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Are Violent Crimes More Likely to Have High Bail Amounts?

A gavel, podium and handcuffs

Learn About Violent Crime Bail

Anywhere in this country, crime isn’t taken lightly, and here in Texas, violent crimes are a high priority for law enforcement. The purpose of establishing a high cost for violent crime bail bonds, is to make it visible that “crime doesn’t pay”, but instead cost. The cost can be considered financially and physically with time in jail. 

What is considered a violent crime in Texas?

A violent crime is a serious offense in The Lone Star State and involves a direct confrontation between an alleged offender and a victim. Violent crime bail bonds may be approved by a judge for any of the following arrests: 

  • Aggravated assault: When one person attacks another person while displaying or using a weapon or engaging in physical contact that resulted in severe bodily injury including broken bones, internal injuries, and/or loss of consciousness.
  • Robbery: This crime may be granted violent crime bail bonds would include a person attempting or actually taking another person’s property while in their possession. Using force or violent action can cause the victim to feel they could be harmed or worse. 
  • Sexual assault: Typically referred to as rape, a judge may or may not allow any posting of violent crime bail bonds. This offense includes the penetration by one person to another in the anus, vagina, or mouth by using body parts or other objects without consent.
  • Murder: This is considered to be the most violent of all crimes and is less likely to be granted the opportunity to post violent crime bail bonds, especially if another crime was being committed at the same time.

How much is a bond for a felony in Texas?

The cost of posting violent crime bail bonds is usually 10% of the bail amount the judge has set. In some cases, depending on the seriousness of the crime, the bail bond agent could require 20% of the bail amount to post violent crime bail bonds. A partial list of felony degrees and their bail amount is as follows:

  • State Jail Felony is an offense like an arrest for a DWI or DUI with a child passenger; the theft of property with a value between $2,500 to $30,000;  check forgery. 
  • Third-Degree Felony is an offense like indecent exposure with a child, stalking, a 3rd DWI offense, intoxication assault, or being accused of deadly conduct with a firearm.
  • Second Degree Felony is an offense that includes aggravated assault, intoxication manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, or possession of marijuana between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds.
  • First Degree Felony is an offense that can include aggravated robbery, attempted murder, sexual assault against a child, or arson of a residential building resulting in death. 

How much is the bond for manslaughter in Texas?

In Texas, for a person to be charged with manslaughter, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the death that occurred was caused by the recklessness of the accused. The law does not require that intent was considered by the accused as it does with murder charges. 

For manslaughter or murder, the reigning judge has the right to automatically decline the possibility of posting violent crime bail bonds. 

What is the most common felony charge in Texas?

On the top of felony charge lists in Texas, drug-related offenses are the most common. This includes certain drugs being illegal to manufacture, distribute, sell, possess, or use such as the following: 

  • Controlled Prescription Drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Fentanyl 
  • Any synthetic opioids
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines

How long do you stay in jail if you can’t make bail in Texas?

If a person arrested on any crime in Texas can’t make bail, including violent crime bail bonds, they will remain in custody until their court date. Whether they are released will depend on the judge and/or jury’s finding during the court appearance. 

There is the possibility of being released on their own recognizance. This will be a judge’s decision using facts like the arrested person’s standing in the community, their employment and financial security, family life, previous criminal history, and most importantly, the type of crime they were arrested for and the surrounding circumstances.  

How long do violent crime arrests stay on a person’s record?

Any type of conviction, misdemeanor, or felony will remain on a person’s history forever unless expunging the record is granted by the judge. However, the ‘arrest’ will stay on the record, visible only by law enforcement agencies, but not seen by any background check by an employer or landlord. 

In Conclusion

Any time a person is arrested, it is in their best interest to hire a defense attorney. The attorney can guide them through the legal process, including posting violent crime bail bonds and the following process of court dates and pleads. An experienced defense attorney will have the knowledge that can have the charges lowered or even dropped. 

For assistance with violent crimes bail in Austin, TX, turn to ATX Bail Bonds. You can reach us at 512.834.2245 today!

When Would You Need a White Collar Crime Bond?

Man with suit in handcuffs

Types of White Collar Crimes

A white-collar crime bond would be needed by somebody arrested for a white-collar crime, a nonviolent crime. A non-violent crime is characterized by concealing or deceiving other persons or a business in matters to benefit,

  • Corporate Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Money Laundering 
  • Securities Fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Bankruptcy fraud
  • Forgery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Bribery
  • Money Laundering
  • ID Theft

White-collar crime is an umbrella term for non-violent crimes, typically committed by a professional, a public official, or anyone that can have financial gain by committing the crime. 

What is a White Collar Crime Bond? 

The white-collar crime bond is a guarantee paid by a family member, friend, employer, lawyer, or the accused that guarantees they will comply with the laws, regulations, and terms that are set forth by the arraigning judge. It is a financial bond that guarantees the accused will appear before the court as ordered.

How does a White Collar Crime Bond work? 

Like the blue-collar crime type of bail bond, a white-collar crime bond is posted by the accused so they can be released from jail until their court date. If a person violates any of the laws, regulations, and terms set forth by the judge, the white-collar crime bond will be revoked and the accused will be returned to jail.

Who is required to obtain a White Collar Crime Bond? 

White-collar crime bonds are posted for people who are typically arrested for financial-based crimes. These crimes are committed by people with a high level of socioeconomic status, or in a position with access to the finances of a company or organization. This includes people in the following positions: 

  • Bankers
  • Money Managers 
  • Government Officials
  • Accountants
  • Computer Specialists

 Who is responsible for obtaining the White Collar Crime Bond? 

