Jail Release and Criminal Process

What is Jail Release?

The jailing process begins with either a warrant or an on site arrest. A warrant is the result of a criminal charge from some previous time. An on site arrest is the result of on officer observing criminal behavior presently. Once taken to jail, a bond will need to be put in place in order to obtain a jail release. With a warrant, there is a good chance that a bond has already been put in place. For on site arrests most Texas county’s inmates will need to wait until morning when the magistrate judge has court. 

What is an Arrest Warrant?

A warrant is issued usually after some sort of investigation resulting in a judge signing an arrest warrant. The arrest warrant sits around until it gets served on a person. This can take place by the police coming to search for the person, or the person is stopped for a traffic violation at which point a person is placed under arrest and taken to jail.  

What is a Waiver of Magistrate?

In county jails such as the Williamson County Jail, most people arrested on site for an offense will need to wait until the next morning to be magistrated and given a bond amount. For the inmates who have a bond set earlier, they can use an attorney to do a Waiver of Magistration. This signed form waives magistration and sets a bond amount earlier. See image below.

Waiver of Magistrate

How Much is Bail?

Bail increases with relation to the degree of crime committed. It is higher in a situation where a risk of fleeing might be present. A flight risk to avoid facing charges in criminal court can make bond restrictions complicated. Bondman usually charge 10% of what the bond is to become a surety. If cash is paid for the whole bond amount, then a bondsman will not be necessary. The cash bond paid to the jail will be returned upon the completion of the criminal case. 

What is Bail Jumping?

Penal Ch. Sect. 38.10 Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear

A person lawfully released from custody with or without bail on condition that he subsequently appear intentionally or knowingly fails to appear in accordance with the terms of his release.

Punishment for Bail Jumping is a 3d degree felony if the offence for which the actor’s appearance was required is classified as a felony. Class A misdemeanor if the appearance was for a Class A or B misdemeanor. It is a Class C misdemeanor if appearance was for a fine only offense. 

What is a Personal Bond?

According to the Travis County Sheriff’s website, “in the Travis County Jail for instance, there are personal bonds often. A Personal Bond is a sworn agreement by the defendant that he/she will return to court as ordered and will comply with the conditions placed on his/her release. No money is required at the time of release.”

The site further states, “To post a personal bond, individual defendants cannot post a personal bond themselves. Only Pretrial Services or an attorney may submit a request for release on personal bond to a judge. Only a judge can approve release on a personal bond.” As an Austin criminal attorney who handles cases in Travis County as well as that I am a Williamson County Criminal Lawyer.  You can reach me at https://erictorberson.com