Bail Bonds in Richmond Texas
Fort Bend County Jail

Bail Bond Information

  1. How does the Arrest Process work?
  2. What are Bond Conditions?
  3. What is a Cosigner?
  4. What should I do next?
  5. Should I hire an Attorney?
  6. What is a Magistrate Hearing?
  7. What is Probation?
  8. The Money Issue?
  9. Typical Misconceptions.
  10. What is a Bond?
  11. Why does the process take so long?

1. How does the Arrest Process work? back

Being arrested can be an overwhelming experience. We understand the need to be bonded and released as soon as possible. However the booking process is time consuming.

If arrested by any municipal police departments you may be taken to their station. There you will be booked into that jail temporarily before being transported to the Fort Bend County Jail in Richmond.

If arrested for tickets a Class C misdemeanor you may pay the fines or bond prior to being transported. However if the offense is a Class B misdemeanor or greater than you will not be bondable until booked into the Fort Bend County Jail in Richmond.

Currently only the Bonding Division at the Sheriffs' Office can accept bonds for release. The problem is you must be booked in their jail before they can provide the required information to be typed on the bond. This may change in the future, but for now it is the only way.

Once transported the booking procedures are repeated and the waiting continues. Now we wait for the Bonding Division to receive the paperwork and create a file. This is where we contact the Bonding Division to obtain the required bond information.

The time varies depending on many factors. Shift changes, magistrate hearings and heavy work loads all play a role. The clerks also have multiple responsibilities and are unaware of the events at the other end of the jail. Until they receive the paperwork information can not be obtained. Go back

2. What are Bond Conditions? back

You should be aware of bond conditions. Both the court and the bonding company will have specific bond conditions for the term of the bond or final disposition.

The Court may attach conditions and revoke a bond in the event of non-compliance. The most common condition is for drug offenses. Requiring the defendant to "submit to random/alcohol drug tests". These tests are administered and supervised by the Probation Department.

Question: Is that condition a form of punishment, prior to conviction and an assumption of guilt? Perhaps, nonetheless our current state legislation allows it.

Another common condition probably more appropriately used, is for Assault/Family Violence. "The defendant must not have contact with the victim." Obvioulsy no one advocates spousal abuse, however an argument that leads to a 911 call will result in an arrest, even with the absence of physical injuries.

Question: Typically married couples live together, am I expected to move while this case is pending? Suddenly the argument over finances that caused the destruction of an heirloom lamp is about to get costly...Because you need a lawyer...

Some conditions need addressing prior to presenting a bond. Example: If a monitor is required you must first make arrangements with the Probation Department. This can include a deposit ($), must be done during business hours and before release.

A standard for bonding company conditions does not exist. It is reasonable to expect clients to be responsible, make all scheduled court appearances and provide the bonding company with updated information for the pendency of the case. The burden is on the Cosigner and Defendant to relate updated information. Find important Cosigner information explaining in length the contractual and financial obligations. We strive to treat each case on its own merits. Go back

3. What is a Cosigner? back

Bonds require a Cosigner to sign the bond(s) and Promissory Note to indemnify or pay the cost in the event of default - "fail to appear". Therefore the Cosigner must meet the financial criteria.

The contractual obligation to the county and court is a serious matter. If a default occurs, a civil lawsuit is filed by the county against all parties. The relationship between bonding company and co-signer is mutually vested. The qualification process is assessed according to each specific scenario. Because the criminal justice system is often intimidating and confusing, it is important the majority of young adults arrested have guidance and oversight. Reducing the potential mistakes while increasing damage control is an achievable goal.

Basic personal information is required and the ability to assume the financial responsiblity verified. The information is confidential not shared to third parties with the exception of debt collection procedures.

The information can be provided by phone or in form via email at Apply Online. Please call 281-341-9449 to begin the process prior to submitting application. Go back

4. What should I do next? back

Before rushing to the jail to wait for hours in the lobby, you should have a plan. We will explain your options and help you establish a plan. By calling 281-341-9449 you will gain useful information.

Bonds must contain specific information for the Bonding Division Clerk to accept it. It must be error free and will be scrutinized for accuracy prior to being sent to booking.

The jail charges a $15.00 exact cash fee per bond, capped at $30.00. The processing fee is actually for state implemented District Attorneys' retirement fund.

The release process takes one to three hours. By presenting the bond(s) we confirm and ensure the release process.

A court date will be assigned and typed on the bond. You should read the bond and fully understand what is expected. Go Back

5. Should I hire an Attorney? back

Yes, along with choosing the appropriate bonding company, hiring an Attorney or Lawyer can be a life altering decision.

The Prosecutor assigned to your case has legal expertise and is motivated to convict. Most Courts require Defendants' be represented and will only consider appointing counsel to the indigent. If you can afford to bond, you can afford to hire an Attorney.

