Archive | Arlington TX Bail Bonds

Texas State Prisons do not Provide AC for Inmates

Inmates from a Texas state prison have been fighting a lawsuit in federal court for more than a year, and a recent ruling may not be enough to fix a problem that has been causing controversy for far longer than that.

Texas State Prisons do not Provide AC for Inmates

The facts of the case are as follows:

Six inmates, 5 with medical conditions and one with no outstanding health conditions, filed the suit against the Texas Department of Corrections and Justice in early summer of 2016.

They were seeking reprieve from the “unlivable and inhumane” conditions in the prison facility in which they were being housed; the heat and humidity levels in the summer easily reached dangerous levels of 100 degrees or more inside the buildings.

They claim that the “relief” provided by the prison officials and staff included only cool drinking water and ice, when available, and fans in the sleeping quarters.

They purport that these measures are not enough to mitigate the sheer heat and humidity, and this places them in unnecessary and irresponsible levels of danger, to their very health and well-being.

They were seeking an outcome which would include air conditioning to bring the ambient temperatures down to no more than 88 degrees in the summer heat, which would eliminate the dangers to their health.

The federal judge presiding over the case ruled that the inmates were in the right to ask for these measures, as fans, water, and occasional ice are not enough to prevent heat-related injury in circumstances such as this.

However, the Texas state prison system seems unwilling to admit that their handling of the situation up until the present time has not been effective, or even safe. They are actively involved in filing appeals on the federal ruling, and have no plans to implement the ordered air conditioning to bring the ambient temperatures down to livable, appropriate levels.

The main reason for the prison system’s seeming unwillingness, or the reason that they state as the logic for their opposition of the ruling, is that taxpayers in the state should not be held liable for the millions of dollars in work and operating cost that air conditioning for lawbreakers and criminals in the prison system.

Rows of prison cells, prison interior.

At this point, it might help to bring in a few points related, but separate, to this discussion.

The cells and living quarters at Guantanamo Bay prison system, where suspects of terrorism are taken for questioning, are air-conditioned.

Prisons in Alaska provide heat during the winter for the inmates and staff, because to refrain from doing so would be neglectful, and could cause unwarranted deaths due to cold-related injury.

In 1995, in the Chicago heat wave, residents in poorly-ventilated, non-air-conditioned apartments literally cooked to death, because they thought a fan would help their situation. In temperatures reaching over 85 or 90 degrees, a fan of any sort of description ceases to perform its function appropriately. Instead, the fan’s motor begins to overheat, and pumps more heated air into the room. Hundreds of people died in their own apartments, and when they were found later, their fans were still on, pumping hot air into the oven that used to be a living space for families and friends.

The global standards for basic human rights do not have specific demands or conditions for air conditioning. Instead, the rule is for “livable, humane conditions”. What this breaks down to is that in different areas, there are different climates, and a certain climate control measure may not be required year-round in one location for livability and humane conditions; but in another area, or a specific time frame, an external climate control measure may be absolutely, legally necessary to prevent cruelty, neglect, and inhumane conditions.

Medically, cool drinking water and occasional ice are not enough to combat heat-related injury, especially when you pair that with the travesty of fans that only add to the heat, as discussed above. Even submerging in an ice bath is not enough to combat heat injury in these instances.

And one last fact, which seems to speak volumes.

Since 1998, 22 inmates have died in Texas state prisons, due to heat-related injury, which could have been prevented if the living quarters of the prison had provided air conditioning to a livable level. 10 of those deaths occurred in 2011 alone, in four individual prison facilities. 2011 was one of the hottest summers on record, and that was the single year with the most heat-related deaths of prison inmates on record.

All because prisons seem to think it is okay to cruelly and inhumanely withhold suitable climate control measures from inmates.

Even if they are prisoners, they are still human, and deserve the basic rights due to human beings.

 

Harris County Bail Reforms – Working, or Wrong Track?

The entire nation has eyes on reforms to bail systems that have been implemented in recent years.

Some have taken place in New Jersey, and others are hitting a little closer to home.

Harris County Bail Reforms - Working, or Wrong Track?

The basic problem with traditional cash bail systems, as many people in support of the reforms claim, is that people with little to no available cash to secure their release languish in jail until their trials. Others, often arraigned for severe, even violent or repeat, offenses, sometimes have large amounts of petty cash at their disposal, and can walk free within hours of their bail amounts being determined.

The reforms are intended to prevent defendants without large financial assets from sitting in jail for weeks or months, and streamline the trial process to benefit the strain on taxpayer dollars.