The accused can post their white-collar crime bond if they have access at the time to the funds. Since an arrest is usually unexpected, just like a blue-collar crime arrest, the accused will need to use their one phone call to contact a family member, a friend, or their lawyer. That person will in turn contact a bail bondsman and apply for a white-collar crime bond. 

 How much does a White Collar Crime Bond cost? 

The cost of a White Collar Crime Bond is typically 10% of the bond set by the arraigning judge. Judges are provided a guideline for what they can set the bond at based on the type of white-collar crime committed. The judge will take additional consideration of the accused criminal history, employment status, the evidence supporting the arrest, and standing in the community. 

How long does a White Collar Crime Bond last? 

White Collar Crime Bonds are good until the accused’s assigned court date or if they break any of the laws or the regulations and terms set by the arraigning judge. Typically a white-collar crime bond will expire 5 years from the date it is obtained. There are white-collar crime bonds that have an extended expiration, such as capital offenses, but the white-collar crime bond doesn’t expire. Other white-collar crime bonds expire as follows: 

  • Fraud against a financial institution: White collar crime bond expires in ten years. 
  • Other bank-related crimes: White collar crime bond expires in 10 years. 
  • Immigration violation: White collar crime bond expires in 10 years. 
  • Major fraud against the United States: White collar crime bond expires in 7 years. 
  • Securities fraud: White collar crime bond expires in 6 years.
  • Tax offenses: White collar crime bond expires in 3 years to 6 years with a possible 9 months added for formal proceedings to be prepared.

What are the risks associated with a White Collar Crime Bond? 

While white-collar crimes don’t cause physical pain initially, they impact the economy which can cause employee endangerment by making working conditions unsafe. White-collar crimes can cause injury to consumers from dangerous products or services, and they can cause pollution. These are just some examples of the ramifications of the crimes that cause the need for white-collar crime bonds. 

A white-collar crime can cause a business to shut down, then there is a loss of jobs for the employees, and the vendors that sell to these companies lose out on being paid for past business and loss of future business. That can have a ripple effect that causes those vendor companies to have to lay off staff or even go out of business, and the ripple effect continues onward. 

To Conclude

Whether a person is arrested for a blue-collar crime or a white-collar crime, bonds are the first step in possibly being released from jail until their court date. Even a person accused of a white-collar crime, the person may be denied a white-collar crime bond if the court feels the person is a flight risk. If you would like help with a white-collar crime bond in Austin, TX, you can give us a call at 512.834.2245.

How Much is a Violent Crimes Bail?

close-up of a man holding a knife

Facing Charges

Crime is never a good thing, but when it comes to violent crime, it can be even more traumatic with ongoing repercussions for everyone involved. Violent crime can have repercussions trickle down and out for others too. This is why in the state of Texas, the law has implemented violent crime bail at higher amounts than other types of crime. 

What counts as a violent crime?

The state of Texas considers the following crimes to be a violent crime, bail to be set by the judge according to the preset guidelines: 

  • Murder
  • Forcible rape
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Property crimes, included in this category are: 
    • Burglary
    • larceny-theft
    • motor vehicle theft.

What are examples of violent crimes?

Most violent crimes have involved the use of force or some form of violence. However, an arrest that requires violent crime bail being posted can be one that involved a “threat” of violence, such as assault. It can all depend on the surrounding facts and the situation of the arrest, but it doesn’t have to involve physical actions. Examples of violent crimes are: 

  • A simple assault charge is a misdemeanor, but can be upgraded to a battery charge, meaning there was physical contact between the accused and the victim, which becomes a felony with the arrest charges possibly facing violent crime bail to be posted. 
  • Rape or any sexual assault is categorized as a violent crime, bail will be determined by the judge based on several factors. 
  • A sex crime against a child is a violent crime, bail may not be an option set by the judge. 
  • Robbery with the threat of a weapon involved is a violent crime, bail will be determined on the accused’s criminal history and other factors. If the judge grants a violent crime bail, the amount will depend on the type of weapon used during the robbery. 
  • Carjacking while using a weapon is a violent crime, bail could be based on a felony charge that includes auto theft. 
  • Homicide is the most serious type of violent crime, bail can often be denied based on several circumstances and factors. 

Can you get arrested for a violent crime?

In Texas, a violent crime typically is a crime that involves an alleged victim suffering or having been threatened with injury or death. A person exhibiting these acts and threats will be arrested and face charges classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on certain factors. 

Can you get a bail bond for a violent crime? 

The factors considered that will determine if the judge allows violent crime bail will include any or all the following: 

  • The offender’s criminal history 
  • The nature of the injuries sustained by the victim
  • If a deadly weapon or firearm was used during the offense

How much does a violent crime bail cost?

The amount of a violent crime bail will be based on the same factors that Judge will use to determine if bail is going to be permitted. A First-Degree Felony will have a hefty bail issue due to the severe nature of the crimes. This can include attempted murder, sexual assault, aggravated robbery, or arson of a residential building that resulted in death. The bail amount could range from $5,000 up to $100,000. 

The amount to get a violent crime bail bond will depend on the bail bond agent/agency. Typically bail bonds are 10% of the bail amount, but a violent crime bail could be as much as 20% of the amount.  Some of the same factors the judge used are used for setting this amount too, as well as a credit history check. 

