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If you have been arrested or know that a warrant for your arrest has been issued, the first thing you probably want to know is whether you can be released while waiting for your hearing date. In Texas, certain criminal cases may allow the accused person to post bail and be released from jail while their case is pending. Learn how bail bonds work in Texas and see why using an attorney bond may be a feasible option for your case.


A bail is a monetary amount set by the court that allows a defendant accused of a crime to be released from jail after making a full payment. It is not a fine; instead, it works as a promise that the defendant will appear for pre-trial and trial hearings if released from jail.

Bail money is typically returned to the defendant after their trial is completed. Some jurisdictions may charge a processing fee before returning bail money to the defendant. When a defendant posts bail either by paying cash or through another form of bail bonds, the defendant is allowed to be released from jail. If the defendant has an active warrant for their arrest but has not yet been taken into custody, posting bail in some cases may allow the defendant to avoid going to jail while their case is pending.


In Texas, there are three different types of bail bonds available, depending on the case. The first type is a cash bail bond, which is an amount of money a defendant must pay in full using cash, a check, or a money order. For example, if your bail has been set at $5,000.00, then you must pay that amount in full if you are using a cash bail bond.

The most common type of bail bond that comes to mind is called a surety bond, which is usually handled by a third party, such as a county-approved bail bond company. The company charges a percentage of the total bail amount – usually 10 to 20% of the total bail amount you would have had to pay if you chose the cash bail bond option. After that, the company will post bond on behalf of the defendant and provide assurance to the court that the defendant will show up for any future court dates.

Another type of bail bond available in certain cases is called a personal bond or a personal recognizance bond. This may be available for first-time offenders and does not require monetary payments. Instead of posting bail, the defendant is released from jail after promising to show up for all their required court dates.

In addition, there are also attorney bonds. This type of bond works similarly to a surety bond and allows you to be released from jail by paying a standard non-refundable fee to an attorney who will represent you throughout the case. The kind of bail bond applicable to your case depends on various factors, such as prior criminal history and the severity of your charges.  As a matter of practice, Seymour & Vaughn does not offer attorney bonds.  We believe that it creates a financial and ethical conflict of interest that does not benefit the client. 


Judges in Texas use a few key factors to determine whether a defendant should be allowed to be bailed out of jail and how much that individual should pay as bail. The first thing to be considered is the severity of the charges. If an individual is being accused of committing a violent crime, a judge may set that person’s bail significantly higher than if the defendant was being charged with a non-violent crime and can be considered a low threat to the community.

Second, the judge may consider the defendant’s prior criminal history. A person who has never been charged or convicted of any criminal offenses in the past is more likely to receive a lower bail amount than someone with a history of previous convictions. Third, the judge may consider whether the defendant is a flight risk. Someone who is deemed to be a flight risk is unlikely to return to court for their mandatory hearings, so their bail may be set higher than someone who is not considered a flight risk. Finally, the judge may take into account the defendant’s ability to post bail. If someone is being charged with a less serious offense and has limited financial ability to pay a bond, the judge may set a lower bail amount or, in some cases, allow that person to be released on a personal bond without requiring payment.


As explained previously, an attorney bond is another possibility for a defendant to be released from jail until their court date. With an attorney bond, you still only pay a percentage of the total bond amount, usually 10%. The difference is a bail bond company will simply post bail on your behalf. You must still find an attorney to represent you and pay any associated legal fees. When you opt for an attorney bond, the same attorney who provides you with the bail bond will be the one representing you throughout your case.

Once you and your attorney agree to work together and you pay your percentage required to secure the bail bond, your attorney will usually fill out the required paperwork notifying the court that they will be representing you. You can have more than one attorney working on your case, but in order to secure an attorney bail bond, at least one attorney must provide the bond and represent you in court as well.  As a matter of practice, Seymour & Vaughn does not offer attorney bonds.  We believe that it creates a financial and ethical conflict of interest that does not benefit the client.


There are some instances where a defendant is ordered to pay a bail amount that is excessively high. In this case, the best thing to do is to speak to a bond lawyer not just to discuss the possibility of getting an attorney bond but also to have the attorney begin negotiations with the District Attorney’s Office to try and secure a lower, more accessible bail amount. If no agreement is reached, the attorney can also resort to other options, such as filing a Motion for Reduction of Bail with the court. This gives the defense a chance to show the judge that the defendant does not have the financial ability to pay the required bail, does not pose a flight risk, or is not a risk to the community.

If you need legal representation to navigate your criminal case in New Braunfels, Texas, and surrounding areas, contact Seymour & Vaughn to request a free initial consultation. Our firm has helped countless clients secure a better outcome for their cases, and we are ready to assist you as well. Call Seymour & Vaughn at  830-282-8751 for more information.