Austin Bail Bonds
Austin bail bond companies have a little legal secret they don’t want you to know. You can either pay a bail bonds company hundreds or thousands of dollars to get out of jail… or pay an Austin criminal lawyer nothing at all. An attorney can perform the same service, often much faster than a bail bondsman, and will apply your fee towards your case!
Travis County is the only Texas county (out of 254!) that allows for defendants to be released on personal bonds for any level of offense (even murder). And in Austin, personal bonds can be procured by a lawyer.
For example, if you have the ill fortune to be charged with murder (hopefully in error) and the bond is set at $100,000, you typically only have two options: 1) Put up the $100,000 immediately to guarantee you won’t flee to Mexico, or 2) get a bail bonds company to sign for the bond and pay them a percentage, usually 10-15%. That would mean paying the bail bonds company between $10,000 and $15,000 to assume the liability on the $100,000 bond.
However, in Travis County, there’s a third option: an Austin attorney can obtain a personal bond, avoiding having to deposit anything with the county to ensure your presence in court.
So, the obvious question is why? Some will claim that due to Travis County being a progressive city, defendants rights are paramount. “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” they’ll say. They will cite multiple field studies that demonstrate that personal bonds are a cost saving system for the public. It costs much more to house defendants accused of crimes than it does not to, and the vast majority of crimes are of a non-violent category.
Others who make up the minority opinion take an entirely different view that all people accused of crimes should be locked up. Ironically, it is this antiquated train of thought that triggered the field studies that favored the opposite approach.
Of course, not all people accused of crimes are entitled to bail; in some cases the potential harm to the community is so severe it warrants detaining an individual until they can face trial.
So, why do people ever hire bail bonds companies instead of criminal lawyers? The short answer is they simply don’t know better. Many people have few interactions with law enforcement (traffic tickets are an exception) and specifically the criminal justice system. They don’t have the knowledge to make an informed choice.
If you’re thinking of hiring a bail bonds company in Travis County you would be just as well served to light your cigar with hundred dollar bills. You are throwing money away. Instead of paying a bondsman, use your money to hire a qualified Austin lawyer to get your friend, family member, or co-worker out of Travis County Jail. It is simply money well and wisely spent.