Personal Bond in Texas

First of all “Bail” is security given by an accused to appear in the proper court because of an allegation. Bail includes a bail bond or a personal bond. The purpose is to secure the presence of an accused in trial for an accusation against him or her.

What is a Personal Bond?

A personal bond, sometimes known as a PR Bond, is where a magistrate releases an arrested person on personal bond without a surety or other security.

A surety is a set amount of money that a person must post in order to be released from jail. The full amount can be posted or a percentage paid to a bail bondsman. The good thing about a personal bond is that the arrested person can save the money for something else. Surety money is returned after the case is concluded. But money paid to a bondsman, usually around 10 percent, is a fee that the bondsman keep for providing their services.

How Does a Personal Recognizance Bond Work?

A personal bond in Texas can be given by any magistrate. There are a few exceptions where the court before whom the case is pending may only release the defendant on a personal bond. Those exceptions are listed below:

  • Capital Murder
  • Aggravated Kidnapping
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Deadly Assault on Law Enforcement or Corrections Officer
  • Injury to a Child, Elderly, or Disabled
  • Aggravated Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity
  • Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
  • Continuous Trafficking of Persons
  • Ch 481 and 485 Health and Safety Code Drug Cases with over minimum sentences of a first degree felony (5 years).

Refusal to submit for testing ordered by the magistrate for alcohol or drug abuse can revoke a personal bond.

What is Required for a Personal Bond?

The defendants:

  • Name
  • DOB
  • Place of birth
  • Address
  • Place of employment
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Drivers license and state
  • Nearest relative name and address if any
  • Oath signed by defendant:

“I swear that I will appear before (the court or magistrate) at (address) Texas, on the (date), at the hour of (time) or upon notice by the court, or pay to the court the principal sum of (amount) plus all necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in any arrest for failure to appear.”

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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.