hearings until your trial date.
Unless you are accused of a petty crime and the judge sets a low bail amount, you may have to deal with a bail bonds agent. This is by far the best option for settling a huge bail amount. With this option, you only need to pay a small portion of the bail money upfront. The bailing company will then have you sign a contract stipulating your responsibilities as a defendant or co-signer. Note that you may have to repay the full bail amount if the court seizes it.
An Overview of the Bail Bond System in Harris County
Under the 8th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, defendants in all states, including Texas, have a right to a fair bail amount. This amendment strips judges and magistrates of the right to impose excessive bail and fines or subject defendants to cruel and unusual punishments. As such, you have a right to be released on “fair bail,” allowing you to prepare your defense and ensure a fair trial.
However, it is essential to note that judges also have a right to increase, lower, or deny bail under certain circumstances. Even though Harris County has a clear and comprehensive bail schedule, a judge can still deny or increase the bail amount if you are accused of a heinous crime, are a flight risk, or have a history of skipping town to dodge court hearings.
Fortunately, the courts stick to the bail schedule in the majority of cases. Petty crimes attract a few hundred dollars that some defendants can settle from their savings without strain. However, the bail amount can reach several thousand dollars, especially if you are accused of a felony or a wobbler offense.
Bail is meant to reassure the court that you will not fail to appear on the set court dates to answer your charges. In some cases, a judge can opt to release you on your own recognizance. This means you don’t have to spend a dime on bail, but you must sign a note stating that you will make diligent court appearances until trial.
If you are not released on your own recognizance and cannot raise a cash bail, you can turn to a bail bonds company and settle just a fraction of the bail. In Harris County, the maximum bail bondsman fee is 10% of the bail amount. However, it is necessary to understand that if you skip hearings and the courts have no choice but to forfeit the bail money, you may have to repay it fully.
Understanding How Bail Bonds Work In Harris County
If you are arrested and charged for a crime in Harris County, you can immediately reach out to a bail bonds company. As the name suggests, companies like the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds work 24/7/365 to ensure you can access their services at any time of day or night. Both payments of the initial fee and the paperwork are conducted electronically to speed up the process and reunite you with your family within the shortest time possible.
Usually, the paperwork is a pact between the person responsible for posting bail, a defendant, and the bail bonds company. The agreement defines the responsibilities of each party, such as the need to ensure that all court dates are attended without fail.
Furthermore, the contract will also put in writing the collateral offered as security. You will also find a section that discusses the fees involved and the terms and conditions that apply if the pact is breached. Because bail bonds companies make the paperwork process dead simple, it should only take you a few minutes to sign and kick start the bailing process.
To further expedite the process, ensure that you show up with the following information:
- Full name of the defendant
- Their booking number
- The charges they are facing
- The location of the jail they are detained
As long as you have the identification information of a loved one, the bail bonds agent can assist with an inmate search to find the rest of the data. Once everything is set, the bail bonds agent will need to gather information relevant to the case to do the necessary follow-ups. This may include the issued court dates from the start until trial.
Even though the paperwork process is superfast, it may take a few minutes or several hours to have your loved one released. Therefore, it remains imperative to understand that the process can be slow, especially during busy jail days.
At the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds, we strive to make our processes simple, fast, and reliable. We understand the stress you are going through and would like to ensure that you can rejoin your family within the least time possible. From our perspective, the sooner you are released from jail, the sooner you return to your place of employment, resume taking care of your family, and begin working on your defense.
How Much Is A Bail Bond In Harris County?
Bail bonds companies such as the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds charge a small fee for their services. In Texas and Harris County in specific, the maximum fee a bail bonds agent can ask for is 10% of the bail amount set by a judge. It is essential to understand that these fees can vary depending on the circumstances revolving around an arrest and the level of risk the bonding agency will take.
Bailing someone out of jail means giving the courts your word on ensuring that a defendant appears for court hearings. As such, the bail bonds agency will be risking the courts seizing their money if you don’t show up for court dates. To mitigate this risk and ensure that a defendant has a vested interest in adhering to the terms of release, your bail bondsman may require you to place collateral as security.
You can use car deeds, title deeds, jewelry, and other valuable items as collateral. These items will be returned to you once you attend your court hearings without fail and the bail bondsman receives the bail money back. If you skip town and the bail money is lost, the agent will also seize the items placed as collateral unless you can raise the lost cash.
According to the bail schedule in Texas County, there are different bail amounts for various charges. For instance, if you face assault charges classified under class C misdemeanor assault, the bail amount is $500. This means that if you don’t have a criminal history, a bail bonds agent will only expect an upfront payment of $50.
