Marco gets pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic offense. During the stop, the police officer thinks Marco has had one too many beers. The officer proceeds to arrest Marco for drunk driving.
If your loved one got arrested, you probably feel a lot of anxiety because they are screwed and there's nothing you can do to help them.
But the good news is you can help your loved one get out of jail by helping them get a bond for their release. A bond is the amount of money set by a judge for releasing a defendant from jail before their trial. This is to ensure that they show up to court or they forfeit this amount.
There are three ways to satisfy this bond amount
For people with little to no criminal history you may qualify for a personal bond, which is how to get out of jail sooner by promising to the court you will show up for all your court dates and follow all conditions set by a judge.
Only Pretrial Services or an Attorney may submit a request for release on personal bond to a judge. And only a judge can approve release on a personal bond. Without a lawyer, this process can take up to 2 days or never. With a lawyer, we speed this process up to a matter of hours. It's because we can go talk directly to the judge and present the personal bond to them any day of the week, any time of day.
The insurance company will require you to sign over your land and property to them in case you don't show up to court because they will have to pay your full bond amount.
This typically costs between $500-1000 for common charges like DWI or Family Violence.
You never get this money back.
Pay it in full
You always have the option to pay the full bond amount in person at the front desk of the jail by cash or money order. When their case is completely over, the money will be returned to them, regardless of who paid it.
The officer transports Marco to the downtown jail. He's taken to Central Booking where he waits to get his mugshot and fingerprints taken. The officer turns in his police report. Marco's police report is printed in a stack with all the other police reports for arrests that night. The judge reviews the police reports in the order it was turned in. The judge can take up to 24 hours to review the police report after it is turned in.
Afterwards, Marco can use the jail phone to call a lawyer, family member, or a friend. He can pull up to 3 numbers from his cell phone but he has to use the jail phone to call. The jail phone makes collect calls only, so whoever Marco is calling has to pay a fee to talk to him.
Marco changes into an orange jumpsuit and is transferred to a jail cell.
Pretrial Services will now begin to process Marco.
Marco is now a number in the Austin court system.
One of the Pretrial Services staff will go to the jail to interview him. They will ask him where he lives, where he works, and who his family and friends are.
Things to keep in mind - Pretrial Services is the court office that is in charge of interviewing Marco and recommending to the judge whether to release Marco or hold him there.
When the staff member returns to her office, she will call Marco's references to verify them and also run a criminal history check on him. If Marco doesn't have a stable home or job, the staff member will deny his release. If Marco has any prior criminal history or bond forfeitures, the staff member will also deny his release.
The judge picks up Marco's police report and reviews it, approving it for probable cause.
Marco is pulled from his jail cell to attend a magistration hearing with a group of the other people who were arrested last night. The judge will read Marco his rights and the charges brought against him and set a bond amount.
If Pretrial Services doesn't deny Marco release, the judge will sign a personal bond for him.
Marco is released and walks out the front lobby of the jail.
If Marco didn't get released already, he would be transferred to Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle (by the airport).
4 Weeks later...
Marco is transported to court for his first court date.