Smith Brizendine Defense provides 24 hour jail release services for persons in custody in Travis County. For immediate assistance, call (512) 784-5412.
What you need to know about the jail release process:
Once the arresting officer has submitted the probable cause affidavit, we can immediately begin the process to secure a personal bond for a person’s release. The officer is required to submit the probable cause affidavit in misdemeanor cases within 24 hours of the arrest; an officer has 48 hours to turn in the affidavit for felony offenses. It is unusual for an officer to wait the maximum amount of time before submitting the affidavit. We will stay in constant communication with the magistrate’s office to ensure we know when the affidavit arrives.
When the affidavit is submitted, the magistrate will set a bond. We will visit the person in jail to complete a personal bond form. If a pretrial services officer has already conducted the interview, we will pick up their bond form. Afterward the necessary paperwork is completed, we will approach the magistrate to approve the bond.
A personal bond is when a person is released from jail on their own personal recognizance. They are not required to pay the actual bond, which can be quite high, depending on the charge(s). For example, the bond for a first-time DWI in Travis County will typically range from $2000 to $6,000. Multiple charges means multiple bonds. There is a processing or convenience fee to pretrial services of $40 or three percent of the bond amount if an ignition interlock device (IID) is required as a condition of release.
As soon as we have the personal bond signed, we will submit it to the jail’s bonding desk. From there it is up to the jail to process the bond and release a person, which takes, on average, 2-6 hours. On occasion we have seen an individual released within an hour after we submit the bond. If six hours has passed and the individual has not been released, we will call to follow up with the jail and try to find out what the delay is.
There are advantages to having an attorney secure a personal bond for a person’s release.
A person will, in almost every case, be released faster. A person may be approved for a personal bond through pretrial services, but that process usually takes several hours longer. If a person’s bond is approved through pretrial services, the person will have to wait to be magistrated. Magistration is when a judge informs a person of the charges, their constitutional rights, and the amount of the bond. An attorney can waive the magistration process.
Pretrial services has specific criteria that a person must meet in order to approve them for a personal bond. Also, pretrial services will need to contact a person’s references and verify information before approving a bond; when an attorney signs off on a bond, pretrial services’ approval is not required.
There are two alternative options if a personal bond cannot be obtained: a bondsman or a cash bond. Bondsmen will require at least 10% of the bond amount and and a person will be required to check in with them periodically during the entire life of their case. The money paid will not be refunded, regardless of the outcome of the case. If a cash bond is posted, the money will be refunded at the end of the case (minus an administrative fee), but keep in mind that the bond is usually several thousands of dollars.
Our jail release fee is dependent upon the charge(s). All jail release fees are applied as the down payment for representation.