Finding an Attorney can sometimes be a challenge, if you need additional time Courts usually allow continuances provided your efforts are sincere. Go back

6. What is a Magistrate Hearing? back

In some cases the offense disqualifies pre-set bond amounts. Example: If charged with Assault/Family Violence you would not qualify for a preset bond. A Magistrate or Judge would be required to set the bond amount. Magistrate hearings occur daily at various times. This causes delays, sometimes even over night.

On view felony arrests must have a Magistrate set bond. The Jail Bonding Division is responsible for listing defendant files to be seen. All files on the list remain in the courtroom for the duration of the hearings. Once the files are returned to the Jail Bonding Division they must be updated. Now the clerks are able to provide the required bonding information. Go back

7. What is Probation? back

The majority of cases result in a negotiated plea and probated sentences.

The upside to this practice is first-time offenders are usually eligible for Deferred Adjudication or Motion to Adjudicate Guilt. Essentially the equivalent to pleading no contest in traffic court. The logic is once successfully completing probation you have the right to expunge the record, this means you avoid a conviction.

The conditions of probation can include fees, community service, drug/alcohol tests and mandatory counseling. A Probation Officer is assigned your case and supervises your progress. Failure to comply may result in a Motion to Revoke Probation (MRP) and an arrest warrant.

As discussed in bond conditions the Probation Department is also responsible for supervising certain bond conditions. Go back

8. The Money Issue? back

The media rarely publicize the cases that are dismissed. The expense starts with the bond, the impound lot, then the Attorney. Even cases that are eventually dismissed will cost.

Crime pays - Law Enforcement, Judges, District Attorneys, County Clerks, Probation, County Vendors (Mandatory classes i.e., Anger Management, Drug & Alcohol, Counseling) and so on. All designed to turn a profit.

The profits are so substantial, the County has invested in property, buildings, and expansions in all related to supply the demand. A website dedicated to compiling detailed information is forthcoming and will be listed when available. Go back

9. Typical Misconceptions. back

Television does not accurately represent the real criminal justice system. Regardless of the circumstances, once charged you are guilty until proven innocent.

The public perception of bondsmen is mostly distorted media drama. The industry is a vital part of the criminal justice system. The right to bail serves many purposes. The most significant is the concept one is innocent until proven guilty. The loss of this liberty undermines the foundation of our system. Jail capacity is another concern and reason to afford bail to the majority of accused.

Bonding fees are not always ten percent, in fact the smaller the bond the greater the percentage. The bond fee is mainly based on the court cost and default fees a county charges for defaults. Governed by state statutes and county regulations means each county is unique and separate in its bond business.

The grand jury has become an arm of the District Attorney. You may have heard the sayings "a grand jury will indict the sunrise" or "a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich". This is because a prosecutor will present the case in the light desired. The grand jury members are selected by the board of judges and consist of elected official's campaign managers, fund raisers and community activists. Most incapable of being impartial or objective. There are brilliant editorials on this subject if you are so inclined.

Non-Arrest Bonds: In Harris County the Bonding Division has the ability to process bonds on open warrants at their window. The defendant appears with a prepared bond, $15.00 exact cash fee and the clerk processes it. The reason this is an option in Harris County is DA Intake is operating 24 hours. Each case must be assigned to an appropriate Court and placed on the docket. In Fort Bend County you must be booked in the County Jail to be bondable - period. So whether you enter through the back or the front door, it still takes approximately (6) hours. Go back

10. What is a bond? back

A bond is a monetary guarantee to appear in Court. In the event of a default (Fail to Appear) all parties are financially responsible.

Bail bond companies charge a fee - depending on the bail amount - to pay the total bail. Most bonds require a Cosigner to sign the bond(s) and Promissory Note to indemnify or pay the cost in the event of default - fail to appear. Therefore the Cosigner must meet certain financial criteria.

Also you should be aware of bond conditions. Both the Court and the Bonding Company will have specific bond conditions for the term of the bond or final disposition.

Example: The Court may require a defendant prior to a conviction, to submit to random alcohol/drug tests. This condition is administered and supervised by the probation department.

Bonding Company conditions vary depending on the company. Reporting or check-ins, updating personal information and obviously court date resets. Go back

11. Why does the process take so long? back

There are several reasons for the slow process. The system is inundated with paperwork and data entry. An incentive to quickly book and release doesn't exist.

City Police Departments are unable to process county bonds. Therefore the defendant must be transported to the County Jail. A defendant may be held at a City Jail until convenient to transfer.

Many factors may define convenience, but ultimately assigning an officer the task of transporting a defendant to the County Jail in Richmond is time consuming. Each department has it's specific procedures regarding security and availability.

Be assured that none of the City Police Departments want to hold a prisoner any longer than they need to. The responsibility of prisoners is a serious matter.

After arrival, it takes an average of (6) hours to be processed. Processed or booked means the Bonding Division of the Sheriffs' Department can provide the information required on the bond(s). Go back

Bail Bonds in Richmond Texas
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