Conditions of Bond in Texas
How are conditions of bond are set?
In a previous post we talked about types of bail bonds in Texas. If you remember, bond is your promise to come back to Court for future dates until your case is over. Sometimes, in addition to your promise or money, the Court will put conditions of release or conditions of bond in place. Conditions of Bond in Texas can depend on a lot of different things. The Court and Pre-Trial Services will consider some of the following:
- Crime Committed – What type of crime was committed? Was there a victim?
- Danger to the Community – Are you likely to repeat this crime or other crimes while you’re out of jail, and before your case is over? Are you a danger to yourself or others?
- Employment – Are you employed? Will you be supervised during the day? Do you have a family to support?
- Other outstanding bonds (if any) – Do you have other criminal charges pending? If so, then have you been following the rules of those conditions of bond?
- Do you have a criminal history? – If you have no prior criminal record or contacts with law enforcement, your conditions of bond or release will likely be more relaxed.
For this post I’m going to use the example of my client John, who has been arrested for Assault Family Violence. In his case, John is accused of choking the victim – Jane. This fact makes the charge a 3rd Degree Felony and the punishment is 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Family violence is a serious charge and in years past Texas has ramped up the punishment for family violence cases. Similar to the time when a Judge sets a bail bond, the Judge may later consider Conditions of Bond or Conditions of Release.
Conditions of Bond
Eventually, the Judge will sign an Order Setting Conditions of Bond/Release. This Order is a list of potential conditions the Judge may order you to follow. Depending on the type of crime you’ve been arrested for, the Judge may order Substance Abuse Counseling, Violence Counseling, Safety-Related Conditions, Case Management Conditions, and any Other Conditions the Judge deems reasonable such as a curfew.
In John’s case, as you can see in the picture to the left, the Judge ordered a TCCES Family Violence Evaluation. Since we’re dealing with a domestic violence issue, this evaluation is to determine John’s risk level of family violence. If John was considered high risk, he may have had to go to counseling or classes.
Almost always there is an order not to contact the victim and to stay a certain distance away. This is to protect you and to protect them. People can get tied up in their emotions and situations can get out of hand. That’s what got them into this situation to begin with. Also, if you look at the picture, you can see that a GPS monitoring device was ordered. This ankle monitor cannot be removed and should not be removed without a Judge’s Order. You will have to pay to keep this monitor on you. The cost will be hundreds of dollars a month. Violating your conditions of bond in Texas can get you thrown back in jail.
THESE CONDITIONS ARE NOT SET IN STONE!
Compliance with these conditions and following the rules during your case will go a long way in getting some or all of them removed. Hiring an attorney who can help you ask the Court to ease or remove the conditions will make your life seem as normal as possible. The more you’ve been following the Conditions of Bond, the easier it will be for you to ask the Judge to remove them. No one wants to wear an ankle monitor to work, school, or in front of friends and family.
If you want to be released from jail, a Judge may Order any reasonable conditions of bond. Whether this is a curfew, counseling, classes, or an ankle monitor, conditions must be followed or you risk getting put back in jail. Stripes don’t suit you. You want to be back out with your family and friends. Getting out and staying out are the biggest thoughts on your mind. Follow the rules and keep showing up for Court. However, these rules aren’t written in stone. They can be changed and a good track record makes that much easier. In a future post I’ll go into detail about GPS and Electronic Monitoring through Pre-Trial Services.