How do violent crimes bail work?

The key purpose of a judge setting violent crime bail is to guarantee the defendant will be present for court dates and still have the freedom to maintain their daily life activities until then. The violent crime bail is commonly a significant sum.

More times than not, this amount is unobtainable for many defendants. This directs them to use the services of a bail bond agent. That agent will post the bail for the defendant, charging a fee, customarily 10%. Once a bond is posted there are no refunds or returns.

What is the punishment for a violent crime?

A violent crime that is charged as a misdemeanor or felony will typically be punished with incarceration. The length of incarceration will depend on the crime committed and surrounding circumstances. In some cases, the defendant may be sentenced to life in prison. 

How long can you go to jail for a violent crime?

For a violent crime, bail will be set if the charges are filed as a capital felony and result in the death penalty. A first-degree felony can be punished with life in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. A second-degree felony can be sentenced to a maximum of 20-years of prison time and a maximum fine of $10,000.

close-up of a judge's gavel on a pile of money

Are There Other Possibilities? 

Once you are arrested and charged with a violent crime, bail is posted and a court trial has been completed, are there any other possibilities? Perhaps, can violent crime charges be dropped? In Texas, the only person that can file for a violent crime charge to be dropped is the prosecutor. 

What is the punishment for domestic violence in the US?

man yelling at a woman

What is domestic violence?

Across the country, domestic violence is a serious crime. And the legal system is getting tougher on those arrested for this crime, starting with higher domestic violence bail amounts and restrictions on the accused to be released.  

Domestic violence, sometimes referred to as “domestic abuse” or “intimate partner violence”, is defined as a behavior pattern in any relationship for one person to gain or maintain control and power over a spouse or intimate partner. Domestic violence is not just physical, it can be economical, emotional, psychological, as well as physical and sexual actions. Threating abusive actions to influence another person is considered domestic violence. 

A person arrested for any of the behaviors we described, including frightening, intimidating, terrorizing, another person of intimate relations will be faced with posting domestic violence bail. Any person that humiliates, hurts, injures, or manipulates a person they are in a relationship can be charged and arrested with domestic violence. 

Domestic violence isn’t within certain age range to against one gender or sexual orientation, race, or religion. Both sides of domestic violence situation can be of any age, race, or sex, married, dating, or living together. People from all educational level or socioeconomic background can be a victim or accused of the act, then awaiting domestic violence bail to be posted.          

Is domestic violence considered assault?

In the State of Texas, there are four types of domestic violence crimes recognized where domestic violence bail may be required to be released from jail:  

  • Domestic Assault
  • Aggravated Domestic Assault
  • Domestic Assault Impeding Breath
  • Continuous violence against family

Any person that commits an act of domestic or family violence in the state of Texas could be charged on domestic violence. If domestic violence bail is allowed by the judge, these charges will be met with serious criminal penalties that can include imprisonment, large fines, and firearm possession restrictions.

Can domestic violence be a felony?

In the past, many domestic violence charges were dropped here in Texas, but the criminal justice has been reformed, and a repeat domestic violence offender could be facing felony charges and will may be denied felony domestic violence bail based on their criminal history.

What are the stipulations that take this arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony?  Any person that has a previous conviction, is or has been on a probation for domestic violence, or has a deferred adjudication for domestic violence, can be charged with Assault Bodily Injury. This charge will be filed as a third-degree felony with punishment of minimum of 2 years and maximum 10 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $10,000.

How long do you go to jail for domestic violence?

Arguments and disagreements happen between couples and in families. From the daily stress, or extra stress, money issues, and more, these arguments and disagreements happen. Sometimes, they get out-of-hand and things go a little too far. The next thing you know, somebody is posting domestic violence bail for another person. 

The penalties for domestic violence charges will depend on several factors, as does the amount of domestic violence bail. Things that can affect these would be any serious bodily injury to the victim or the defendant’s previous criminal record. The following are possible sentences a defendant could face:

  • Class A misdemeanor domestic threat: Maximum one year in county jail and maximum $4,000 fine. 
  • 3rd Degree felony domestic assault: Minimum 2 years to maximum of 10 years of incarceration with a maximum $10,000 fine. 
  • 2nd Degree felony domestic assault:  Minimum 2 years to maximum of 20 years and maximum $10,000 fine. 
  • 1st Degree felony aggravated domestic assault: Minimum 5 years to maximum 99 years of incarceration and a maximum $10,000 fine. 

In addition, the defendant may be required to pay restitution to the victim, attend counseling on domestic violence and/or substance abuse, lose their 2nd Amendment right to own or possess any firearm. 

In addition to the financial strain that paying a domestic violence bail can cause, other repercussions a felony conviction can result in is loss of job and difficulties obtaining gainful employment, rental or ownership of housing is challenging, or certain government benefits can be denied. A domestic violence conviction can damage a marriage and relationship with children and other family members. 

How much is bail for domestic violence? 

A misdemeanor domestic violence bail in Texas typically has a relatively low amount, averages around $500. A felony domestic violence bail can be as high as $50,000, more if there is any injury results. 

Does it matter where a domestic violence case can be filed? There are different factors to be considered in a domestic violence charge and domestic violence bail bonds, there is not rubber stamp answer to any of the questions. A victim of domestic violence should contact the closest law enforcement agency to report the crime and file charges. What court it goes to will depend on the many different factors. 

scared woman being attacked by a man

In Conclusion

Not all domestic violence charges are viable, but it is on the accused to prove them wrong and have the charges dropped. To find out how to get charges dropped for domestic violence, contacting a defense attorney is the first step.  