In Harris County, a reformed bail system went into effect earlier in the year, but it is raising many concerns within the police community and ordinary citizens.

This new Harris County system provides a new option for defendants charged with a variety of misdemeanor charges.

Harris County Bail

The defendant no longer has to provide a large amount of cash to the court, or hire a bail bondsman, to secure their release before their trial date. Instead, they file an affidavit which lists their financial resources, assets, and is supposed to allow the court to determine whether they can legitimately afford their bail. If it is determined that the defendant cannot afford their bail, and remaining in jail until their trial would adversely harm their family or other life situations, then the defendant can be released without posting bail.

The basis for this new system is that the bail process is not supposed to detain and hold people because they are not wealthy;

It is only supposed to ensure that they appear at their trial date. Under the previous system, defendants could essentially be warehoused until their misdemeanor trial because they could not afford to pay their bail, and this is now being viewed by many as a breach of one of the tenets of the American judicial system – “innocent until proven guilty”. The old system seems to unwittingly imply that you can be treated as guilty for the unintentional crime of not having a lot of petty cash.

The problem seems to be in the implementation of this new system. The police officers tasked with vetting the authenticity of the defendants’ financial statements on these affidavits of unsecured bonds are unable to complete their investigations, because of a second aspect of this system. The defendant must either produce bail money or be released less than 24 hours after their arrest. Not their arraignment, but their arrest. The officers, in some cases, are not provided with the financial statements to follow up on until 12 to 18 hours after the defendant’s arrest, and this shrinks the time frame for their vetting process drastically.

One of the examples provided as proof that this system is failing is that the failure to appear rate under the previous, traditional cash bail system steadily hovered at around 9%, for years. In this year alone, the failure to appear rate on these new unsecured bond releases has skyrocketed to 30%. Obviously, something has gone wrong, and this system is not working. People who were arrested and subsequently released are skating by, because they can, in theory, lie on these affidavits, and the police do not have the time to ferret out the truth before the defendant has been released, by law, because they said they didn’t have the money to pay their bail.

What do you think?

Is this system good in theory, but needs some help in practice?

Do we need to return to the previous bail system?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

How Can I Prepare for My Bail Hearing?

How does a bail hearing work?

Bail exists solely to secure your presence at future court hearings. The bail hearing is always your first court appearance, after your arrest. A judge or other judicial official will be present at this hearing, along with the prosecutor. You always have the right to have an attorney with you, present and there on your behalf. The prosecutor often makes a recommendation on what your bail should be to the judge. You or your attorney will then make a recommendation for what your bail amount should be, if any. The judge, in their own sound discretion, will determine the type and amount of bail after both sides have made their recommendations.

prepare for bail bond hearing

Forms of Bail

A judge takes many factors into account when determining your bail. sometimes, for crimes of less severity, bail may take the form of a written promise to appear in the future with a cash bail, should the conditions of your release be violated. You may be required to post cash, or some form of property, as your bail with the court before you can be released.

Factors that can Determine Bail Amount

In order to determine your bail, the judge may ask you questions about the following factors:

Seriousness of the alleged crime

If the alleged crime is a misdemeanor, the usual solution is a signature or lower-cash bond. Allegations of violence, drug crimes, or other threats to the community will be examined much more closely, and generally are never granted release with a signature bond.

Existing warrants

Outstanding warrants for previous crimes will results in your release being postponed. You will be detained until the jurisdiction that issued the outstanding warrant can respond. If the warrant is for a “failure to appear”, your bond hearing might be discontinued for a short time to allow the issuing jurisdiction to respond.

Family ties in the area

Your judge might want to know where you will be staying, and who you will be with throughout the duration of your case. These might be the people you will rely on to help you stay out of further trouble with the law.

Steady employment

You will be asked if you have a job. You must be prepared to tell the judge where you work, how long you have been employed there, and what hours you work. You might also be asked about your prior work history.

Property that you own

In more serious cases, the court will ask about your ownership of real estate, vehicles, or other types of personal property. A home, vacant real estate, or other personal property will sometimes be pledged to fulfill your bail.

Prior criminal history

A lack of prior arrests may operate as a mitigating factor with regards to the amount of your bail. prior convictions will almost always influence the judge to set a higher bail. The judge almost always has your record on their desk, and they will know if you lie. If you make that mistake, you may end up in jail until your next court appearance, with no hope of release until then.

