Archive | Dallas 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.

 

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.

 

How to Find Out Someone’s Bail Amount

ThereBail Amount are a number of ways to find out at what amount bail has been set for a defendant. All you need is a telephone and some form of directory, whether it be a phone book or an internet search engine. We at Just Bail Bonds offer the following tips for getting answers when you need to know a bail amount.

Call the Courthouse

The county courthouse can provide information regarding the amount of the bail, as long as you can provide certain information regarding the identity of the defendant. The courthouse number can be found in the government pages of a phonebook or through the web on an online directory. The information required from you may include the defendant’s name, address, date of birth, and possibly a case or inmate number.

Ask a Lawyer

If the case necessitates legal counsel, the courts will let the attorney know what the bail amount is. Again, information such as name and date of birth may be required. Once the attorney or office staff locates the case, the amount of the bail may be disclosed

Call a Bondsman

A bail bondsman is any person or representative of a person who is paid to uphold surety on a bail bond. The bail bond agent is in business to guarantee that a defendant will appear in court after release from jail. Once a bail bondsman is hired, he or she can contact the courts to find out the exact amount of bail.

At Just Bail Bonds, we arrange bail bonds as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to gain a speedy release and let people begin to move on with their lives. Defendants and signers should be aware of the conditions of a bail bond, including the requirements of repayment for the bail amount. Contact us at (214) 272-0792 for help and information about Dallas bail bonds.

Dallas Bail Bonds: What Affects Bail Amount?

Dallas Bail BondsAfter the bail process begins, many people wonder what affects the amount of Dallas bail bonds. Although there is usually a bail schedule that determines how much bail should amount to based on the crime committed, a person’s bail amount can also vary depending on other impacting factors. At Just Bail Bonds, we’re here to help you understand what types of things affect your bail amount.

Determining Factors

A person’s background may affect a judge’s decision while they are determining the amount of Dallas bail bonds. These conditions may include:

  • The person’s prior criminal court record and their history of following court orders
  • The person’s job and the state of their finances
  • How much time they have lived in their current community
  • The person’s threat to public safety
  • If they have ties to family members in their community
  • The probability of conviction and what their future sentence may be like

Additionally, the judge may also consider factors such as the severity of the crime, what type of property they own in their community, and their country of citizenship.

Judges Have the Ultimate Say

Although there are a variety of different factors that can affect bond amounts, judges have the ultimate say in how much bail will be. For example, if the accused person is charged with a minor offense, they have a stable career, and have lived in their community for several decades, the judge on the case may choose to release them without making bail a requirement. A judge may also decide to lower the bail amount for a person if they lack significant financial resources.

If you were accused of a crime and are in need of Dallas bail bonds, you can turn to us at Just Bail Bonds for assistance. You can reach us by calling 214-272-0792.

Bail Collateral: What It Is and How It’s Used

Bail CollateralSome legal terms are thrown around constantly in the media and in popular culture but are still very misunderstood. For many people, legal issues involving Dallas bail bonds fall in this category, which makes it difficult for them to know what to expect when they are faced with an actual arrest. At Just Bail Bonds, we understand that the process can be complicated, and our experienced staffers are happy to help you figure out whether bail collateral is an option that will work for your situation.

Why Is Bail Used?

When people are arrested, they are sometimes afforded the opportunity to be released from jail if they post bail. If the arrestee does not appear in court at the required date, the bail will be kept by the court and an arrest warrant will be issued for the defendant. In a legal setting, bail is cash, property or a bond that is given to a court as a means of better ensuring that arrestees will show up for their required court appearances. Bail collateral can be offered instead of or in combination with bail money in order to secure a release from jail, and it can include:

  • A house
  • Jewelry
  • A motor vehicle

What Is the Process?

For those who opt to use physically large assets as collateral, it is typical for the bail agent or court to require that the deeds or pink slips be left in their trust. If a small item is offered, such as a watch or a ring, the agent will instead simply take physical possession until the case has been resolved. It is important to note that even if someone is eventually cleared of all charges, if that person failed to appear in court at an agreed-upon date and time, the collateral will be collected.

If you have been arrested and would like to use bail collateral for your release, contact Just Bail Bonds at (817) 303-3400. We can help make the process as quick and painless as possible.

Bondsman Definition Made Simple

Bondsman DefinitionBail bondsmen fill a crucial role in our criminal justice system. In order for individuals to stay out of jail while cases are heard in court, a bondsman must often help post bail. At Just Bail Bonds, we understand how important it is for families and individuals to know where their money is going and how it will be used to help their loved ones during a difficult time. If you have a question regarding a bondsman definition, here is the answer.