Similarly, if you are accused of third-degree felony theft, a judge can set the bail between $20,000 and $100,000. As such, your bail bondsman will expect an upfront fee of between $2,000 and $10,000. While this may seem like a steep price to pay, you will secure your release from jail, allowing you to work on your defense. Remember that if you are convicted for third-degree felony theft, you risk spending between 2 and 10 years behind bars.
Can You Co-Sign for a Friend or Loved One’s Bail Bond in Harris County?
When a friend or loved one is arrested, you may have no choice but to be their knight in shining armor. The thought of being placed in police custody is scary enough for most people, and the worst is yet to come if your loved one is unable to prepare a solid defense. Even with all your good intentions, the hefty bills that come with unexpected events may get you completely off guard.
If you cannot afford to chuck out clean bills from your wallet and settle bail, all is not lost for your loved one. You can always turn to a bail bonds company for much-needed financial assistance. If you back someone up in their purchase of a bail bond, you will become their co-signer.
Before you go out purchasing bonds on behalf of all and any acquaintance in legal trouble, it is imperative to understand the responsibilities that will come with your decision.
Here are just a few vital things you should know before co-signing a bail bond for a friend or loved one:
- You will be securing the release of a defendant from jail
- If your friend or loved one doesn’t show up for court dates and the courts seize the bail money, you could be held liable for repaying the entire bail amount
- You have the authority to request stipulations before co-signing a bail bond. For instance, you can ask a loved one to commit to a drug rehabilitation program.
- If your demands are not met by a defendant or if you don’t trust them to hold up to their end of the bargain and attend court hearings, you can cancel the bond and have them returned to jail.
- You have to provide honest information about the whereabouts of a loved one if they skip town or fail to appear (FTA).
Technically, any U.S. Citizen of legal age can co-sign a bail bond. However, your bondsman will highly likely consider a range of variables before allowing you to co-sign. Most bailing companies are happy to work with spouses, close friends, and the relatives of a defendant. However, your agent also needs collateral or security. This means that you also need to be an income-generating citizen, or you should have the right to property ownership that can be used as collateral.
Apart from following up on a loved one and ensuring they attend all court hearings, you also need to have the financial ability to settle the premium fee. It is usually set at about 10% of the bail money. If the bail amount is $20,000, you need to pay an upfront fee of about $2,000.
An ideal bail bonds agent in Harris County will strive to simplify the bonding process for you. We will help you through the process to make everything dead simple, fast, and convenient.
How Much Time Is Needed To Post A Bail Bond In Harris County?
Time seems not to move when you badly want to be reunited with a family member sitting in jail. Well, the time needed for bail to be processed and your loved one to be released may depend on several factors. One of the primary factors that may make the process fast or slow is where an accused is being held.
If a loved one is in the city jail, which is less busy, the processing time may take anywhere between half an hour and two hours if there are no complications. Unfortunately, the process is more involved when dealing with bigger county jails that house more inmates. The Harris County jail stands as one of the largest jails in the U.S., and it can take as long as 24 hours to complete the bail process. It could even take longer if a defendant’s case warrants a separate bond hearing.
The surest way to expedite the process is to work with experienced and reliable bail bond agents. The 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds brags seasoned experts who can help ensure your loved one is released sooner than later. The paperwork process is fast and typically will not take more than 30 minutes. We are also well-acquainted with the processes of securing the freedom of a loved one from jail, and we use our knowledge to ensure no unnecessary delays.
Harris County Court and Jail Information
Harris County Jail
701 N San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 713-755-5000
Harris County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility
1200 Baker St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 713-755-7484
Baker Street Jail
1307 Baker Street, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 713-755-2400
Harris County Cypresswood Jail
6831 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, TX 77379
Phone Number: +1 281-376-9047
Harris County Criminal Justice Center
1201 Franklin St, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 713-755-7300
Harris County District Court
49 San Jacinto St #303, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 832-927-5800
Harris County Civil Courthouse
201 Caroline St 5th floor, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 713-755-7300
Harris County 55th District Court
201 Caroline St 9th floor, Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number: +1 832-927-2650
Harris County 280th District Court
1200 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002, United States
Phone Number: +1 713-368-6420
Find a 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds Agent Near Me
At 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds we have been proudly reuniting families for years. We have earned a solid reputation for offering a reliable and affordable option of securing the freedom of a friend or loved one from jail. Most importantly, we uphold the highest standards of professionalism and treat our clients with utmost respect and dignity, irrespective of their situation. We offer round-the-clock services and flexible payment plans to ensure that your loved one can return home quickly without breaking the bank. If a close friend or relative is arrested and charged in Harris County, give us a call now at 800-930-8999 and let us help you secure their freedom.