If you’re not able to hire an attorney, the state of Texas offers many different domestic violence resources for victims and the accused. These resources will provide information on pro bono attorney services and what is needed to have domestic violence charges dismissed or dropped. 

How do I find a reputable lawyer?

gavel sitting on top of a book on a desk

Getting Legal Help 

There are times in life when you can ‘make do’ with hiring a person to take care of a job, like mowing the lawn. Maybe they don’t do the job as exact and precise as you do, but it will ‘make do’ for now. Then there are those times you need the best of the best possible, like with legal issues. When your career and life are on the line, you need to find an attorney that will do the best job possible for your situation. 

How do you find a good attorney though? There are so many questions when it comes to this aspect, and with that in mind, we offer answers to the following questions. It is our intention to help you if this time arises in your life. Because regardless of what type of legal situation you find yourself in, from being arrested to being sued or needing to file a lawsuit, you want to find an attorney that is experienced and skilled in that specific arena. 

Do I need a lawyer?

First, knowing when to find an attorney is important. Some situations where it is recommended that you find an attorney for representation would be when injured in a car accident or at work, establishing or receiving a will and trust, starting a business, and bankruptcy.  Other examples of when you should find an attorney and why would be: 

A Divorce

If the divorce and all that is entailed in a divorce are mutually agreed upon, no need to hire an attorney. However, if there are disputes about how to handle various things, then in your best interest, finding an attorney is recommended. The issues that could create the need to find an attorney are the division and rights to the following to: 

  • Child custody 
  • Debts
  • Investments
  • Property
  • Savings
  • Spousal support

Once the terms of a divorce are finalized, they become binding. If you desire any changes after that point, legal representation is going to be needed and it becomes more complicated. The more complicated a legal issue is, the more expensive it becomes. Taking the time to find an attorney up front can help avoid that from happening.

Discrimination or Wrongful Termination

These two scenarios can be a state and/or federal legal issue. Both sets of laws can be complicated and if you don’t fully understand those laws, you could find yourself without employment, income, and at a loss of rights. Find an attorney that specializes in this field for the best representation possible.

Lawsuits

A lawsuit against you can end up with a loss of money, property, or rights. You should find an attorney to represent you.  The same is to be said if you need to file a lawsuit, you could lose money, property, or rights without good representation. 

Criminal, Drug Charges, or DUI

DUI and drug charges are serious matters with consequences that can include fines, jail time, loss of license, or a combination of these things. Finding an attorney that is specialized in this area should be the first thing you do. Without good legal representation when you go to court, you could be given the maximum penalty. A good attorney can often get charges reduced or dismissed, the sentencing eased, and more.

What qualities make a good lawyer?

There are many factors and traits that make up a good lawyer, each client will have their own “thing”, as they find an attorney, but the most common traits that determine a good lawyer in this country are: 

  • Passion for the job at hand (defending and representing their client)
  • Compassion for their clients. 
  • Excellent communication skills and expectation of their team to have the same.
  • Ability and willingness to listen to their client.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the law as it applies to your case.
  • Ability to prepare and write clear, well-reasoned, and effective legal documents. 
  • Creativity and ability to think outside the box.
  • Good judgment for pursuing the client’s goals and when to accept a settlement.
  • A healthy skepticism in believing what they are told is the full story or not.
  • Perseverance in reaching a win for their client, at the very least, the best outcome possible.

Can I get a lawyer for free?

The United States Constitution guarantees any person facing criminal charges that have a possibility of imprisonment free legal representation by a public defender. Should the courts decide a defendant is “indigent”, they will be appointed a private attorney who will be paid from either county funds if a public defender isn’t available.  An application fee may be charged by the public defender programs. 

In a civil case, the right to find an attorney for free doesn’t exist, but there are programs like legal aid or pro bono programs. The defendant will need to meet certain requirements such as having an income less than 125 percent of the federal poverty. The disabled, the elderly, a victim of domestic violence, and military enlisted are sometimes eligible for this type of legal assistance. 

How can I get free legal advice?

With the internet, you can do plenty of free research for answers to your legal questions. You can find an attorney that offers a free chat line to answer certain questions up to a certain limit. The American Bar Association website offers free limited legal advice and answers. Each state has different options, and again, using the internet is the best tool to find an attorney that offers free advice. 

How do I check a lawyer’s credentials?

Every state has an agency that licenses and monitors lawyers within the state. You can find the contact information for the American Bar Association website for your specific state. It is there you can find an attorney’s bar number, license status, and what they are permitted to practice legally. Lawyers are licensed by a state agency in each state. That agency can help you to find out if a person has a law license and is permitted to practice in a particular state.         

How do you research a lawyer?

Again, we are fortunate to have the internet today.  The State bar association makes all records available for the public to view online. This enables us to research a lawyer before hiring them not only their current license status and practice but their percentage of wins and the results of those wins or losses. 

There is also word-of-mouth from family, friends, and co-workers. If you know of anyone that has faced a similar situation as you’re facing, ask for references. Whether they are good or bad references, getting the words right from a person that has experienced the same thing is always good to know. 

young female lawyer sitting at her desk beside a small statue of Justice

In Closing

What if you can’t find an attorney? In the State of Texas, a person that isn’t qualified for legal aid can find an attorney by contacting the Lawyer Referral Information Service.  This is a referral information service and for a $20 fee, they will provide a 30-minute consultation with an attorney.  for $20. At the conclusion of the consultation, a discussion between the attorney and the individual may be over the attorney providing representation at what price structure.

