What Are the Different Kinds of Bonds in Collin County, Texas?

Texas law describes several different kinds of bonds, but the most popular types of bonds are cash bonds, surety bonds, and personal recognizance bonds.

What is a Bond anyway?

Simply put, a bond is a fixed amount of money given to the court as part of a pre-trial release. Essentially, it is a monetary deposit to insure that an arrested person, who is released from jail, will appear in court when ordered to do so at a later date. If the individual fails to appear in court, the bond (deposit) money is forfeited. And, as a bonus, a warrant is then issued for the person’s arrest.

Cash Bond

A cash bond is a type of bond that requires payment of the entire amount up front, to the court, and in cash. However, at the completion of the case you will get your money back. For example, if someone is arrested for theft and their bond is set at $1,500, a friend or family member can post (pay) the $1,500, and the individual will be released from custody. As long as the arrested person later shows up to court as ordered during the entirety of their case, the $1,500 will be returned when the case is completed. Often someone arrested in Collin County is told by the police or a jailer that they need a lawyer to file a “writ bond” to get a friend or loved one out of jail for a DWI arrest, theft arrest, or marijuana arrest. This means it is possible to get a loved one out of jail quickly before they are taken to a judge to set bond. A “writ bond” is a loose term but it actually means a “writ of habeas corpus” filed with the County by a lawyer for their client (the person arrested) that will trigger a cash bond. If you find yourself in need of a writ bond I can help you with this.

Surety Bond

A surety bond is a type of bond that does not require an up-front payment to the court. Instead, a licensed surety promises to pay to the court the entire bond amount, on behalf of the arrestee, should the arrestee fail to appear in court when ordered. Basically, the surety is “on the hook” for the money if the person does not show up to court. In exchange for this monetary risk, most sureties (aka bail bond companies) will charge the arrestee (or the arrestee’s family) approximately ten-percent of the total bond amount. So, if someone’s bond is $25,000, the surety (bail bond company) will post the $25,000, and charge the arrested person a non-refundable fee of about $2,500.

Additionally, because the surety’s money is at risk, they typically impose strict conditions on the newly-released arrestee (e.g., check-in weekly, no travel, etc.). If you then violate these conditions (break your contract) with them, they may attempt to go “off-bond” (gain a release from their obligation) with you. If the court grants this request – as they often do – your bond will be revoked and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Occasionally, these types of bonds can be converted to a much less expensive cash bond. If converted, you will get the cash back after the case is finally over, as described above.

Personal Recognizance Bond

A Personal Recognizance (“PR”) bond is a type of bond that does not require you to post any money up front, or to hire a surety bail bond company. Essentially it is a “free” pre-trial release with a written promise that you will show up to court when later ordered to do so. If this promise is broken by not appearing in court, you will then owe the court a certain amount of money (usually specified at the time the PR bond is issued). As an example, someone given a PR bond of $2,500 will “get out of jail free” and will only owe the court $2,500 should they later fail to appear in court as ordered.

If you, or someone you know, is facing charges where a bond may be needed, it is very important that you contact a criminal attorney. I am here to answer any questions you may have. Please contact me at 972-369-0577.