In the State of Texas, bail can cost hundreds of dollars for misdemeanor charges and thousands of dollars for larger felonies. If you’ve ever encountered the term “excessive bail,” you know that some Texas judges can set incredibly high cash bail amounts. In fact, in 2017, a judge in Killeen, TX, broke the record for the highest bail amount by setting a $4 billion bond. Although there are rules in place to keep this from happening, there’s no way to completely stop it. Keep reading to learn more about unfair bail amounts and what you can do to protect your rights.
Excessive Bail and Texas Constitution
For starters, Texas’ constitution aims to protect the accused from excessive bail. When a judge sets the amount at the bail hearing for pretrial release, they consider several factors, which include your potential risk to public safety. They also include your criminal history and your connections. Despite the principles outlined in the Texas constitution and the Eighth Amendment, a lot of judges tend to set unrealistically high bail amounts. This occurrence is common in cases where the judges want to keep you in jail for longer.
Keeping you in jail by setting excessive bail goes against the Eighth Amendment. In addition, other bail practices can contribute to excessive bail too. For example, a law enforcement officer can treat a misdemeanor, such as possession of a small quantity of marijuana, as a felony for marijuana possession. Authorities could charge you with the intent to sell, even if it was just for recreational use. Then, the bail system will see it as a criminal case, and the judge could give you a higher bail amount for committing this felony.
Unfair Bail Schedules
In most states, county jails will post bail schedules. These schedules display the bail amounts for common charges. You can get out of jail immediately after booking, if you pay the full amount. If you don’t have the ability to pay, you can hire a bail bondsman. A bonds agent can vouch for your appearance in court in exchange for a fee.
Authorities will refuse other amounts of bail that aren’t outlined in the schedule. If you think that the court set the bail too high for you, you have to go before a judge. If you want to skip a formal hearing, some areas in Texas have designated duty judges. These types of judges can fix bail via phone.
How A-EZ Out Bail Bonds Can Help
Excessive bail is much higher than bail that is usually set for a charge. If you believe that the court has set excessive bail for your case, you can file an appeal and ask the courts to lower the bail. Contact A-EZ Out Bail Bonds as soon as the amount is settled! Our Dallas bail bond agents are available 24/7 and work tirelessly to get you out of jail fast. If your bail amount is still very high, we will set up a payment plan to accommodate your monetary needs. Our mission is to offer affordable bail bonds that will help put your life back on track.