How much is bail for a DWI in Texas?

bottle of alcohol on a car seat

Understanding Your Charges

What is a DWI in Texas? A DWI in Texas is consuming any alcohol or drug while operating a motor vehicle. The state of Texas uses the DWI (driving while intoxicated) as the official term where other states use DUI (driving under the influence). The two terms are used interchangeably when referencing whether an individual was drugged or drunk when the judge hands down a DWI bond.

What is the difference between DUI and DWI in Texas?

As we stated earlier, in the state of Texas, a DUI and a DWI are considered the same with DWI being the official charge. It is of the state’s opinion that when any person commits a DWI, they lack the mental or physical faculties to operate a motorized vehicle safely in public. A DWI bond will be required to get any person 21 years of age and older out of jail if they have been arrested for a DWI. The legal limit for 21 years of age and older is .08 blood or breath alcohol concentration, or impairment by drugs.

Under Texas law, however, any person under 21 years of that is pulled over and found to have alcohol in their system will be charged a “DUI” or “DUIA” (Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol). This is the only time a DWI bond is set and referred to as a DUI in Texas.

Is a DWI a felony or misdemeanor in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI is charged as a felony when the arrested has three or more prior DWI offenses. It is referred to as the ‘three and out’ law, though there are conditions where a 1st or 2nd DWI offense could be charged as a felony. 

Is jail time mandatory for a 1st DWI in Texas?

A first DWI offense in Texas could be granted probation after a DWI bond has been placed. You could also be sentenced up to three days in the county jail. Another possibility would be supervised community service. 

Can you drive after a DWI in Texas?

Fortunately, yes, in Texas any person that is convicted of DWI can recover their right to drive. They will be required to have a restricted ignition interlock device license. The license allows a person with a suspended Texas driver’s license to drive as long as the IID is installed. Installation of the IID is at the defendant’s expense. 

How long does a DWI stay on your record in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI is permanent unless you can have it expunged or sealed. The DWI will show up on any criminal background check for potential employers, landlords, a homeowner’s association, or other persons that require a background check. 

Can a DWI be dismissed in Texas?

In Texas, law enforcement officers are required to prove there was reasonable cause and suspicion to pull anyone over. If there is no proof that there were noticeable signs of a person drunk driving, and there wasn’t any other law broken, this could get a dismissal. Once you have paid the bail for your DWI bond, if you have not hired a lawyer, now is the time. 

First-time DWI offenders with no other criminal history can often have their charges lowered or dismissed. In either case, it is recommended to have a DWI defense attorney represent you in court. They will have the experience and knowledge to work the system to your advantage. 

How much does a DWI lawyer cost in Texas?

An experienced DWI defense lawyer can cost anywhere from $1,000 and up to $5,000 for a simple DWI case that doesn’t require a trial. If a trial is necessary, you expect the lawyer to cost as much as $10,000. A few different factors can affect these costs. 

1). Every DWI defense lawyer will employ a different fee structure which will affect the cost. For example, some lawyers charge by the hour and other DWI defense lawyers charge a flat rate. The hourly charge can fluctuate in cost depending how much time is spent on your case. With an hourly rate lawyer, any phone call, piece of mail opened or sent, any paperwork filed with the court will be a minimum one hour charge. 

2). A lawyer and his firms background and experience can be a factor in what the charge. The more established the lawyer or firm, the more they will cost. 

3). Each DWI case has different detail specific to the situation. These specific details can affect the cost of your DWI defense lawyer. 

4). A DWI case that goes to court will cost more than a DWI charge settled out of court. 

car keys next to a glass of alcohol and handcuffs

In Conclusion

With probation issued for a DWI charge, the judge will typically require the defendant to attend a DWI class. A first-time DWI offender may be required to attend a DWI class as well. This cost is out-of-pocket for the defendant. So, how much are DWI classes in Texas?

The general cost for DWI classes averages from $90 to $125. The defendant has 180 days to complete the class during the assigned probation period. If the class is not completed on time, the defendant’s driver’s license is suspended, and the probation could be revoked. Proof of extenuating circumstances must be proven to request an extension from the court.

How much is bail for a felony?

judge's gavel sitting on a pile of money

Bail for Felony Charges

Crime doesn’t pay, but commit a crime, and you will pay – a lot! Especially when you’ve been arrested on felony charges, as the bail for felony charges is often an exorbitant amount by most standards. So, how do you get bail on a felony charge?

In the State of Texas, there are several criminal offenses considered a felony, a serious crime, with an outcome on various levels of conviction. These different degrees of felony categories are all more severe than a non-felony charge with varying degrees of consequences. Those consequences can include different levels of bail for felony charges as follows: 

  • State Jail Felony: The crimes may include DWI with a child passenger, theft of property assessed between $2,500 and $30,000, or forgery by check. The bail for felony charges of these charges is typically between $500 and $1,500.
  • Third Degree Felony: The crimes included are deadly conduct with a firearm, indecent exposure to a child, intoxication assault, stalking, or third DWI. The bail for felony charges can range between $1,500 and $5,000.
  • Second Degree Felony: The crimes of this level can include aggravated assault, intoxication manslaughter, possession of marijuana of 50 to 2,000 pounds, or robbery. The bail for felony charges of this level ranges between $2,500 and $50,000.
  • First Degree Felony: The crimes of this level can include aggravated robbery, sexual assault against a child, robbery, arson of a residence resulting in death, or attempted murder. The bail for felony charges of this level can be from $5,000 and $100,000.
  • Capital Felony:  These crimes can involve premeditated murder, espionage, or treason with bail for felony charges up to $500,000 or more. Bail may be completely denied altogether.