History of drug or alcohol abuse

Substance abuse can impair judgement, even to the extent that a person may ignore future court dates. Prior drug or alcohol convictions often results in a higher bail amount. If you do post bail, you may be required to periodically text while on your pretrial release.

Prepare Bail Hearing Bail Amount

What if I cannot post my bail?

If you cannot post a bail bond, you can bring a motion to reduce the amount. Any reduction is entirely within the judge’s purview (their discretion). Be prepared to fully comply with any conditions the judge may order, so that your bail might be reduced.

How Judges Determine Bail Amounts

First, what is “bail?”

Bail is usually defined as an amount of money, given to a court to ensure that a criminal defendant will return for their court appearance after an arrest. People often hear about bail in criminal proceedings, and that “the judge set the bail at a certain amount;” but it can be hard for people without a background in legal professions to comprehend how the process actually works, and how a judge determines an appropriate bail amount.

Bail bonds amount and payment

How bail amounts are set

People without a first-hand understanding of legal proceedings may want to know how the judge knows the amount he or she sets will ensure the defendant returns to court, or what factors are involved in the bail amount determination. Thankfully, if you are one of those people with some of those question, you found this blog!

When a judge is determining the amount at which to set a defendant’s bail, he or she takes into consideration a variety of factors and key points. Some of these include:

The nature of the crime committed and the circumstances surrounding the crime

If the crime was of a particularly violent or dangerous nature, the bail amount may be high. Judges sometimes have particular guidelines that they follow when determining bail amounts for specific types or categories of crimes, but generally speaking, the worse the crime, the higher the bail.

The evidence against the defendant and how likely, or unlikely, it is to lead to a conviction

If there is a high amount of evidence, and a conviction seems very likely, bail may be set high, to dissuade the defendant from trying to make a run for it. The judge must use his or her best judgement to attempt to create a situation where the defendant does what they must according to the law.

The defendant’s history in their community

This generally includes family ties, mental state, finances, and employment history. A person with many ties to their community will generally stick close while they await their court date.

The past and present conduct of the defendant.

This can include whether they have ever been convicted of a crime in the past, and whether they ever failed to appear when previously called to court. It has been said that history will repeat itself, if given the chance. The judge may not want to provide that chance if a defendant has failed to appear, previously.

The defendant’s criminal history

This often includes the chance that they would be a threat to the community if they are released after their arrest. If the crime was unusually violent, the judge will almost always set bail higher, to protect the community.

The defendant’s current criminal status.

This can be a major factor in setting bail. If the defendant is already on parole, probation, or release from another crime, those factors will heavily impact the amount at which bail is set.

The source of the defendant’s finances.

This is a factor, especially if their income appears to stem from a history of criminal activity. For example, if the defendant is arrested for selling drugs, it may be likely that their income is mainly from that “enterprise”. The judge may need to adjust bail accordingly, to ensure the defendant appears at court when they are required to do so. If the arrest is on a drug-related charge. If drugs are involved in the case, the street value of the drugs has an impact on the amount of bail. A high value of drugs generally leads to a high bail amount. This usually coincides with more serious charges against the defendant.

Bail Bond amount and payment

So, who controls bail amounts?

In general, the laws give a judge a great amount of leeway and freedom in setting bail. Judges are allowed to consider any other factors that may seem relevant to the case, above and beyond the factors we discussed in this blog. There is no real set rule or guideline, though judges sometimes follow precedent (what judges before them have done in similar cases) to set bail.

What happens once bail is set?

After the bail amount is determined, the defendant goes through a process called “booking”. During this process, the defendant is given the opportunity to post their bail (a legal term for pay or arrange payment), or arrange to have their bail posted on their behalf at a later time. Once bail is posted, the defendant will be released, and will be required to wait for the arraignment of their case (the beginning of the trial process).

Bonus Round!

What is “flight risk?”

Flight risk is used to describe a defendant who is likely to NOT show up to their future court dates if they are allowed to post bail. Defendants with a high probability of flight risk may not be released at all, or bail may be set at an extremely high amount, to ensure they do not miss their future court appearances. If a defendant skipped town before a prior court appearance, it is likely the judge will not afford them a similar opportunity again. But, if a defendant is not considered a flight risk by the judge, then the defendant completes the booking and bail processes as described above, and is released with the understanding that they are responsible for appearing in court at their assigned time in the near future.

