In Texas, criminal defendants must secure bail bonds to get out of the county jail. Once the judge approves their bail, the defendant or a representative can contact a bail bondsman to make arrangements. Certain laws apply to the bonds and require the bondsman to follow them when providing bail bonds in Van Zandt County, Texas to criminal defendants.
Protection from Excessive Fees
The 8th amendment to the U.S. constitution prevents that state from charging excessive bail amounts. Regulations also apply to the assignment of fees for bail bonds. Currently, the cap on the fees cannot exceed 14% of the bail. Bonding agencies aren’t allowed to charge any fees beyond the percentage.
Using Collateral Instead of Money
The criminal defendant isn’t required to use the money to cover the cost of the fees. If they don’t want to use money, the defendant can provide collateral. The collateral includes real estate, automobiles, jewelry, and certain financial accounts. The defendant provides a title or deed to the bail bondsman when the collateral is accepted.
A Failure to Appear
Any failure to appear in court leads to an immediate arrest of the defendant. The judge issues a bench warrant if the defendant doesn’t appear in court as expected. Their appearance is a part of the terms of their release on bond. It is a new offense if they don’t appear, and the court imposes fines and other penalties.
What Happens to Collateral?
After the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bondsman is within their rights to seize the collateral used to secure the bond. It doesn’t matter if the appraised value of the asset exceeds the total bail or not. Once seized, the defendant cannot file any motion to reacquire the asset.
In Texas, criminal defendants obtain bail bonds when they cannot afford their bail. The terms of the defendant’s release dictate what is expected of the defendant to remain free until their court date. Collateral is used when the defendant doesn’t have enough money to pay for the bond. Criminal defendants who want to learn more about bail bonds in Van Zandt County, Texas should contact a bondsman to schedule an appointment right now.