Several other factors determining how bail for felonies works will be up to the judge starting with the bail for felony charges. Other factors determining the bail amount can include a previous conviction, if the defendant is currently on parole or probation, if they are a flight risk, or if the defendant could fail to appear in court for criminal proceedings. The judge may set certain conditions for bail like electronic monitoring or restrictions to stay within a geographical area.

What are examples of a felony?

As in all states, a felony is the most severe type of crime, and punishments are set accordingly. There are non-violent and violent felony crimes, and there are three degrees of felonies in the state of Texas as well as state felony. You may or may not be allowed bail for felony charges for the following:

First-degree felony: 

  • Aggravated robbery 
  • Arson causing death 
  • Attempted murder

Second-degree felony: 

  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated assault 
  • Robbery
  • Arson 

Third-degree felony:

  • Indecent exposure to a child
  • Tampering with evidence 
  • Deadly conduct with a firearm
  • Stalking 

Examples of state jail felony: 

  • Check forgery 
  • Theft of between $2,500 and $30,000
  • Child endangerment DWI 
  • Any criminal statute listed as a felony but to no specific degree.

What is the average sentence for a felony?

In Texas, a felony is the most serious of all criminal offenses. There are pre-determined sentencing guidelines for a judge to reference when determining the punishment. This range of punishment can be as short as 180 days jail time to life in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000. The guidelines are similar to the following: 

  • First-degree felony – Five to ninety-nine years/life imprisonment with fine up to $10,000
  • Second-degree felony – Two to twenty years with fine up to $10,000
  • Third-degree felony – Two to ten 10 years with fine up to $10,000
  • State jail felony – One hundred eighty days to two years with fine up to $10,000

How long does a felony stay on your record? 

Does a felony ruin your life? A felony conviction is considered serious enough that the charges become a permanent part of your record. Yes, it can damage your life. It can affect having a bank account and voting, you can no longer own or be in possession of a firearm, and employers and landlords have the right to refuse to rent to you or hire you. 

Additionally, the aftereffect of a felony conviction is huge to your family and friends. It can be a financial strain on a family, friends will see you differently, and your reputation is forever marred by a felony charge. 

Will companies hire someone with a felony?

It is the determination of the employer, but by law, they are not required to hire anyone with a felony conviction. Most employers choose not to hire anyone with a felony, but those that do will do so based on what the felony charges were and the position the person has applied to.

For example, with a felony for bank robbery, you won’t be hired in a position that handles money or financial books. An auto theft felony will make you undesired for a position driving vehicles and any felony charge regarding children will likely make you undesirable to any employer. 

Can you be denied housing because of a felony?

Yes – landlords can refuse to rent to a person with felony charges or convictions. The same is true with banks and mortgage companies, which are not required to loan money to any person with a felony charge or conviction. 

man's hands behind back in handcuffs

In Closing – Is bail jumping a felony?

This will depend on the original charge that lead to being arrested. Bail jumping from a misdemeanor arrest will be considered a misdemeanor. Felony bail jumping will be considered a felony charge. Both are processed accordingly in line with the guidelines set forth by the State of Texas. If you need any help with bail, you can count on ATX Bail Bonds to be there for you – call for information at 512.834.2245.

What crimes do sex offenders commit?

Man tugging at woman's shirt.

Understanding Sex Crimes and Perpetrators

Most crime is unacceptable, but perhaps the most disgusting are sex crimes. Any crime that affects another human being as a victim will stay with them emotionally and mentally for years – perhaps even for life. This is especially true of sex crimes of any level and type.

How are sex crimes definition explained? 

Sex crimes are defined as ‘when violence occurs during a sexual act’ and there is no proof the victim consented to the act. The category of sex crimes also includes sex acts performed with a person that is unable to consent to the act. Those sex crimes are often against children. 

Sex crimes are informally defined by Oxford Dictionary as, “crime involving sexual assault or having a sexual motive.” Additionally, the OED includes in its definition, “steps to control press reporting of rape and other sex crimes”. 

In view of these definitions, any person that is accused of and arrested for sex crimes, and victims of these acts, should seek the experience and services of an attorney. It is recommended that the attorney an individual works with will have experience in this matter. Every state will have different definitions when it comes to this type of crime, and there are federal guidelines that must be followed as well. 

What are sex crimes? 

While victims of sex crimes will have everlasting effects due to this violence, it should be noted it has an effect on the convicted individual, too. The State of Texas has a harsh penalty system for sex crimes. A person arrested for the act of sex crimes can anticipate the following legal system results: 

  • Potential prison time 
  • Steep fines
  • Required sex offender registration

On a personal level, whether convicted or not the things that can be impacted by this arrest include but are not limited to unsurmountable stress, loss of employment, loss of freedom, and the tarnishing of one’s reputation. 

Anyone arrested for sex crimes should seek the help of an attorney experienced in sex crimes defense. Even if found guilty, an experienced attorney can help an individual navigate the system to get the best possible sentencing. 

