Understanding how bail bonds work is vital even if you are not on the wrong side of the law. A bail bond can work out in your favor if you or someone you love is under arrest to protect his/her freedom as the alleged case continues.
Being under arrest and requiring a bail bond to obtain your freedom can be a scary and stressful experience. Fortunately, you can make the whole process stress-free by retaining the services of a professional bail bond agent/company.
If you are looking for a bail bond company that cares for your freedom in Arlington, Tarrant County, credible bail bond agents at 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds are here for you. You don't have to worry about the bail process once you contact us because we will handle everything on your behalf to secure your deserved freedom as soon as possible.
An Arrest at a Glance
There is no precise definition of an arrest, but typically an arrest happens when police officers restrict your freedom of movement for an alleged violation of the law. In most arrest cases, the main legal issue is whether the police had probable cause to initiate the arrest or not.
Under the law, probable cause can be defined as a reasonable suspicion that you’re heading to commit an unlawful act or, perhaps, you are a culprit in a particular criminal offense. In that kind of situation, police can arrest you with or without a court warrant, especially if they believe you’re a suspect or culprit in a felony offense.
The court will consider facts and events surrounding your arrest to determine if the police officer had probable cause to initiate the arrest. An arrest without a probable cause or court warrant can also happen when a police officer observes you committing a crime.
For example, punishing your child severely than is required can make a police officer arrest you without a warrant because that is child abuse, which is unlawful. Once you are in police custody, it is upon the judge to determine whether your arrest was lawful or not.
What to Remember During the Arrest Process
Since the criminal justice system’s process starts once you are under arrest, you should begin protecting your legal rights at this stage to increase your chances of winning the alleged case. During an arrest, police officers can use "reasonable force" if needed to initiate the arrest, depending on the severity of your offense and whether you pose a threat to them or not.
Attempting to flee can also make police officers use force against you during the arrest. Here is what to remember during the arrest process to stay on the safe side of the law and increase your chances of fighting the alleged charge:
Don't Resist the Arrest
Even if you feel the arrest is a mistake or unlawful, you should never resist a police arrest because it can attract additional charges, making your alleged case severe. However, you can ask the arresting officers the reason behind your arrest to know the nature and the severity of the offense you are facing.
Even though you are already panicking and thinking of what the alleged charges might be, you should remain calm as possible. When the arresting officer gives you a chance to call a friend or relative, you should call or text someone who can help you in the bail process because you are not yet guilty of the alleged crime until the court's final decision.
Remember, you don't have to answer the arresting officers' confusing and tricky questions if they want you to speak up because they might be looking for incriminating evidence from you.
Warrantless or Unreasonable Police Search, and Seizure is Unlawful
Don't forget you have a constitutional right to be free from unlawful police searches and seizures during an arrest. A legal search warrant from the court is necessary if a police officer wants to search your vehicle or premises.
If a police officer collects any evidence in your home unlawfully, meaning he/she didn't have a search warrant, you should discuss this information with your attorney once you find a chance to talk with him/her. The court will dismiss or drop your case if the evidence against you is due to police misconduct like unlawful searches, which is not an uncommon issue in most criminal charges.
However, in the meantime, you should cooperate with arresting officers and organize means for securing your freedom as soon as possible.
What to Expect During the Booking Process After an Arrest
The booking process takes place in the police station shortly after an arrest. During the booking process, you should expect the following steps or procedures:
i. Vital Information Recording
Some of the information the police will need to record during this stage of the criminal justice system includes:
- Your name
- The nature or severity of your alleged charge
- Your contact address
After recording the above information, the officer will require you to sit or stand for a series of mugshots. The purpose of these mugshots is to indicate relevant information about your height, skin color or complexity as at a specific date, and any other information that ties you to the alleged offense.
The arresting officer will also require an impression of your fingerprints (typically all your ten fingers). If the alleged offense in question has fingerprint evidence, the officer will compare them with your fingerprints to determine whether they match or not.
iv. Confiscation of Your Properties
Since you cannot enter jail with your personal property, like clothing, jewelry, belts, watches, or rings, the officer will confiscate or seize them. After seizing your clothing, the officers will provide you with a jail uniform to wear while in jail with other inmates. However, other personal properties you will receive once you secure your freedom by posting bail.
v. Full Body Search
Full-body searches can be invasive, but it is also a mandatory requirement before entering the detention hall or jail, even if your alleged charge does not involve illegal drugs or violence. The purpose of this intensive search is to ensure you don't have any weapon or illegal drug within your person.
vi. Health Check
A general health check is also necessary before entering the detention hall after an arrest to ensure you do not need immediate healthcare. Another reason for the health check or screening is to ensure you are not a threat to other inmates and officers’ health.
Lastly, the police will incarcerate you after going through all the above steps before your bail hearing or trial if you cannot post bail to obtain your deserved freedom as your alleged case continues.
Securing Your Freedom After an Arrest and Booking Procedure
Whether you will remain in police custody or not as your case continues will depend on what the court will decide during your first court appearance, known as the bail hearing/arraignment. At this initial court proceeding, which your attorney attends on your behalf, the presiding judge will:
- Read the charges or accusations against you
- Allow you to enter a plea
- Decide whether you should remain in jail/detention hall or not
When deciding your custody status, the judge's main concern is whether you will avail yourself during future court proceedings. In some cases, especially if your alleged case is non-violent, the judge may decide to grant an Own Recognizance (O.R.) release.
Obtaining your freedom through O.R will require you to sign a promise in writing to act as a surety that you will appear in court during your case hearing dates and adhere to the necessary conditions for the release.
