In Texas, the initial hearing after an arrest must take place within 24 hours. During this hearing, a plea is entered and a judge sets bail. After bail has been determined, the defendant’s family or friends can pay the amount in cash or complete an application with one of the bail bondsmen in Freestone County, Texas for a surety bond to be posted.
This initial hearing is known as the arraignment. At the arraignment, the defendant and the defense lawyer enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. The defense lawyer makes a case as to why cash bail should be set low or the defendant should be released on his or her own recognizance, meaning without any bail requirement.
The judge considers several factors when deciding on a bail amount. The person’s previous criminal history and the severity of the current charges are high priorities in this decision. The judge wants to know whether the defendant has a job or a business in the community, whether family members live there, how long they have resided there, and whether there are ties to organizations like a church. Some of these aspects indicate whether the defendant is a flight risk, and others indicates whether he or she poses a possible danger to the community.
Immediate Plea Deals
Occasionally, the prosecuting attorney will offer the defendant a plea deal during the arraignment. The defendant might want to accept this deal if cash bail has been set so high that there is no way to pay even the 10-percent service fee to bail bondsmen in Freestone County, Texas.
Consultation with a defense lawyer is imperative to understand whether this is a smart choice. In many cases, getting out of jail is practically the only thing on the person’s mind at that point. The concept of a permanent criminal record may seem unimportant in light of the possibility of having to stay behind bars. It would be useful to have a family member consult with an organization like A to Z Bail Bonds to find out which payment arrangements would be acceptable.