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Just arrested? What do you do next?

Person in Jail

Two important issues for a person who has been arrested are:

  • Release from jail as soon as possible
  • Protection of the person's legal rights

A lawyer may greatly expedite a person's release from jail.

Reasons to hire a lawyer prior to or immediately after arrest

  • Increase the likelihood of obtaining a personal recognizance bond
  • Reduce time waiting to be released on bond
  • Witnesses can be questioned and an investigation can begin at once while memories and evidence are fresh
  • Experienced guidance will be provided during a legal emergency
  • Your legal questions will be answered
  • The direct legal implications of the arrest will be clarified for you
  • Friends and family will receive answers to their questions about the legal system
  • An impounded car can be located and the client's family will receive instructions on how to retrieve it

Information we need

Having as much of the following information as possible ready when you contact us will expedite the process of jail release:

  • Full name of person arrested
  • Date and time of arrest
  • Full name of person calling
  • Relationship of person calling to person arrested
  • Background information (employment, community involvement, etc.) of person arrested
  • Name of jail where person arrested is being held
  • Alleged reason for arrest
  • Names of people present at the time of arrest
  • Criminal history of arrested person

Contact us at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you or a loved one has been incarcerated.  

Understanding the bail process

After a person is arrested, they are taken to the jail in Travis County. There, they will be booked and incarcerated while the arresting officer files the charges against the defendant.  The arrested person is presumed innocent at this time.

The arrested person has a choice:

  • Await his court date in jail 
  • Post bond — a determined amount of money which is used by the State as collateral to ensure that the arrested person returns to court

In determining the amount of the bond, the judge will consider factors such as:

  • The severity of the crime
  • The criminal history of the accused
  • The likelihood the accused will leave the area to avoid trial
  • The financial resources of the accused

Bond options

Once the bail amount has been set, the following bond options are available (options differ depending on the jurisdiction of arrest):

Personal recognizance (PR) Bond

This allows the accused person to be released on his/her own recognizance, with no bail being required.

Several factors are considered before an accused person is awarded a personal recognizance bond, including but not limited to:

  • The offense for which a person is being charged
  • The fact alleged by law enforcement
  • A person's criminal history
  • Verifiable information provided by the person
  • Whether the accused is local or from out-of-town

A personal recognizance bond is not automatically granted,  and may be more likely to be approved if the arrested person has hired an attorney.

Cash Deposit Bond

This bond allows the accused person to deposit a percentage of the full amount of the bond with the Sheriff. The deposit is usually refunded upon resolution of the case.

If the accused fails to appear in court on the correct date, the deposit may be forfeited and the judge may issue a warrant for arrest.

Cash Bond

The accused person deposits the full amount of the bond with the Sheriff's office.

Although the money is usually refundable upon resolution of the case, it is not unusual for a case to take a year or more to resolve. As with the cash deposit bond, if the accused person fails to appear in court, the money may be forfeited and the judge may issue a warrant for arrest.

Surety Bond

This type of bond functions like an insurance policy to guarantee the bail amount when it is too large to pay upfront. The accused person will hire a bail bond company and will typically be charged 10-15% of the bond amount.

Some possible drawbacks are that the bail bondsman may require a co-signer and/or collateral, the fee is not refundable, nor can the bond fee be applied toward attorney fees.

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The Langford Firm, PLLC

Randy L. Langford

1104 Nueces Street, Suite 204
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 571-3941
Contact Us

Randy L. Langford is licensed to practice in all Texas District, County, and Municipal Courts, and in Federal Court in the Western District of Texas.


Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Member of the College of the State Bar of Texas
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