Being arrested and getting charged with a crime is a terrible experience. Those who are arrested, along with their family members, often don’t know where to turn or what to do next. The amount of cash bail set for the defendant’s pre-trial release might be too high for them or their family to raise quickly. Typically, you’ll want to consider bail bonds in Dallas, Texas to help get loved ones out of jail fast. Of course, you might not have the first idea of how bail bonds work. Below, we’ll lay out what you need to know about Dallas bail bonds.
Understanding the Basics of the Bail Process
The bail process and bail bonds in Dallas, Texas aren’t too difficult to understand, fortunately.
First, when a person is arrested and booked, they are given options for being released pending their trial date. One of those options is paying bail, – money paid to the court as security for the temporary release of someone who is awaiting trial. You can have this money returned to you if you show up for your trial; but if you fail to show up, you lose it. It can be difficult to find this money, so if that was the only option some people would sit in jail until their trial date. That’s why some people look to bail bonds. Bail and bond are two separate things, even though they sometimes get conflated. A bond is the “confirmed insurance” that a set bail amount will be paid to the court by a bail agent if the defendant forfeits their bail for any reason, such as failing to appear.
The bail bonds company isn’t going to pay the full bail amount that the court sets. That would be far too much. The arrestee will pay their bail bond agents a fee for the service. This will generally amount to 10% to 15% of the total bail amount that the court determines.
For example, if the bail amount is $20,000 and the bail bond agent requires 10%, then the defendant would pay a $2,000 fee to their bail bond agent. The agents offering bail bonds in Dallas, Texas charge a fee because of the risk they take when they help people to get out of jail fast.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is a fee for the bail agents. It’s not a part of the bail. So even though it is a smaller than the full bail amount, it is a one-time payment and it is non-refundable.
What Causes Differences in the Bail Amount?
One of the questions that people often have regarding bail is the cost. Why is the cost often different in different counties for the same crimes? Why are there different bail amounts for different crimes or individuals?
It is due to something called the bail schedule. This is a list of bail amount recommendations for different types of charges. Naturally, bail for a felony charge is going to be substantially more than a misdemeanor in most cases.
Does the Bail Process Work Differently in Different Locations?
You will find that the basics of the process tend to be the same whether you are in one of the largest cities in Texas like Dallas, or you are in a smaller location. However, there can be differences based on circumstances and locations, but this mainly involves the bail schedules, as mentioned above.
Overall, the Dallas County bail bond process will be similar to what you will find in Denton County, Collin County, or Tarrant County (Fort Worth). Of course, when you need to get your loved one out of any county jail, it’s a good idea to talk with a bail bondsman.
What to Look for in an Agency for Bail Bonds in Dallas, Texas
One of the first things you will want to do is make sure the bail bond agents have been in business for a while and that they have a good reputation. It’s also a good idea to look for a Dallas County bail bond company that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You never know when you or a loved one might need their services, so you want someone you can count on all the time.