If you have been arrested for a Texas DWI or another crime, you may have the option to be released from jail on a bail bond. There are many different types of bail bonds, but the one that comes to most people’s minds is the surety bond, where a third party (typically a bondsman) pays your bail and holds your bond. In the Lone Star State, however, you have another option: attorney bonds.
Attorney bonds are a type of surety bond and the process works the same way. The only difference is who holds your bond.
What is an Attorney Bond?
Like a surety bail bond, an attorney bond is a way for a defendant to be released from jail before a trial. With attorney bonds, you will pay your attorney the standard non-refundable fee (typically 10% of your bond amount), which they will use to secure your bail bond.
Neither an attorney nor a bondsman will be required to pay the full amount of your bond in order to bail you out of jail. They will use the 10% fee to secure your bond as well as your release.
How is an Attorney Bond Different?
Although the process of obtaining the bond is the same, there are a few ways in which attorney bonds are different from the typical surety bond.
For starters, the attorney who holds your bond must be the one representing you for the case in question. Your lawyer will have to file paperwork with the court stating that they will be acting as your attorney. According to Texas law, this lawyer does not have to be the only one working on your case, but they do have to handle it in some way.
For this reason, make sure that you select a lawyer based on their experience handling your type of case, NOT their willingness to help bond you out of jail. Because you will be “stuck” with this attorney for the duration of your case, you should always hire someone that you feel can adequately represent you. Otherwise, you’d be better off paying a bondsman.
Another difference with attorney bonds involves the cost of your defense. Many attorneys who hold bail bonds allow their clients to count the 10% bond fee toward their legal fees. If you were to hire a bondsman, you would have to pay his/her usual fee as well as all the costs associated with an attorney.
By having your attorney hold your bond, you can “kill two birds with one stone” and take care of your bond plus a few legal fees with one payment.
Lastly, attorney bonds help streamline your case. Having an attorney working on your bail from the get-go enables you to get released from jail sooner than using a traditional bondsman. S/he can bypass certain hoops and take your paperwork straight to the judge. If you’ve ever sat in a holding cell, you know that even a couple of hours can make a huge difference.
If you live in Travis or Bell County and have been charged with a DWI, I can help lower your bond amount, bail you out of jail, and work on your legal defense.