Bail vs. Bond: What You Should Know After Being Arrested in Houston, TX

The difference between “bail” and “bond” all depends on who’s paying the bill.

If you are arrested in Texas, you will be taken to the local police station for booking. At that point, a judge will set a court date and decide the terms of your bail order. Bail is the monetary amount you must pay to secure your conditional release from prison with the promise that you will appear in court. When you or your family pay bail, you have been bailed out.

However, if you don’t have the money to pay bail, your best option may be to borrow money from a bail bond company. Bail bond companies usually charge a fee, and sometimes require collateral assets to secure the bond. When a bail bond company pays the bill, it is called a bond.

Bail bond hearings and different types of bonds

When you are arrested for a crime, the judge will set the cost of your bail at the bail bond hearing. To determine the bail amount, some of the factors the judge considers include:

  • The nature of the charges against you.
  • Whether you are considered to be a flight risk.
  • Your past criminal record.
  • Your ability to pay.

Once the bail amount has been decided, you will have the option of paying bail or securing a bond through a bail bond company. Listed below are a few types of bonds:

  • Signature bonds. This type of bond requires the defendant to sign a promissory note stating that they will return to court for trial. It does not require any type of cash deposit with the court. It is most often used for defendants who have no prior criminal history or who have been accused of a minor crime.
  • Unsecured bonds. This means the bond is not backed by an asset, and the only assurance the bond will be repaid is through the word of the person for whom the bond is issued.
  • Secured bonds. This refers to bonds that are backed by an asset. The asset could be a vehicle, property, or stream of income. Courts and bail bond agents prefer secured bonds.
  • Cash bond. When the defendant pays the bond in cash, the county holds the bail money and returns it if the defendant attends all of their court dates.

Texas criminal defense lawyers

Being accused of a crime can be a terrifying experience for anyone. If convicted, it can have negative repercussions on the rest of your life. At the Law Office of Andrew Williams, our criminal defense attorney is board certified in criminal law and has over 20 years of experience protecting our client’s rights and fighting for them in court. Before you make any decisions about the outcome of your criminal charges, give us a call at 281-358-9111 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.