Tag Archives | 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!

What is Pretrial Release?

Just Bail Bonds is a bail bond agent in Dallas who helps those who require assistance posting bail to be released from jail, but if you end up in jail you do not always have to pay to get out. A pretrial release allows you to leave the jail if you promise to return for the entire duration of the trial. It was originally designed to help reduce the amount of overcrowding in jails in the area. There are many qualifications you have to fulfill to be eligible for this option in Dallas, but if you do qualify, it can get you out of jail until your court date.

The program that governs releases is run through Dallas County. This program collects information about you to determine if you fit the requirements to be released on a personal promise to return. In most cases, you have to be a resident of Dallas County and jailed for an offense committed there. You cannot have ever forfitted on a bond, be a parolee, or have a felony conviction. To verify your information, you will need to provide your identification and agree that you will appear in court. Dallas County has a program that oversees this pretrial release option and screens people for the right qualifications. To see if you qualify or to have your information reviewed, you need to contact Dallas County.

If you do not qualify for this pretrial type of release, you may have to post bail to get out of jail. A portion paid on this fee ensures that you will appear in court, and if you don’t you owe the full amount and may have a warrant put out for your arrest. If you need the assistance of a bail bondsman in Dallas, contact Just Bail Bonds at 214-272-0792.

Dallas Immigration Bail Bond Agent from Just Bail Bonds

Non-citizens of the United States have twice the problems to deal with if they are arrested, as they can be deported for not complying with the terms of their green cards. If you or a loved one is currently in the custody of Dallas immigration officials following an arrest, you need to contact an experienced immigration bail bond agent to get you free and help you settle your immigration case. Just Bail Bonds has both Dallas TX bail bond agents and immigration attorneys on staff to help you.

In general, you’ll need bail bondsman services if you are arrested, regardless of your immigration status. Dallas bail bonds agents put up a portion of your bail so that you can afford to pay the rest, and you or your family then makes arrangements to pay the bail bonds agent back. This is helpful because courts often require high amounts of bail from criminal defendants. The court wants to make sure that you return for your court hearing, so it requires a significant amount of bail to ensure that you don’t run away from your court date. However, most people don’t have the money to pay their bail entirely on their own, which is why it’s important to contact a bail bonds agency.

This is even more important if you are facing an immigration issue. Many immigrants are turned over to immigration services after being arrested, and if they don’t get the appropriate help, they can be deported back to the country they came from. Thus, you need not just a bonds service, but an immigration bonds service to help you deal with this issue. Not only do these types of services help you get out of jail by posting bond for you, but they offer immigration attorneys to help you deal with your immigration issues. This is important because many criminal attorneys don’t understand the immigration process, so you could still get deported even if you are acquitted of charges if you don’t use an immigration expert.

If you or a loved one is currently facing immigration problems due to an arrest, contact Just Bail Bonds today. Call 214-272-0792 to arrange for bail bond services and to make an appointment with an immigration attorney after your release.

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.

Choosing a Quality Arlington Bail Bond Agent

Finding a quality bail bond agent can be a discouraging process if you don’t know what to look for or expect. Our Arlington TX bail bond agents at Just Bail Bonds can help you in any situation.

You should first ask to see and expect a bail bond agent to have their license and identification. If the agent hesitates or cannot produce these documents, you should probably move on to another agent.  Just Bail Bonds Arlington bail bond agents will always share their licenses and certifications with a client.

Make sure you are aware of all costs involved in the bail bond process up front. Be wary of premiums higher than 10% of the bail set by the court. Get an itemized list of all costs involved in the process from your bail bond agent. Your Just Bail Bonds Arlington bail bond agent will be certain to inform you of all costs up front.

While dealing with a bail bond agent, ask for receipts and request copies of all documents you are required to sign. Clarify any terms you do not understand in the documents with your Arlington bail bondsman and review them in full.

If your agent is inaccessible and reluctant to communicate with you or the person employing them on your behalf, call a Just Bail Bonds bail bond agent now.

Just Bail Bonds bond agents are available 24/7 to help with any situation! Call (817) 303-3400