Frequently Asked Questions
My husband / wife / son / daughter / friend has been arrested. What should I do?
Three things: Contact a criminal defense lawyer in your county and then call a bail bondsman to see about getting your friend or family member released.
Tell your friend or family member not to answer any questions about the incident and to ask for a lawyer, which should stop any police questioning.
What is bail?
Instead of waiting out the resolution of your case in jail, bail allows you to be released if you put up a financial deposit as a promise to appear in court.
Typically, people accused of a crime hire a bail bondsman. The bondsman will pay the county the entire bail amount in exchange for you paying the bondsman 10% of the bond.
For example, a typical aggravated assault bond in Comal County is $30,000. You can pay that amount to the county to get released, and the bail bondsman will refund it to you after your case is over.
Or you can pay a bail bondsman a non-refundable fee of $3000 (10% of the bail amount) in exchange for them posting the entire amount.
Do I have to appear in court?
Yes, you must appear at your court settings. It is a condition of your bond that you appear in court and on time. If you fail to appear in court, your bond can be revoked.
What are bond conditions?
A judge can impose restrictions on your life as a condition for being released. The conditions can include drug-testing, no contact with the alleged victim, or the case of DWI, requiring you to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
Will I have to plead guilty or not-guilty at the first court appearance?
No. In Texas, the judge will typically instruct you not to say anything except whether you understand your rights and are hiring a lawyer or need a court-appointed attorney.
What is deferred adjudication?
Deferred adjudication is a particular type of probation. The court places you on deferred adjudication for a certain amount of time. If you complete the term without getting in trouble, the State dismisses the charges, and you will not have a conviction on your record. However, suppose you commit another crime or violate the conditions of the deferred adjudication. In that case, you are found guilty, and the judge can assess any punishment in the statutory range of the crime.
Do you have payment plans?
Yes. I typically require half the fee to be paid up front, and clients can pay the balance over time.
Do you accept credit cards?
Am I eligible for DWI Expunction?
In Texas, a person who completes straight probation is not eligible for expunction or non-disclosure. Furthermore, one cannot erase other final criminal convictions from a criminal record.
For example, a DWI conviction can never be expunged or sealed. If the court gave you as your punishment time served in jail or a prison sentence, you have a final conviction that cannot be sealed or expunged.
Who is a Juvenile?
In common usage, a juvenile may mean 16 years old and younger, 18 years old and younger, or 21 years old and younger. However, a juvenile is ten to sixteen years old under Texas law. An adult is seventeen and older. Sealing of records governs clearing offenses that occurred as a juvenile. Expunction and non-disclosure are the two main mechanisms to clear a crime that happened as an adult.
What Immediate Action Should I Take for a DWI?
What should I expect in the Pre-Trial process?
These articles will help you understand the Texas criminal law process before trial.
Learn more about Bail in New Braunfels and Central Texas
After the police arrest someone for committing a crime, the police must present the person to a judicial officer within 48 hours of the arrest. This appearance is known as presentation. During the arraignment, the judicial officer will inform the person of the charges against him and his Miranda rights. Also, the judicial officer will make the initial bail determination.
Learn more about Rights During Police Stops in New Braunfels and Central Texas
Learn more about Indictments in Central Texas
Learn more about Central Texas Dockets and Resets
Learn more about The Impact of Plea Agreements