The Texas Penal codes provide the following as sex crimes examples: 

  • Child sex include continuous sex abuse, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, sex trafficking, statutory rape, child prostitution, sexting, and participating in sexual performance by a child, etc.
  • Online solicitation for sex with a minor
  • Possession and/or distribution of child pornography
  • Indecency by contact with a child 
  • Indecency by exposure with a child 
  • Indecent exposure
  • Improper relationship between student-teacher 
  • Invasive visual recording
  • Public lewdness
  • Voyeurism
  • Unlawful disclosure and/or promotion of intimate visual material
  • Prostitution and promotion of prostitution
  • Obscenity
  • Rape and sexual assault

In the State of Texas, the majority of sex crimes are categorized as felonies. The penalties if convicted can be filed as first degree, second degree, and can carry the punishment of state prison time, fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Do note that every case will be handled differently, which is why it is imperative to hire a sex crimes lawyer with experience in defending charges of sex crimes. 

Are all sex crimes violent?

Sadly, not all sex crimes are reported, and as a result, these constitute just a small fraction of crimes to be categorized in this country as violent crime. In 2005, a survey of crime victims, rape, and sexual assault accounted for less than 4 percent of the violent crimes against individuals 12 years old and older. 

Why are sex crimes underreported?

One of the well-known sex crimes facts is the majority of sexual crimes have a common basis: trust. Often, the crime is committed by someone the victim knows, making it easier for the perpetrator to manipulate them. In fact, in over of the 85% of sex crimes on record, the victims knew their abuser. Other reasons why sexual crimes go unreported include: 

  • Cover-Ups

Perhaps the saddest of all reasons, the cover-up of sexual crimes such as that by the Catholic Church has been headline news for years now.  The church has always been a place of safety, and with random shootings and sexual crimes now occuring, for many of us it seems that is no longer the case. 

  • Least Likely Suspect

Sexual crimes are almost always committed by an individual most people would not expect. It can be somebody you see every day, whether male or female, coaches, teachers or youth leaders, among others. Because this is somebody we’ve come to trust and who we feel safe around, we become vulnerable to their sexual predator objectives. 

  • Stigma Association

There is an unfortunate stigma attached to a person that has been accused of sexual crimes, even if they are found innocent and cleared of all charges. The stigma is there to stay.  This stigma may make some hesitant to make accusations, especially if they know the individual. 

  • Emotional Barriers

The victims of sexual crimes can be scared and because of this, rarely report the matter as they fear reprisal. Victims of sexual crimes often fear their abusers, sometimes while also having an unhealthy affection for the abuser that can be hard to comprehend for others.  

Man in handcuffs.

In Closing

The latest statistics available for sex crimes cases in Texas are from 2018 and 2019. The total number of victims reported in 2019 was just over 18,000, almost a 9% decrease from 2018. The most noteworthy number of sexual assault victim to offender relationships were a little over 16% and over 53% of non-family members and over 46% were related to their attacker. If you need help after accusations of a sex crime, contact ATX Bail Bonds at 512.834.2245 today. 

What is the success rate of probation?

court gavel

What percentage of probationers successfully complete their probation?

What exactly is probation? Probation is a restriction that’s been ordered by a judge of the court system that is imposed on a person that was found guilty of a crime and has been incarcerated. Being given a probation period allows a person to be released into their community but under supervision of a probation officer.

In Texas, it would appear youth is wasted on the young. The older the defendant, the better chance a probation period was successfully completed.  A study in 2017 showed that those between the ages of 17 years old and 21 years old, eighteen percent successfully completed probation, but those between the ages of 22 years old and 25-year-old, over forty percent were successful. At the age of 25, sixty percent completed their probation period with success. 

Those that had lived in foster care were at a higher risk of ending up in the criminal justice system, perhaps proving that family is everything. With almost 70% of young males in foster care are arrested once they leave foster care. That is twenty-three times higher than the common population. 

What is the best way to increase the effectiveness of probation?

Probation isn’t fun, but that isn’t the point of probation, and it is better than the alternative of being behind bars for a longer period of time, or at all. Four primary benefits of being placed on probation versus being incarcerated: 

1. Your Family Won’t Be Separated

Incarceration is hard on the entire family, especially children. For children that go from a two-parent home to a single parent home, their entire world is upset. Often they have to move because one parent can’t afford the household expenses, too often, too many children end up in the foster system. 

2. Keep Working or Attending School

While on probation, you can keep working or going to school. Incarceration can slow your future down, even put the brakes on it for year. 

3. A Safer Situation

Being incarcerated isn’t a safe setting. The jails and prisons can put a person at risk for their health and their safety.

4. Institutionalization Avoided

Too many become accustomed to living an institutionalized lifestyle. Everything is on a calendar and clock, same day, same time. It can be difficult to change back to a ‘normal’ way of living once released from jail or prison. 

What does revoking probation mean?

Revoking probation is the repercussion for not following the terms of your probation. Whether by accident or simply can’t follow instructions, not following your probation is equivalent to breaking the law, and yes, you can be sent back to jail. 

The assigned probation officer has to be the one to file a motion with the courts to revoke probation, or they may decide to handle the matter themselves if it was a simple mistake. They can also extend the probation period longer and add more requirements to the probation. 

Do you automatically go to jail if you violate probation?

As we mentioned above, a minor probation violation, the probation officer may decide to handle the matter themselves. For a first time probation violation, unless it was as serious infraction, will likely be kept between the accused and the probation officer. 

