The Three Main Types of Bail Bonds in Texas

There are three main types of bail bonds in Texas that you can use to bond out of jail:  surety bonds, attorney bonds, and P.R. (personal recognizance) bonds.

It’s general knowledge that if you get arrested you need to bond out of jail, but what is a bond?  A bond is like an insurance policy.  A third party protects or guarantees that in the event something goes wrong (you don’t appear for court) the courts will get paid because you did not appear.  The third party is usually a bond company but it can be a cash bond or a personal promise by your signature.

Bond companies or attorneys posting bonds for clients are usually paid by accepting a percentage of the total amount of the bond as their fee (the insurance premium here) in return you get out of jail.  The percentage is usually 10% but can go higher depending on many factors specific to your case.  For example, you get arrested and taken to jail.  Once in jail, a magistrate or judge decides your bond amount.  For this example we’ll make it $1,000.00.  That means that if a person wants a bond company to post his bond he’ll pay $100.00 plus an administrative fee that has to be paid to the Sheriff’s department at the time the bond is submitted.  The bond company will then be responsible to the court for guaranteeing your appearance on the given court date.  If you run away the bond company may have to pay the amount of the bond to the court or promise the court they will find you and bring you back.


Our example is a perfect explanation of what happens when you get a surety bond to be released from jail.  A surety bond is usually posted by a company in the business of posting bonds for individuals who cannot afford to post the bond themselves.  To post a Cash Bond yourself you would deposit the $1,000.00 cash or cashiers check into the jail or court registry.  You would then lose $1,000.00 should you not appear in court.  If, however, you did appear and your case was concluded you could then have the money returned to you because you held up your end of the bargain.


Attorneys in some Texas Counties can post bonds only if they affirm that they are hired on the case.  This means that an attorney must represent you in some capacity in the actual charge before he is allowed to post an attorney bond.  In many cases this may be beneficial because, as a client of the attorney or law firm, you will not be required to report to a bond company or PR bond office. Additionally, everything you tell your attorney or their staff is confidential and cannot be revealed without your permission.


A Personal Recognizance bond, or PR bond, is when the nature of the charge, the criminal history of the arrested person, and the facts of the case warrant releasing a person from jail without them having to put up any money either through the jail or to a bond company.  This usually has a trade off.  The trade off is that once released on a PR bond you will likely be required to report to a PR bond office.  In Bexar County this is called Pre-Trial Services.  Being monitored by those people is a nightmare and there is a fee for obtaining the PR Bond.


Austin 512-278-0935

San Antonio 210-394-3833

Calling our office immediately upon release can help you in this situation.  First, we may be able to quickly get court approval for an attorney or surety bond, and then help you find a bond company or post an attorney bond so you are not continually bothered by Bexar County Pre-Trial Services.  Making this wise move will likely give you more time to work, less time spent on meeting conditions, and allow you to focus on protecting your good name.


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