To be released from custody, a defendant must post “bond”.
- Cash bond is when a defendant pays the full amount of the bond in cash to the Sheriff. The money will be refunded once the case is over.
- Bail bond is when a defendant uses a bonding company or bail bondsman to borrow the collateral for the bond. The bondsman will charge a fee and may require additional conditions. The bail fee is not refunded when the case is over. This is the most common type of bond. We pride ourselves on having excellent working relationships with reputable bondsmen who will not unduly burden the defendant with conditions such as weekly in-person reporting. Unlike some lawyers, we have no business or financial interest in bonding companies.
- Personal recognizance bond (PR bond) is when the court uses its discretion to release the defendant without requiring a surety or other form of collateral. These are rarely given in Harris County and are not an option in some serious felony offenses.
If bail is too high, a defendant can request a hearing to reduce the bond. The defendant has to show that they:
- Do not have enough collateral to fund the bond
- Are not a flight risk
- Have ties to the community
- Are not a danger to the public or the alleged victim
If the court refuses to reduce the bond, the defendant can appeal. Bond appeals are “expedited” or sped up, since the defendant is currently being held in custody. We have handled bond appeals and had the trial court’s illegally high bond reversed.