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Bail Bond Conditions: Understanding Your Obligations

gavel, cash, and handcuffs on desk

Things to Think About Before Posting Bail for Somone

When you post bail for someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or yourself, it comes with certain conditions and obligations. Understanding these conditions is crucial to ensure compliance with the law and to avoid any further legal troubles. Here are some common bail bond conditions and what they entail:

  1. Appearance in Court: One of the primary conditions of bail is to appear in court for all scheduled hearings and proceedings. Failure to appear can result in the forfeiture of bail and issuance of a warrant for arrest.
  2. Travel Restrictions: Depending on the severity of the case and the jurisdiction, the court may impose travel restrictions on the individual released on bail. This might include surrendering their passport or obtaining permission before leaving the area.
  3. Restraining Orders: In cases involving domestic violence or other offenses, the court may impose restraining orders prohibiting contact with certain individuals, including the victim or witnesses.
  4. Drug and Alcohol Testing: If the arrest is related to drug or alcohol offenses, the court may require periodic testing to ensure sobriety during the bail period.
  5. Firearm Surrender: In cases involving violent crimes or offenses where firearms were involved, the court may order the surrender of any firearms in possession of the individual released on bail.

Bail Bond Obligations in Austin, TX

In some cases, the court may require pretrial supervision, which can involve reporting to a probation officer, attending counseling or treatment programs, or adhering to a curfew. The court may also require the individual to maintain employment or attend school during the bail period as a condition of release.

It should also be noted that violating any laws or committing new offenses while out on bail can lead to immediate arrest and forfeiture of bail. Furthermore, the individual posting bail may be required to pay a percentage of the bail amount or put up collateral, such as property or assets, as security. Finally, maintaining regular communication with an attorney is often a condition of bail, ensuring proper legal representation throughout the court proceedings.

It’s essential to fully understand and comply with all conditions of bail to avoid additional legal consequences. Failure to adhere to these conditions can result in the revocation of bail, additional charges, and possibly being held in custody until the trial. If there are any questions or concerns about the bail conditions, it’s important to discuss them with your attorney. If you need help understanding bail bond conditions in Austin, TX, the team at ATX Bail Bonds can help. Give us a call at 512.834.2245 to learn how.

Are Sex Crimes Federal Crimes?

A pair of handcuffs and a stack of bills are on a wooden table.

Discover More About the Penalties of Sex Crimes

Crime is a crime, in every state, but the type of crimes and the punishments that are handed down by a judge can vary, from state to state. But in all states, certain crimes are handed down tougher punishments and higher bail, for sex crimes as one example. 

In Texas, how serious is a sex crime? 

For most sex offenses, the Texas courts will try a misdemeanor sex offense at the state level. These crimes include indecent exposure or offering a sexual favor for money.  

The more serious sex crimes that are tried in federal court include an adult having sex with a person under the age of sixteen or if the defendant crosses the state line to commit a sex crime. In Texas, if the defendant has exchanged communication with the victim located in another state, this will be charged as a federal crime. Other sex crimes in Texas include: 

  • Sexual Assault
  • Prostitution & Solicitation 
  • Indecent Exposure & Public Lewdness 
  • Revenge Porn 
  • Child Pornography

Is bail more for a sex crime compared to other crimes in Texas? 

In Texas, bail for sex crimes can be handed down by the judge, depending on several factors. Those factors include the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s criminal record, and if the judge sees the defendant as a threat to others and public safety. 

Most bail bond fees are 10% of the total bail amount, however, a bail bond agent has the right to charge up to 15% for bail for sex crimes. For instance, a person who is arrested for disturbing the peace may have a bail set for $20,000.00. A bail bond agent will typically require a payment of $2,000 to post bail. For sex crimes, a defendant may have a higher bail amount, and the bail bond agent may require 15% to post the bail. 

How long do sex offenders go to jail in Texas?

Once a person has been arrested for a sex crime, they will be presented before the arraigning judge who will determine if they will be allowed to post bail for sex crimes, and the bail amount by the arraigning judge. 

Next, the defendant will be given a court date. Their case will be presented before a judge and jury, and if they are found guilty of sex crimes will face the possible sentencing:

  • Felony Sex Crimes: 

The following are mandatory sentencing in the state if Texas if found guilty:

  • 1st Degree: Prison time for a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 99 years in addition to a maximum fine of $10,000
  • 2nd Degree: Prison time for a minimum of 2 years to a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $10,000
  • 3rd Degree: Prison time for a minimum of 2 years to a maximum of 10 years in addition to a maximum fine of $10,000
  • Misdemeanor Sex Crimes

The following are mandatory sentencing in the state of Texas if found guilty: 

  • Class C: A maximum fine of $500
  • Class B:  Jail time for a maximum of 180 days and/or a maximum fine of $2,000
  • Class A:  Jail time for a maximum of 12 months and a maximum fine of $4,000

What is the sentence for a first-time sex offense?

