Understanding the Conditions of Bail/Bond
Bail/bond is money a defendant must pay to get released from custody while their case is still making its way through the criminal justice system. Though the terms both have the same effect, they technically mean different things and are often confused or used interchangeably. “Bail” is the amount of money the defendant must pay the court to secure his release. A bond is bail money paid by a bonding company, or a surety, on the defendant’s behalf. Bonds are most common in the criminal justice system. Typically, the defendant secures a loan for the bail amount with collateral and typically, must pay 10 percent of the bail amount to the bonding company.
Defendants who are bailed out or bonded out of jail will be subject to certain bond conditions. You must comply with the conditions set by the court and also, any conditions agreed upon with the bonding company. Failure to do so could result in the bonding company or the court forfeiting your bond and issuing a warrant for your arrest. Here, our top-rated Galveston, TX criminal defense attorney explains the most important things you need to know about bond conditions in Texas.
A Judge Will Sign an Order Setting Conditions of Bond/Release
To be released on bail/bond, a Texas judge must first sign an Order Setting Conditions of Bond/Release. Essentially, this court order allows a defendant to be let out of custody and it also imposes specific conditions on their release. Whatever conditions a judge includes in the order must be followed until the case is fully resolved. Should a defendant violate the conditions of their release, their bail/bond may be revoked.
What Can Be Included in Bail/Bond Conditions?
The conditions of bail vary based on each individual’s case. Under Texas law (Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 17.01), judges have the legal authority to put into place any conditions that are deemed to be reasonable to protect the safety of the victim and the community as a whole. In most cases, one of the fundamental conditions of bail/bond is contact restriction. Defendants are frequently required to stay away from the alleged victim(s) of the crime. Other examples of common conditions put into place in Texas include:
- Requirements to attend all court hearings;
- Location restrictions and curfews;
- Regular reporting to law enforcement;
- Avoid using any illegal drugs;
- Avoid consuming alcohol
- Surrender of firearms; and
- Surrender of passport.
To be clear, the court can also put many other conditions in place — assuming those conditions are deemed to be reasonable and/or necessary to protect the health and safety of the victim and the community.
Bail/Bond Conditions Can Be Challenged and Revised
In Texas, the conditions of bail/bond are not permanent. They can be challenged by the prosecution and, if warranted by new evidence or new developments, the conditions can also be revised. In some cases, the state fights hard to get the most stringent possible conditions put into place, potentially even trying to get bail/bond denied. The court has a duty to come to a balanced decision, respecting the interests of all parties. Fortunately, your defense attorney can also challenge bond conditions put into place and potentially get certain conditions removed or modified. Our Texas criminal defense lawyer can help you seek bail/bond with reasonable conditions, which allow you to live your life while you are waiting for your day in court.
Consult with Our Galveston, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
Mark A. Diaz is an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. If you have any questions or concerns about the conditions of bail/bond, we are here to help. To arrange a free initial consultation, please contact us today. With our law office in Galveston, we represent defendants throughout the region.