Jail, Detention and Bond after Arrest for a Criminal Charge
Being arrested is often the most dramatic event of a criminal charge. In most cases, there is no notice. Arrests occur most frequently during traffic stops, but also occur while at home or work. With an arrest, the turn of events is an immediate trip to jail. Any and all immediate plans just got changed. The powerful impact of an arrest can affect your family, your work and your future.
After someone is arrested, they are booked into a jail and remain there until they are arraigned before a judge. By law, this must occur within 48 hours, unless the detention occurs on a weekend or holiday. During the arraignment hearing, the person arrested, now a “Defendant,” must enter a plea. The choices of pleas include; Guilty, Not Guilty and No Contest.
A plea of Guilty at the arraignment hearing means that you admit you committed the crime of which you are charged. With a Guilty plea, you are sentenced and an immediate punishment from the judge is ordered. The punishment could include prison, probation, high fines, community service, educational classes, inpatient confinement and treatment and permanent loss of some constitutional rights. A plea of Guilty is NOT recommended!
A No Contest plea means that you are not contesting the charge against you. In other words, you’re not saying you did it and you’re not saying you didn’t do it. Unfortunately, the result is nearly the same as a plea of Guilty. You are subject to immediate sentence and punishment from the judge. Again, this is NOT recommended.
A Not Guilty plea means that you are denying that you committed the charge of which you are accused. At an arraignment, you should always plead “Not Guilty” and then contact us for representation. We can always change your plea at a later date if an acceptable plea agreement is reached. With a plea of “Not Guilty” the judge then sets a bond amount and places other restrictions and requirements on the Defendant for the Defendant’s conditional release from jail.
Bonds and Release from Jail
At the arraignment hearing, with a plea of Not Guilty, the judge determines whether to set or deny bond. If bond is denied, a Defendant must remain in jail until a plea is later accepted or the case goes to trial. If a bond is accepted, the judge sets the amount of the bond, which is an amount of money that if posted (provided) to the county, allows the Defendant to leave the jail, subject to “conditions.” The most important condition of a bond is that the Defendant must appear in court at a later date. Failure to appear in court will result in forfeiture of the bond and a warrant for arrest being issued. In most cases, there are multiple other bond “conditions,” including periodic check-ins, no alcohol consumption, no criminal activity, etc.
The monetary amount of the bond depends primarily on the level of crime that is being charged, and, to a lesser degree, the facts of the case. The amount of a bond can range from a few hundred up to millions of dollars. The worse the crime, the higher the bond. If a bond is set by the judge, it can usually be posted by either “Surety” or “Cash,” and in some cases, the judge may allow a Personal Recognizance Bond.
Posting a bond by surety means that a third party, usually a bail bondsman, files a document with the court that is, essentially, a guarantee that the bail bondsman pay the bond amount if the Defendant fails to adhere to any of the “conditions” of the bond. Of course, a bail bondsman will charge for their services; usually a percentage of the bond amount. The percentage can vary depending on the bail bondsman but is usually between 10% to 15%. In Dallas County only, attorney Todd E. Tkach can post a bond to get you released from jail.
Posting a bond with cash means exactly what it appears to mean. A Defendant, or a friend or family member, must tender cash in the amount of the bond in order to secure the Defendant’s release from jail. For example, if a Defendant’s Bond is set at $5,000.00, the Defendant, or someone on his behalf, must tender $5,000.00 in cash to the county to get the Defendant released from jail.
Personal Recognizance Bonds
In some cases, a judge will allow and order a Personal Recognizance Bond; sometimes called a “PR Bond.” If allowed, a Defendant is released from custody with a signed agreement to adhere to all of the bond conditions. Although neither a surety nor a cash bond are required to be posted, there remains a monetary component to a PR Bond. Part of the PR Bond agreement is that violations of any of the bond conditions mandates that the Defendant post a predetermined cash bond amount or the Defendant will be arrested.
After being arrested for a criminal charge, the goal is to secure a quick release from jail without prejudicing any rights that you have. You should contact us as early as possible in this process to adequately protect your rights and to defend you against the criminal charge.
Although the criminal justice process is complex, we have a proven record of success and the experience to get you the best result possible. We remain available to answer any questions you may have or to immediately start your defense. Call us now for your free consultation, 214-999-0595.