Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, bail is defined as “the security given by the accused that he will appear and answer before the court the accusation brought against him, and includes a bail bond or a personal bond.”
Bail is NOT intended to be a punishment. Its sole purpose is to ensure the accused will appear in court as required. Our nation’s founders felt that criminal defendants should have the right to bail, which is why they included it in the Bill of Rights. Practically speaking, bail helps defendants but it also helps the state by reducing the jail population.
Can Bond be Reduced?
Most criminal defendants welcome the opportunity to post bond so they can return to their families and work as they await trial. After all, no one enjoys being behind bars for weeks or months at a time as they wait for their case to proceed through the courts.
Unfortunately, many defendants are hit with a high bail that they cannot afford. If a defendant cannot come up with the bail, they are entitled to ask the court for a bond reduction. If a defendant chooses this path, he or she must convince the court that a bond reduction is necessary, fair and deserved.
“How does the bond reduction process work?” It begins when the defendant’s attorney files a motion. The motion will address the nature of the charges, the current bail amount, and it will explain why the defendant cannot make the current bond. Depending on the jurisdiction, such motions are often referred to as a motion for bond reduction or a writ of habeas corpus.
“How long will this process take?” It depends on the court’s schedule. The court will set a bond reduction hearing as soon as there is an available time slot. Sometimes, however, it could take days, if not weeks to get the case in front of a judge. Once it does arrive on the judge’s desk, he or she will consider the nature of the charge, the defendant’s criminal history, and their ties to the community. If the defendant is a Green Card holder or an illegal immigrant, the judge may consider the individual to be a flight risk, especially if they are from Mexico (due to its proximity to the Texas border).
To learn more about bond reductions in Plano, Dallas and Fort Worth, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.