Houston Bail Bonds
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Why Choose Bluestar Bail Bonds? – What others are saying
“In Houston, there are a number of bail bond companies out there, but Bluestar tries to separate themselves from the competition in a number of ways. By providing first-rate customer service and care, the company tries to be as accommodating as possible for people in a time of need for assistance.
For starters, the Bluestar Company has over 20 years of experience in the area, helping finance bail bonds for customers of all ages and backgrounds. During the process, customers can ask questions, shop around for prices and more.
They also offer an efficient process that can save those in need a lot of time. The last thing a person wants to do is go through a lengthy approval process and wait days to get the money they need to get out of jail. Every hour counts, and Bluestar Bail Services is open 24/7 to serve.
While focused on the state of Texas with an office specifically in Houston, Bluestar serves the entire country. Customers with specific questions can visit the website at bluestarbailbondscompany.com for more information.”
– Houston Business Review Journal
Texas Bail Bonds 101 – A Beginners Guide
Being out on bail is something that is thrown around a lot in relation to crimes and jail time, but not that many people know the specifics. Bail is the amount of money that a person must pay to act as insurance between the court and the person going to jail. That person, who can also be referred to as the defendant, can pay that bail amount in cash if they have the funds. However, since bail can be set at tens of thousands of dollars or even more, defendants need to find alternative options. That is where a bail bondsman comes in.
Below is a closer look at bail bonds in general, especially in the state of Texas (Houston specifically). From general bail bond knowledge to the amounts one might face, it is important to be knowledgeable on the topic to find the best option.
What Exactly is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is alternative solution to posting bail. It is a surety bond, issued by a company that allows a person to be released from jail. It is pretty essential for anyone who does not have the funds to post bond. If someone does not go with their own bail or a bond, they will pretty much be stuck in jail until things are sorted out.
By using a bond instead of just individual bail, the bondsman is guaranteeing that the defendant they are working with will return to the court when ordered to. It’s a way for bail bondsman to make money by taking responsibility on for those who are trying to not spend additional time in jail while everything is sorted out with the case.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are two types of bail bonds, although in most cases, people won’t specify them when having discussions. They really just depend on the type of case a person is involved in, so many times people can figure out which type of bail bond is needed from that.
– Criminal Bail Bonds
With a criminal bail bond, it is a guarantee that a defendant will appear for their trial when called. It also guarantees payment for any additional fines issued to the defendant.
– Civil Bail Bonds
A civil bail bond is going to be for civil cases only. It is to guarantee the payment of debt, plus any additional interest or cost handed out to the defendant.
How Does the Process Work?
Once a judge issues a bail amount for a defendant, they must come up with the money or secure a bail bond to be let go. The bail amount is going to be different in every single case, and most of the time that amount is going to be too much for a person to handle. In order to secure a bail bond from a bail bondsman, in most cases a person only has to up 10% of the bail amount.
If going with a bail bondsman, they can secure the rest of the amount needed for bail by using some sort of collateral. The defendant is responsible for providing collateral, either directly from them or from family and friends.
Collateral can come in a number of different forms, and sometimes people will need to get creative in order for the bail bond to actually be issued. Things such as jewelry and stocks are smaller items that can be used. If those things are not available, a bank account, car or even a home can be posted as collateral. Basically, anything that that can help a company recover their loss if a person decides to never show much to court.
Ultimately, it is up to the defendant to decide if they are truly going to show up to court when asked or not. Not showing up to court after securing a bond can cost someone quite a bit. When someone does not show up, the bail bond is automatically forfeited and the court will require 90% of the bailed be paid. The collateral that was secured from the defendant will then be used to pay the remaining amount. Additional, the company will go after the defendant for any other additional costs that might go with the case.
Showing up to court as a defendant is the much more responsible thing to do, and it does result in collateral being returned after the conclusion of the court case. The 10% cash fee that was submitted is usually kept by the bail bondsman as profits for their service.
As far as a general idea of cost is concerned, the schedule is detailed for the city of Houston towards the end of this article. This is merely there for guidance though, and there are chances that a bail can end up being more than what is listed. It all depends on each individual’s case, as well as history with the law.
How to Get Either Type of Bond
Securing a bond is pretty easy these days, as there are a number of options locally for people to turn to. In the city of Houston, there are a number of bond options, but surety companies are always wary about the underwriting problems associated with them.
The first step is contacting an office that deals with these types of bonds. After going through some of the specifics from both sides, a valid ID, a copy of a pay stub or bank information, proof of residency and in many cases, some money is needed for the initial setup. Once all the papers are signed, a person receives documentation that the bail bond company has the funds needed to secure a release.
A company dealing with bail bonds is the one that assumes responsibility if the defendant fails to show up for court. That is why they collect collateral, and they will go after additional compensation if there are penalties assessed.
In the United States, most states have pretty standard laws for bail bondsman options. There are only four states that require the 10% payment to actually go to the court instead of the bondsman. These states are Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin.
Applying for a bail bond is relatively easy, but it can sometimes be difficult to get approved in the end. It really all depends on a person’s specific situation. Those who are at more risk of possibly not showing up to court or facing serious charges will often need a co-signer to secure the bond.
The good news is that applying for a bond usually starts with just a phone call these days. It is very easy to get in touch with a local bail bondsman for people all over the United States. From there, they can walk a person through the entire process and get everything rolling.
Local Houston Texas Bail Schedule / Bail Amounts
Below is a list of bail amounts in Houston, Texas. First, a look at the district court bail schedule.
All Capital Felonies – No Bond
All Murders Not Specifically Mentioned Below – $50,000
All First Degree Felonies Not Specifically Mentioned Below – $20,000
All Second Degree Felonies Not Specified Below – $10,000
All Felony DWIs Not Specified Below – $10,000
All Third Degree Felonies Not Specifically Mentioned Below – $5,000
All Fourth Degree Felonies Not Specifically Mentioned Below – $2,000
For repeat offenders, their schedule is going to be a little bit different. Here is a closer look at the amounts for them.
Habitual – No Bond
First Degree Felony With A Previous Conviction – $30,000
Second Degree Felony With A Previous Conviction – $20,000
Felony DWI With A Previous DWI Conviction – Twice The Amount of the Previous Conviction
Third Degree Felony With A Previous Conviction – $10,000
Fourth Degree Felony With A Previous Conviction – $5,000
Fourth Degree Felony With Multiple Previous Convictions – $15,000
If a defendant on bail for a felony charge then receives a first, second, third or fourth degree felony, there is no bond.