When the judge grants you an O.R. release, you should take this option without hesitation because you don't have to pay any bail to obtain your freedom after an arrest. Unfortunately, if that is not possible, you will have to post bail if you want your freedom pending your case's trial.
Generally, bail refers to the specified total amount of money the court (with jurisdiction over your case) will require you to pay to obtain your freedom after an arrest for any alleged criminal offense before your case is determined. Posting bail acts as an assurance that you will show up in court during the upcoming hearings until your alleged case is over and not a pretrial fine or punishment.
To avoid discriminating against the poor who cannot afford the required bail amount to obtain their freedom, the court can allow you to secure bail using non-monetary means like your property. When determining your eligibility to post bail and the required bail amount for your specific alleged case, the judge will consider the factors below:
- Your community involvement or ties
- Your criminal record/history
- The severity of the accusations against you
- Your time of stay in the residence
- Your financial resources or capability
- Your history involving drug use or related crimes
- Your mental and physical condition
- Your likelihood of fleeing the area after release
If the court considers you a risk to the safety and wellness of people in your community and the whole public at large, you might have to stay in custody without bail. During the bail hearing, you will rely on your defense attorney to convince the judge you deserve the minimum bail for your alleged charge to stay out of jail or the detention hall as your case continues.
How a Bail Bond Agent/Company Can Help You Stay Out of Custody in Arlington
While it is possible to secure your freedom using cash bail, paying the set amount is a financial burden to most people. If it is impossible to post your bail using cash or property to secure your freedom, then you should seek the services of a licensed bail bond agent or company.
To commence the bail bond process, you can request a friend to call a credible bail bond agent within your location if you cannot do it yourself. An experienced bail bond company or agent can secure your freedom within a few hours after the arrest and booking process.
A bail bond company or agent will secure your freedom by posting the required bail on your behalf after collecting a fee of 10 to 20% (non-refundable) of your total bail money from you or your friends. In return, the bail bond agent will pledge to settle the outstanding amount to the court if you fail to show up on your case’s hearings as required.
Apart from the non-refundable 10 to 20% bail bond fee, you will also be accountable for any other expense the bail bond agent will incur during your bail process, for example, administrative costs and travel expenses.
In addition to the above necessary fee, the bail bond agent you or your friend will choose to hire on your behalf will also require collateral to act as security if you refuse to appear in court for your alleged case hearings. Depending on your alleged case's total bail amount, the collateral you will provide might be significant, for example, a vehicle, real estate, or your house.
How the Bail Bond Agent Will Ensure Your Appearance in Court After Securing Your Release
As mentioned above, after posting the total required bail and obtaining the freedom you need, the judge will hold the bail bond agent responsible for your future court appearances. To ensure you are available for your future court appearances, the bail bond agent will require you to make regular check-in by phone.
In some extreme cases, your bail bond agent or company may require you to be under supervision until your case is over. When you fail or refuse to show up in court for the alleged case's hearings, the judge will issue a bench warrant, authorizing law enforcement officers to arrest you as soon as possible.
Even if the alleged charge is minor, you should avail yourself during any of your case's hearings to avoid additional penalties and fines. Apart from these additional penalties, the court will also forfeit your bail money or property.
In exchange for the bail amount forfeited to the court, the bail bond agent/company will seize your collateral or hire a professional bounty hunter to trace and apprehend you to pay its money back. Furthermore, the amount of bail you will have to pay for any subsequent court proceeding will increase significantly due to your past failure to show up in your case's hearings.
To avoid all these negative consequences after securing your freedom through a bail bond, you should comply with every court order and requirement until your alleged case is over. Once you satisfy or comply with court orders after posting bail, you will receive your property or money back at the end of your case.
Common Mistakes to Avoid After Posting Your Bail
Going back to jail to spend time with other inmates until your case's trial date is probably something you would not want after posting bail. To protect your freedom and avoid unnecessary complications once you are out of police custody on bail, you should avoid the following common mistakes:
Hanging Out With People Who Can Make You Violate Your Bail Restrictions/Conditions
Your bail will come with particular restrictions and conditions, which you must comply with as your case continues. Some of these restrictions are about using unlawful drugs and drinking alcohol. To avoid violating these restrictions, you should avoid hanging out or staying close to people who can tempt or pressure you to become involved in these activities.
Misunderstanding Your Restrictions/Conditions
Once you come out of the detention hall on bail, you should take ample time to review your bail conditions and restrictions with your attorney or bail bond agent to understand your requirements before your case's final judgment.
When you violate your bail restrictions once you are out of custody, the court with jurisdiction over your alleged case will not understand your mistakes or errors. Talking with your bail bond agent or attorney can be helpful in a situation where you are not sure about what to do and what not to do while out on bail.
Leaving Your Area of Residence Without Permission
Most defendants who are out on bail must adhere to particular movement restrictions that prevent them from leaving their geographical radius of residence. While sometimes it might be tempting to leave your geographical area of residence without attracting the court's attention, doing so could be risky because the court will consider you a "flight risk" when the police catch up with you.
If you are a "flight risk," the court will order a rearrest and revoke your bail. That means you will not be eligible to post bail again to secure your freedom until your case trial or judgment.
Court and Jail Locations in Arlington, Tarrant County
Arlington Police Department Jail
620 W Division,
St Arlington TX 76011
Tarrant County Corrections
651 Justice Ln
Mansfield, TX 76063
Arlington Municipal Court
101 S. Mesquite St
Arlington TX 76010
Find a Bail Bond Agent Near Me
We invite you to call 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds at 800-930-8999 if you or a family member is in custody for an alleged criminal charge. We understand how bail bonds work in Arlington, Tarrant County, and will strive our best to ensure you or your close friend is out of the detention hall as soon as possible to continue with his/her life or obligations.