Definition of a Bondsman

Bail bondsmen are companies or people that offer bail money in exchange for collateral to allow individuals accused of a crime to stay out of jail until the court hearing.  Any time an entity or person does this, they are technically following the bondsman definition. However, actually becoming a bail bondsman is much more complicated than loaning someone money for bail. Written exams and licensing are often required before one can earn the title of bail bond agent.

How the Process Works

Agents who fit the bondsman definition make money by charging a fee each time they post someone’s bail, which is usually about 10 percent of the bail amount. The bond is created when people do not have enough money to cover the entire bail amount, and a Dallas bondsman loans individuals the difference.

After a defendant appears in court, his or her case proceeds, and the bond is released.  The bondsman is no longer needed. However, if a defendant does not show up for the court date, a bondsman is legally able to contract with bounty hunters to forcibly return the defendant to the court’s jurisdiction.

We are happy to answer any additional  bondsman definition questions you may have, and we are happy to talk to you about any concerns at Just Bail Bonds. Contact us at (817) 303-3400 today.

 

Knowing How to Pay for Bail Bonds Can Protect You

How To Pay For Bail BondsWhen you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, getting out of jail quickly is often the most important thing that you can do. Rather than having to stay in jail until your trial date comes up, you can post bail and get home after booking. At Just Bail Bonds we want you to know how to pay for bail bonds so you can get through the process quickly and ensure that you are out of jail as soon as possible.

Different Types of Bonds

Bail bonds can be paid in several different ways, often depending upon the type of crime that was allegedly committed. When considering how to pay for bail bonds, you have several common options:

  • Personal Bond
  • Cash Deposit Bond
  • Surety Bond
  • Cash Bond

Which Bond to Use

Deciding which bond to use can depend on how much money you have. If you are short on cash, a personal bond may be your best bet since they allow you to be released on credit. If you have some money to spare, using a Dallas bonds company that can provide a surety bond may be a good option. We can help guide you through the process so that you have the most information available and make the decision that is best for your situation.

For more information on how to pay for bail bonds and the different types available, contact Just Bail Bonds today at 817-303-3400 so that you can get home quickly.

Know How Bail Bonds Work Before You Need One

How Bail Bonds Work

Not everyone starts off a night of casual drinking expecting to drive home. When you drive while intoxicated, you put yourself and the people around you at risk. This is exactly why a DWI offense is taken so seriously. If you or someone you know is arrested for a DWI, it is important to understand how bail bonds work and how we at Just Bail Bonds can help you out.

The Process

If you or someone you know is arrested for a DWI, you will likely be taken to the local jail where you will be fingerprinted, a mug shot will be taken, and you will be asked for a statement. Unless a bail is posted, you will need to remain in jail until your scheduled court date. This is how bail bonds work: when you do not have the money to post the bail yourself, a bail bond company can post Dallas bail bonds for you so that you can go home until your court date.

Your Responsibility

There is usually a non-refundable fee to the bail bondsman of approximately ten percent of the bail. As long as you show up to your court date, the bail bondsman will get back the money he or she put up for you and you just owe that fee. Should you fail to appear in court, the bail bondsman may not receive the bail back, can hire a bounty hunter to track you down, and sue you for the money lost due to your failure to appear. In short, don’t miss your court date.

Know how bail bonds work before you or someone you know needs one. Should you need help with bail, call Just Bail Bonds at 817-303-3400. We can help you get home quicker.

 

 

What You Need to Know About DUI Bail Bonds

DUI Bail BondsWhile you probably already know that drunk driving cases are prosecuted aggressively in Texas, you may not know all the details about DUI bail bonds that can help you get out of jail without a lot of money up front. Turn to Just Bail Bonds when you are facing DUI or DWI charges.

How the Process Works

If you have been arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), you know you need to get out of jail – now. You have to get to work the next day, or you just need to be able to meet with an attorney and start planning your defense. Depending on the particular charges of your case, you may have a “get out of jail free” option, where al you need to do is provide your signature as a promise to appear at hearings. In most cases, however, people have to purchase their freedom with payment of DUI bail bonds in an amount set by the judge.

Cash Bail Versus Bail Bonds

In some cases, the bail may be set very high, or specified as “cash bail,” which means the entire amount must be deposited with the court before you will be freed. Most cases allow for DUI bail bonds, which will enable a bail company to pay a percentage of the total bail amount, and they will offer assurance to the court that you will return to attend any required hearings or trial. Before you agree to any terms or details, check with a reputable Dallas bail company for more information about your unique case. Call Just Bail Bonds at 214-272-0792 for help.