 

Bail for Criminal Cases in Arlington TX from Just Bail Bonds

Have you been arrested in Arlington, TX? If so, you may want to contact Just Bail Bonds. These bail bondsmen can help you make your bail so that you can prepare a defense for your criminal case from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Everyone in Arlington has the right to freedom, including the right to post bail if they are arrested on suspicion of criminal activity. However, Arlington courts often set unreasonably high amounts of bail for criminal cases, making it difficult for you to pay the full amount. The courts reason that if you have to pay $25,000 or more to get out of jail, then you won’t decide to leave town instead of going to your court hearing. However, this leaves many people stuck in jail pending their trial.

To solve the problem, consider contacting an Arlington bail bond agent. Bail bond agents lend you the money to pay your bail. You pay just 10 percent of the entire bail amount up front and they pay the rest; you just have to pay back the bail bonds agency. This is often the quickest and most effective solution to your problems, as you’ll be able to pay your bond right away, get out of jail and plan your defense strategy. Once you’re out of jail, you’ll have the freedom to meet with your attorney as needed, so you’ll have a far better chance of not having to return to jail after your trial date. You’ll also be far safer than you would be in jail because you won’t have to deal with gang members, bullying or extortion as you would if you didn’t pay your bail.

Regardless of how poor you are or how serious the charges against you are, there’s no reason for you to stay in jail until after your trial date. Instead, contact the Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds to get the help you need to free yourself. You can call us at (817) 303-3400 in order to take the first steps towards arranging for bail and going home until your trial.

DWI Defense from a Trusted Arlington TX Bail Bond Agent

Being arrested for a DWI can be a confusing experience. Individuals who are placed in a jail cell often worry about the consequences of a DWI conviction, their family and their job. The Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds can provide the bail that the individual needs in order to leave the jail and can also assist with the individual’s criminal defense.

DWIs are a common charge and have an automatic amount set for bail. Once an individual is arrested for a DWI, he should contact a bail bondsman to arrange for the necessary bail. An Arlington TX bail bond is typically a certain percentage of the total bond. The bail bond company pays the entire bail amount that guarantees that the arrested individual will appear in court. Once the person appears in court, the court returns the bail money to the bail bond company.

When the arrested individual shows up in court, an Arlington DWI bail bond agent can assist him with his defense. An experienced DWI defense agent has a specialized knowledge regarding these types of cases and knows how to ask witnesses particular questions to raise reasonable doubt. The bail bond agents can also help to ask questions about the testing procedure and other relevant facts to help his client avoid conviction. Convictions for DWI in Texas can be very serious, resulting in thousands of dollars in fines, the suspension of a driver’s license, loss of a driver’s license and significant jail time. For an individual who has been charged with a DWI multiple times, the consequences are greater. It is important that an individual seek competent legal advice from an experienced bail bond agent to avoid these significant consequences. A defendant who tries to represent himself is less likely to be successful in proving his innocence than a defendant who has a trained and experienced legal advocate on his side.

When an individual is arrested for a DWI, it is critical that he post bail immediately so that he can return to his family and his job as quickly as possible. Prolonged stays in jail will reflect negatively on him to his employer and his social community. A bondsman can help him to achieve this goal. If the individual has not yet appeared in court, he should contact Just Bail Bonds at 817-303-3400 to arrange a meeting with a qualified agent who can assist him in developing an effective legal strategy for his defense.

Traffic Ticket Bail Bond Service from Your Arlington TX Bail Bond Agent

Jail time is a painful time. When situations involving incarceration arise, it is important to have a bond service on your side that will quickly and efficiently help to remove you from prison as quickly as possible. You need Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds. Especially in the arena of traffic law in Arlington, this bond service provides an invaluable service in helping individuals through troubled times, enabling them to focus on solving the legal issues they face. When it comes to traffic related issues, incarceration is often a surprise to the individual involved. Let’s take a brief look at some of the situations in which an individual may require a Dallas traffic ticket bail bond agent.

DWI or DUI

In Texas, intoxicated drivers are considered DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated. This classification covers not only consumption of alcohol, but of other illegal substances as well. The state maintains heavy penalties on those that are arrested for DWI. On first offense, drivers may be required to pay a fine of up to $2,000, up to 6 months in jail, one year forfeiture of driving privileges, and another $1,000 charge for the driver to get his or her license back.

Texas is one of the few states to have an additional DUI classification (most states have either one or the other). Offenders driving under intoxication are classified as minors. Even in this realm, the charges are strict: fines up to $500, up to 6 months of suspended license, community service, and alcohol awareness classes on first offense.

Sometimes good people make mistakes, or are mistakenly arrested. When this happens, a traffic ticket bail bond agent may be required to get that individual out of jail.

