How Much is Bail for DWI in Texas?

Bail for DWI in Texas depends on the level of the offense just like any other charge. Typically a Class B DWI first charge is about $2,000 surety bond. This means that $2,000 case will be needed to bond out of jail. A bondsman typically charges 10% of the bond amount to sign on as the surety for the bond.

So for a defendant $200 would be paid to the bondsman to bond out. This will a non-refundable $200 fee. If a person has $2000 cash it can be paid to the jail to bond out. It will refunded once the arrestee’s case is resolved.

NCDD Badge

DWI charges in Texas can be from Class B misdemeanors all the way up to 1st degree felonies. Each level of offense will increase the bond amount. A Class A misdemeanor will be be about $4,000 depending on the county. A state jail felony such as DWI with passenger under 15 years of age might be around $6,000 or $8,000.

The magistrate will look at specific facts of the arrest but usually the bond amount is determined by the level of the offense and a standard bond amount listed on a sheet in the magistrate office.

If a person is not a local or nearby resident the bondsman will sometimes charge more than 10%. The bondsman is at risk of a person not showing up for court. They will want to be protected from being sued for the bond amount if the arrestee no-shows to court. This is called a failure to appear for court. A bond revocation will occur in court bond forfeiture issued with a warrant. A lawsuit usually follows where the county will sue to get the bond amount that the magistrate originally determined.

What is a Personal Bond?

A magistrate “may, in the magistrate’s discretion, release the defendant on personal bond without sureties or other security.” This is nice for the accused and will save the person money if otherwise a surety was needed. An out of county magistrate may allow a personal bond except for certain violent offenses listed in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 17.

(A) Section 19.03 (Capital Murder);

(B) Section 20.04 (Aggravated Kidnapping);

(C) Section 22.021 (Aggravated Sexual Assault);

(D) Section 22.03 (Deadly Assault on Law Enforcement or Corrections Officer, Member or Employee of Board of Pardons and Paroles, or Court Participant);

(E) Section 22.04 (Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual);

(F) Section 29.03 (Aggravated Robbery);

(G) Section 30.02 (Burglary);

(H) Section 71.02 (Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity);

(I) Section 21.02 (Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children); or

(J) Section 20A.03 (Continuous Trafficking of Persons);

Those particular offenses would require the court where the case is pending to allow a Personal Bond.

For more information visit our homepage at

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.