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Are You Entitled to Bail in Texas?

Yes. The Texas Constitution provides a right to bail in Article 1, Section 11, where it says “all prisoners shall be bailable.” Sounds simple enough, right?

Bail benefits most defendants, who can be with family or friends and continue to go to work or school as they wait for their criminal case to play out. Since you haven’t been convicted, you shouldn’t be held in jail as you await trial. With bail, many people can keep their jobs and continue to support their families.

Nonetheless, Texas has created many exceptions to this broad right to bail, and there’s no guarantee you can pay the bail bond. Meet with a League City criminal defense attorney to review whether you can get out on bail.

Exceptions to Bail

The Constitution itself provides several exceptions to a right to bail, such as:

  • Capital offenses
  • Two or more prior felony convictions
  • An arrest for a felony while out on bail for a prior felony
  • Accused of a felony offense involving a deadly weapon after having one prior felony conviction
  • Violent or sexual offense while under supervision for a prior felony conviction

Of course, the Constitution states a judge “may” deny bail in the situations above if the state shows it’s very likely you will be convicted. But judges have discretion even if you fit into one of the categories above, and a good Houston bail hearing lawyer can make a strong argument for why a judge should release you.

Violations of Conditions of Release

Bail usually comes with conditions, such as staying within the county or state. Section 11b of the Constitution states you may be denied bail if you were arrested for a felony or family law violence and then violated a condition of your release.

Violation of a Family Protective Order

The Constitution also states a judge may deny bail if you’ve violated a protective order involving family violence. These protective orders typically come with a laundry list of conditions, such as not contacting your victim or coming within a certain distance. Other conditions require that you turn over any firearms or undergo regular drug testing. If you violate any condition, police can arrest you and a judge may deny you bail.

Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in League City

Judges have discretion in Texas bail cases, which means that your advocate can make a big difference in whether you get out of jail or not. Because so much is riding on your bail hearing, you should contact a League City criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Affording bail is also a challenge for many criminal suspects. Bail is set to ensure your attendance at future court hearings, including a trial. However, many people cannot afford the amount set, which could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have helped clients find a bail bond, which they can secure by paying only a percentage of the face amount.

Contact Tad Nelson today. We offer a free consultation to anyone in need of a criminal defense attorney.