Expired or Revoked License

Many situations might occur in which an individual drives with an expired or revoked license. In some cases, this may result in arrest. Bail may be set at a rate the individual is unable to pay. When that happens, and individuals are willing to step in, an agent can help.

Speeding or Reckless Driving

An officer may go so far as to arrest an individual for speeding or reckless driving. While that often occurs in conjunction with a DWI or DUI, other factors may cause an individual to drive in a manner that the officer on duty feels puts other drivers on the road in danger. When that happens, a bail bondsman should be called immediately.

Whatever the situation, and whatever the traffic violation, Just Bail Bonds is here to help. Call your bail bonds professional today at 817-303-3400.

DWI Defense Provided by Just Bail Bonds in Arlington TX

Drinking and drinking is a problem plaguing the country, and certainly Texas is no exception. Texas carries strict penalties for DWI offenses, especially for repeat offenders. Our Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds can make sure your rights are fully protected and you are released from jail quickly and efficiently should you ever find yourself faced with a DWI charge. The website from the Texas Department of Transportation sheds more light on the penalties those charged with DWI can face.

First Offense

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Three days to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of driver license up to a year
  • Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

Second Offense*

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • One month to a year in jail
  • Loss of driver license up to two years
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

Third Offense*

  • A $10,000 fine
  • Two to 10 years in prison
  • Loss of driver license up to two years
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

*After two or more DWI convictions in five years, you must install a special ignition switch that prevents your vehicle from being operated if you’ve been drinking.

The best way to avoid a DWI charge is to never drink and drive in the first place. Rely on a designated driver, call a cab, or simply stay where you are. Should you find yourself facing a DWI charge, however, we are here to help. For additional information regarding DWI defense in Arlington and the surrounding area, give us a call at 817-303-3400 or contact us online today.

Immigration Bail Bonds in Arlington TX

There are many instances where you may need to rely on a reputable bail bond agent. One of these instances may involve questions of legal U.S. residency and citizenship, requiring what is known as an immigration bail bond. Issues of immigration are not to be taken lightly, and anyone facing this serious situation should immediately request the counsel of an experienced agent. Our Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds can handle all your residency related problems in a timely and efficient manner.

The immigration bail bond process can be far more complicated than the standard bail bond procedure, so it is imperative you employ expert advice in this situation. These issues involve two federal agencies: the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security. In order to best alleviate these issues, it is crucial to hire a bail bond agent familiar with federal agencies and their rules and regulations. Our trained team at Just Bail Bonds is familiar with the federal court system, and can use our extensive knowledge to assuage these issues efficiently.

Individuals dealing with immigration issues and facing deportation are placed in a federal immigration detention center, someplace no one wants to find themselves. An immigration bail bond will then be set, which is usually much higher than a normal bail bond. This bail bond will be to ensure the defendant appears at all scheduled immigration hearings regarding their potential deportation. This can be a complicated and confusing process, one that our Arlington bail bond agents can clear up for you.

Just Bail Bonds will work tirelessly on your behalf, ensuring you never face these issues alone. With any comments or questions, give Just Bail Bonds a call at 817-303-3400 or visit us online.

Reliable Bail Bond Service in Arlington TX

Several months ago a court ruling in Arlington County determined that the county could only collect $500K from forfeited bail bonds over the years. In an article by Dallas News reporter Kevin Krause, the issue surrounding the amount of money that is collectable is explained:

The number keeps shrinking — possibly because the county lost out on the ability to collect older judgments by failing in the past to issue liens and taking other steps to help collect civil judgments. Most of the $35 million is more than a decade old — some of it dating back to the 1960s and 70s.

County Judge Clay Jenkins announced the creation of a countywide task force this morning to help keep track of current and future bond forfeiture cases. He talked about the difficulty of tracking such cases due to antiquated computer technology and a lack of coordination among various departments, a problem first brought to light by The Dallas Morning News.

Bail bond forfeiture is the result of a missed court appearance. When a defendant misses the scheduled court date, a bench warrant is issued for the defendant’s arrest as well as a deadline for when either the defendant is to be returned to jail custody or the bail bond reinstated and paid to the court.

The Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds will make sure you have someone to walk you or your family through the bail bond process so you do not have any arrest warrants or missed court dates. Trust the professional Arlington bail bondsmen at Just Bail Bonds to provide you with all the information and care you need regarding your case so give them a call at (817) 303-3400 or visit them online to submit your bail bond case.