Finding out that a loved one has been arrested and is now in jail can be an overwhelming experience, whether you were prepared for it or not. It’s natural to have many questions, such as their well-being, what will happen to them, when they will be released, and what steps you can take to help. You may also be concerned about the costs involved. An Austin jail release attorney can act quickly to start the process immediately.
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How Do I Get Someone Out Of Jail in Austin, TX?
The first thing you should do when a family member is arrested is to call a jail release lawyer, not a bondsman. In Travis County, a lawyer can immediately visit with a judge and secure what is known as a “personal recognizance (PR) bond” to get your loved one released from jail. A personal recognizance bond allows your family member to get out of jail without having to put down any monetary deposit or collateral.
It does not matter what time of day or night it is. Travis County has a judge on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that a lawyer can visit with the judge to secure release at any time, including holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Additionally, unlike a bondsman, a lawyer can right away begin to provide your loved one with legal advice. At any hour, a lawyer can perform an “official visit” and personally meet with your loved one while they are incarcerated. The lawyer will not only reassure your loved one that they are working on their release but will also have an “attorney-client” confidential conversation about the allegations. This allows the attorney to immediately begin preparing your loved one’s defense.
If you need a jail release attorney in Austin, TX, or Travis County or simply have questions about the jail release process for your loved one, call the Law Office of Jorge Vela today. We are available 24/7 to respond to your calls and emails, and we also speak fluent Spanish. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help if you have a loved one behind bars in Travis County.
How Soon Can I Get Someone Out of Jail?
Getting released from jail is, unfortunately, not a quick process. Sometimes this process can take a few days. However, it can usually be sped up by taking specific steps, such as hiring experienced legal representation.
One of the most significant factors in how quickly someone will be released from jail is how quickly they appear before a magistrate judge. Standing back and waiting for their turn often takes hours and hours, and sometimes even days if the jail and the court are busy.
A seasoned jail release attorney with extensive experience helping incarcerated individuals knows the courts and the various available methods of getting your family member to the front of the line. An attorney can also perform what is known as a “waiver of magistration” which skips the process of having to wait for a judge.
If you are anxiously waiting for your loved one to get out of jail, not knowing their present condition or if they are safe, it can make the minutes tick by, causing even more anxiety. Not only can an attorney help move your loved one to the front of the line, but they can also get started on their legal representation and any other jail release requirements, such as paperwork, right away. This can help the process move along more quickly and make your loved one’s defense more effective.
Why Call a Jail Release Attorney vs. a Bail Bondsman?
When someone you love is arrested, one of the first actions you might think to take is to call a bail bondsman. While this might seem like the best option at the time, it’s essential to consider another alternative.
In many cases, calling a jail release attorney in Austin, TX will result in a better and quicker resolution to your loved one’s incarceration than calling a bail bondsman. It will also be a cheaper process, as the attorney will usually include jail release as part of their representation fees.
Potentially Getting Out of Jail Sooner
The Travis County jail release attorneys at the Law Office of Jorge Vela offer more options that are typically less expensive when it comes to getting someone out of jail. Instead of waiting a day or two for a magistrate to review their charges, your loved one could leave jail, possibly within hours after contacting an experienced attorney.
Once hired, the lawyer can interview your loved one to learn the critical details of their case, begin the bond paperwork, and perform a preliminary investigation. Getting this started usually helps decrease the time it takes to be set free. A bail bondsman can’t do all of this.
Help with Getting a Personal Bond
Additionally, a bail bondsman can’t help someone who is incarcerated with a personal bond or a cash bond. Only pre-trial services or the inmate’s attorney can recommend a personal bond to the judge. Pretrial services will usually only recommend a personal bond on minor offenses and only when they can confirm the personal details of the defendant.
If you are getting a surety bond through a bail bondsman, you usually pay them a percentage of the bond as a fee. Usually, 10 to 20 percent of the total bond is common, and you won’t receive this money back. Often, bail bondsmen require co-signers for this service and sometimes collateral.
Unlike a bondsman, an experienced attorney can help speed up the jail release process by personally visiting with a judge and skipping over the magistration (advisement of rights and charges) process.. Since a bail bondsman can’t ask for personal bonds, using one is often more time-consuming, risky, and expensive.
Types of Bonds in Travis County
For most individuals who have been arrested, a bond will be required for their release. However, there are a few different types of bonds, and some are more desirable than others.
With a personal bond, no one is required to put down money or collateral with the county. However, there may be some administrative fees. Typically, the fee is $40 or 3 percent of the bond set within seven days of release.
The incarcerated person only needs to give their promise that they will appear at all future court proceedings. However, if they fail to follow through with this promise, and the personal bond is revoked or forfeited, then they are liable for paying the entire amount of the personal bond.
With a cash bond requirement, the inmate or a friend or family member must pay the entire bond amount to Travis County in cash. You can’t pay with checks or credit cards; only cash, money orders, and cashier’s checks are accepted.
Once the case is resolved, which could take months or even years, the cash is returned to the person who paid it. However, cash bonds can be rather expensive, and the person who pays it may not get it back for quite some time, or in some instances, ever.
Surety bonds are the type of bonds used by bail bondsmen. Unlike a personal bond, they require payment upfront. However, they are designed for those who can’t pay a cash bond, either because they simply can’t afford it or the bond is set extremely high.
A bail bondsman pays the surety bond to the court on behalf of the inmate. This payment is a way of ensuring the individual charged with the crime will appear at their future court dates.
Bail bondsmen usually charge a fee of approximately 10 to 20 percent of the total bond. Since the fee pays for their services, it’s non-refundable.
In addition to the fee, the bail bondsman may require a co-signer to complete the bond. If bail is revoked or forfeited in the case, the co-signer then becomes financially responsible for the entire amount of the bond. Co-signers are also sometimes required to have collateral for as much as double the surety bond amount.
If it becomes necessary for you to work with a bail bondsman, the attorneys at Jorge Vela Law can still help ensure your loved one doesn’t sit a minute longer in jail than they have to.
Travis County Jail Booking Procedures
You can check online about the status and location of someone who has been arrested.
During the booking process, the arrested individual must hand over all of their personal belongings, including any cell phones they have. Staff at the jail will inventory, record, and store these items. Your loved one will not be permitted to have these items until they are released from jail.
Travis County jail booking procedures also include the following:
- Collecting general information such as the arrestee’s name and address
- Taking their mugshot
The law enforcement officer who made the arrest must complete a police report or file a probable cause affidavit with Travis County Court.
From there, a magistrate judge will review the information provided by the arresting officer. They will also consider the inmate’s charges and any criminal history they might have to determine what type of bond should be set and at what amount. If you have hired an attorney, they can talk to the magistrate at this point about possibly setting a personal bond for your loved one.
Questions about Jail Release? Call the Travis County Jail Release Attorneys Today
Having a loved one in jail can be an extremely disconcerting experience. You need answers to your questions and legal help that only an experienced Travis County jail release attorney can provide. Look no further than Jorge Vela Law.
While we most commonly help with jail release for those facing domestic violence and DWI charges, we can help in nearly any situation. For your convenience, our staff and attorneys speak both English and Spanish.
If you have questions about jail release or are ready for our office to help you or a loved one, contact us online or call us at 512-537-1237. We are available 24/7 for your criminal defense and jail release needs. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can help.