A first-time offender will still be arrested, they will still face the same posting bail for sex crimes as repeat offenders after being presented before the arraigning judge who will set bail for sex crimes. The difference starts with the sentencing. In Texas, a sexual assault sex crime is charged as a second-degree felony.  IF found guilty, a first-time sex offender could be sentenced to state prison for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years with a maximum fine of $10,000.

A first-time sex offender typically won’t be sentenced to the full 20 years of prison time if they have no previous criminal history. However, anyone who is charged with a sex crime and has a criminal history will most likely be sentenced to the full 20 years. In some cases, a judge can use their own discretion to increase the

If you can’t post bail for sex crimes, how long will you remain in jail?

As in most states, when a person is arrested for sex crimes and allowed to post bail for sex crimes but can’t, will remain in jail. There are occasions with the representation of a lawyer that a person unable to post bail for sex crimes is allowed out by the judge. 

In Closing

It has been said time and again, “Crime doesn’t pay.”, and when it comes to sex crimes, that couldn’t be more accurate. From the arrest and arraignment, the cost of any crime starts, especially posting a bail bond for sex crimes or any type of crime, and carries on with hiring an attorney, possible loss of employment, and more. If you need assistance with bail for sex crimes in Austin, TX, please give our professional team a call at 512.834.2245.

How long does someone stay in jail for domestic violence?

A Domestic Violence Bail Bond Hearing

In Texas, as anywhere else in this country, domestic violence has become a focus. Not only in preventing it but punishment too, starting with high domestic violence bail being set by judges. However, every state has varying descriptions of what is considered domestic violence.  

How does Texas define domestic violence?

First, we need to define the three categories of domestic violence under Texas laws. Those categories are: 

  • Family: This category includes members of the family, whether they are biological, non-biological, family by either adoption or blood-related.  
  • Relationships: Examples in this category include fiancés, ex-boy, or girlfriend, no matter how long ago you were dating but it must be more than a single date. 
  • Household: This category includes people who live with you currently or in the past. It also includes extended family members, or roommates that have lived in the same residence. 

In the case of an arrest and the possibility of being allowed to post domestic violence bail, there are more details listed in each of these categories. In Texas, domestic violence is defined as when a person causes bodily injury to a family member deliberately, knowingly, or rashly. In Texas, domestic violence charges are stated as “assault on a family member”, but the two terms are often used. 

How much is domestic violence bail in Texas?

The amount of domestic violence bail bond in Texas will be determined by the judge based on the circumstances of the arrest. All Texas courts have a bond “schedule” that judges use as a guideline, however, they are allowed to adjust the amount of domestic violence bail if they deem necessary. For misdemeanors, typical amounts for bail average between $1,000 to $3,500. For a felony arrest, the bail amount can range from $5,000 to $50,000 and upward. 

Is domestic violence a misdemeanor or felony in Texas and what is the possible length of incarceration time? 

There are different levels of domestic violence, and the classifications are as follows: 

  • Domestic Violence Assault: This charge is for when a person comes in contact with a member of the family or household deliberately, knowingly, or rashly that causes bodily injury, or the victim finds the action to be provocative or offensive.

A first-time offense is a Class A misdemeanor. If the arrested person has been convicted previously for domestic violence assault, the current arrest becomes a 3rd-degree felony. The punishment can include between 2 years and 10 years of prison time with a maximum fine of $10,000.

  • Aggravated Domestic Assault:  This charge is for a person who has taken an action against another person deliberately or knowingly that results in serious bodily injury. This can also include the person arrested who had used a weapon during the confrontation.  

This is classified as a 1st-degree felony or an Aggravated Domestic Assault by Threat. This crime can be sentenced between 5 and 99 years, or a life term in prison with a maximum fine of $10,000.

  • Domestic Assault Impeding Breath:  Also referred to as ‘Assault Bodily Injury – Family Member Impeding Breath’, is when a person contacts another person deliberately or knowingly and impedes their breathing. 

This is charged as a 3rd-degree felony and is punished with 2 to 10 years in prison with a maximum fine of $10,000. 

  • Continuous Violence: Any person who is charged with the crime of committing two domestic assaults within 12 months is considered continuous violence. The prosecutor must prove evidence for only one of the alleged domestic violence assaults but they can provide evidence of both. This crime is charged as a 3rd-degree felony with a punishment maximum of 10 years prison time and a maximum fine of $10,000.

What are the conditions of a domestic violence bail bond in Texas?

When the judge grants domestic violence bail, the conditions of the bond can vary based on the criminal charges. Most domestic violence bail bond conditions are the same and can include any or all of the following: 

  1. The defendant cannot leave the state of Texas until their trial.
  2. The defendant is not to consume any alcohol or use any drugs, including prescribed narcotics. 
  3. The defendant will be required to submit to alcohol and drug testing.
  4. The defendant must maintain suitable employment.
  5. The defendant will be required to meet with a probation officer regularly.
  6. The defendant must notify their probation office of any address or employment changes. 