For a felony probation violation, the probation officer is usually required to report the infraction to the court where the judge will make the decision how to handle the matter. Some judges take probation violations more seriously than others, but overall, a violation of not reporting to your probation officer is one that no judge will overlook and will likely send you back to jail. It is to the defendant’s best interest to make every effort completing probation period without any violations. 

Is it true that once probation completed and case dismissed?

No, that is confusing the matter with deferred adjudication. We explain the differences between adjudication and probation: 

  • Probation is a conviction that remain on the defendants your record. Probation is when a judge has found the defendant guilty and are ordered to be ‘supervised’ by a probation officer for a certain period of time. 
  • Deferred adjudication is not a conviction, occasionally the records of a deferred adjudication will be sealed. A deferred adjudication is not finding the defendant guilty, but they must plead guilty before the courts. 

The judge will defer the ruling of guilt, giving the defendant an allotted time adhere to specifics. Once they have met that allotted time and the specifics, then the case is dropped. 

arrested probation

Is there any possibility of completing probation early? 

A defendant can file a petition requesting early termination after they have completed one-third of their probation period. A judge doesn’t not have respond to the request, which make its more important to have the petition filed by a criminal attorney. 

What if you have completed probation but still owe money? Once probation period is completed, any monies still owed or ordered by the court will still need to be paid. Either maintain the monthly payment schedule or pay it in full. Non-payment of these monies owed will create cause for an arrest warrant to be ordered. Call 512.834.2245 today for bail bonds in Austin, TX.

What is the Legal Definition of Assault and Battery?

man battering another person

What is the legal definition of assault and battery?

The description of assault or assault and battery can vary some between states, but the base is the same: it is illegal and serious consequences can result for all parties concerned. What is an example of assault?

Punching, shoving, or slapping a person during arguing in several states is considered a simple assault resulting in misdemeanor assault charges. In Texas specifically, moving or threatening to cause another person physical harm can result in assault charges. An example of this would be waving a knife or threatening a person with your fists. Threatening someone with imminent bodily injury. Intentionally causing bodily injury. In Texas, as general rule, assault is defined when another person fears physical harm by another person, whether that the harm took place. 

In the state of Texas, assault and battery are considered two different crimes, describe as: 

  • Assault is the act of threatening bodily harm to another person.
  • Battery is causing injury with bodily contact. 

 Both are considered a  criminal offense and intentional torts. A victim can utilize this definition to sue the person in civil court that attacked them. In Texas, charges for an offense can be for assault even with battery occurring at the same time. The charge will be met with a hefty punishment that can range from civil fines up to various lengths of prison terms.

Which is worse battery or assault?

The state of Texas sees assault and battery charges as a serious matter, although assault is seen in different in lesser degrees. The end results being a criminal record in addition to the fines. The criminal records can impact a person’s employment, housing, acquiring a loan, or having child custody. In most states a battery charge is worse than an assault charge and is determined if the victim was actually physical harmed by another person.

The difference between assault or aggravated assault is aggravated assault  usually includes a deadly weapon being used during the assault. Aggravated assault includes serious bodily injury using a deadly weapon or having a sexual relations with anyone under legal age.

Is pushing someone assault?

In Texas, pushing a person would be considered family violence, a domestic assault. Grabbing, hitting, pushing, or scratching a person that does or doesn’t result in bodily injury is a Class C Misdemeanor. 

Is yelling at someone assault?

The act of screaming or yelling in another person’s face is not a specific offense in general, but the situation could constitute  it as harassment. For screaming or yelling at a person to be considered  assault, that person would need to be in fear of the yelling person attacking them, like  somebody yelling at a stranger. 

While a verbal assault often involves one person threatening physical violence on another person, aggressive yelling intended as an attack or to offend a person may be constituted as verbal assault. The threats made must be something the accused person is capable of following through giving the victim a fear of danger.

Are assault charges a felony?

The laws in Texas stated that an aggravated assault is a 2nd degree felony that face punishments ranging from 2 years to 20 years prison time. In addition fines may be imposed up to $10,000. When domestic violence is part of the assault, it becomes a first degree felony. Results of this conviction, the punishment can be as severe as life in prison. 

With charges of assault, how many years in jail can you expect? 

If the assault charges are filed as a misdemeanor, the case will be heard by  six jurors. If the assault charges are file as a felony, the case will be heard by twelve jurors. The prosecution will be assigned to prove with beyond a reasonable doubt the accused is guilty. If the accused is convicted of assault, the following sentencing could be set as: 

  • Class C misdemeanor: Up to $500 in fines.
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days imprisonment with up to $2,000 in fines.
  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to 12 months of imprisonment with up to $4,000 in fines.
  • Third degree felony: Up to ten years in prison with up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Second degree felony:  Between two years up to 20 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • First-degree felony: A minimum of five years in prison to life in prison with addition of a fine that is set by the judge.
arrested for assault

Can assault be expunged?

In Texas, there are limited circumstances, but yes, an assault charge can be expunged, if the accused person has been found not guilty or the charges dismissed. In this circumstance, expunged assault charges will be as if the arrest and resulting charge didn’t ever happen. All records are deleted, destroyed, and erased from the accused records. If a deferred adjudication is issued for the assault charge, the records are sealed if a motion for non-disclosure is filed. Call 512.834.2245 today for assault and battery bail in Austin, TX.

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