Other possible conditions a judge may require with a domestic violence bail may include: 

1. The defendant is not allowed to possess a firearm.

2. The defendant is required to maintain a specific distance from the victim.

3. The defendant is not allowed to contact the victim.

4. The defendant may be given a curfew. 

5. The defendant may be required to attend alcohol, drug, and/or violence counseling.

In Closing 

A person who has been arrested and allowed domestic violence bail will have many more expenses in the future, the bail bond is just the start. There will be court-ordered fees and fines along with the cost of a defense attorney and possible loss of employment. 

What is the Lowest Charge for Theft?

criminal breaking into a car

What can you expect when you’re charged with theft?

Texas isn’t just a vacation destination. Every day, folks from other states are moving here and settling into the Lone Star State as a forever home. While this is good for the economy in many ways, it also brings more crime, which is why the amount for posting bail for theft charges has increased in recent years, as well as the punishments. 

Lawmakers have listened to law enforcement and citizens and realized that there has to be something done to cut back on the amount of crime. And those prone to commit crimes like theft, newcomers, or lifelong Texans, are hopefully deterred by the amount of bail for theft charges. In Austin, TX, there are many things you will have to take into account if you find yourself facing theft charges. Fortunately, our team can be there to help guide you through the process.

How much is bail for theft in Texas?

Theft charges can vary between counties from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge. It depends on the monetary value of the item(s) stolen, and the criminal record of the accused. The amount of bail for theft charges will be based on how the charges are filed. Some examples are: 

  • Class B Misdemeanor: For theft of property valued between $50 and $500, the bail bond can be up to a maximum of $2,000. To post bail for theft charges for the release of the accused, 10% of that must be paid in cash to a bail bond agent.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: For theft of property valued between $500 and $1,500, the bail bond can be set for a maximum of $4,000. Again, 10% of that amount must be paid in cash to a bail bond agent for the accused to be released.
  • State Felony:  For theft of property valued between $1,500 and $20,000, the maximum bail for release of the accused is $10,000. The 10% payment in cash to a bail bond agent still holds. 
  • Third-Degree Felony: For theft valued between $20,000 and $100,000, it becomes a 3rd-degree felony with a maximum possible bail set at $10,000. The same cash payment to a bail bond agent is required. 
  • Second Degree Felony: For theft valued between $100,000 and $200,000, the cash bail is typically up to $10,000 paid to a bail bond agent. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, it could be higher if the judge deems it necessary. 
  • First Degree Felony: For theft valued at $200,000 or more, the minimum bail for theft charges is $10,000 and the cash paid to a bail bond agent holds in place at 10%, some bail bond agents may require a 20% payment in cash. If the arrest for theft was part of a heinous crime, setting bail may be declined.

What is the punishment for theft charges in Texas?

Once the bail for theft charges has been paid and the accused is released from custody, they will need to report to the bail bond agent, typically once a week. The bail bond agent has the right to request more frequent reporting. 

This will continue until the accused has their court date, at which time, the defendant is found guilty or innocent by a set of piers (the jury) after the state has presented their evidence and the defense attorney has stated their client’s claim. The possible punishments a judge may hand down include: 

  • Class B Misdemeanor Theft up to $500 value: Maximum 180 days in jail
  • Class A Misdemeanor Theft of value between $500 and $1500: Maximum 1 year in jail
  • State Jail Felony Theft between $1500 and $20,000: Between a minimum of 180 days jail time to 2 years jail time.
  • Third-Degree Felony Theft between $20,000 and $100,000: Between two and 10 years of prison time in addition to a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Second-degree Felony Theft between $100,000 and $200,000: Between two and twenty years of prison time. 
  • First-degree Felony Theft over $200,000: Punishment can range between a minimum of 5 years to life in prison. The more heinous the crime involved, the longer the punishment sentence.

What are the four types of theft?

The general theft laws in Texas cover a wide range of thefts. The four basic types are: 

  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Swindling
  • Receipt of stolen property

The State of Texas has additional types of theft that will require a judge to set bail for theft charges for the accused to be released. Those additional types include:

  • Organized retail theft
  • Trade secret theft
  • Cargo theft
  • Theft by check

How much do you have to steal for it to be a felony in Texas?

The theft charges become a state felony when they fall into one of the following categories: 

  • The value of stolen property or services is between $2,500 and $30,000
  • The value of the stolen property is under $2,500, and it is a 3-time or more offense for the defendant
  • The stolen property is from another person, off of a human corpse, or from a grave
  • The stolen property is a certain livestock, certain metals, firearms or an election ballot

State jail felony theft can be punished by a maximum fine of $10,000,  prison time minimum of 180 days up to a maximum of two years, or both a fine and prison time. 

In Closing 

Some states have stricter laws than Texas, while some are more lenient. For example, does Texas send first-time shoplifters to jail? After the initial arrest, yes – you’ll be taken to jail, booked, and held to wait for the judge to deny or set bail for theft charges. If convicted of the charge, the defendant is ordered to pay a set fine but jail time is not set. However, if the judge declares the circumstances surrounding the crime, they may sentence a certain amount of jail time. If you are waiting for bail for theft charges in Austin, TX or the surrounding area, the team at ATX Bail Bonds is ready to help you through the process. Call us at 512.834.2245 and we can help with any questions you may have.

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.


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.