Herreth Law
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Three Quick Pretrial Release Options in Parker County

Thumbnail image for AdobeStock_80814322.jpegAny time behind bars is bad for you, bad for your family, and most importantly for our purposes, bad for your Weatherford criminal defense attorney.

Jail time increases the risk of a brain injury. When the cell doors close, stress hormone production goes through the roof. Any unusually-high exposure to these hormones could cause permanent brain damage. Furthermore, people who are in jail cannot spend time with their loved ones, work to support their families, and take care of other obligations.

Finally, people who are in jail cannot participate in their own defense in any meaningful fashion. And, if jurors find out the defendant is in jail, many will assume that s/he did something wrong.

OR (Own Recognizance) Release

In many ways, Weatherford is still a small town. So, while there is a pretrial release department, it is very small and rather ineffective. But if the dominoes fall the right way, the defendant could receive OR release and be out of jail without paying any bail money.

Essentially, a review board looks at each case. Based on the severity of the charged offense and the defendant's criminal history, the review board decides if the defendant would be a threat or a flight risk if released. Typically, if the defendant is charged with a non-violent misdemeanor and has no criminal record, the review board often approves OR release.

Sometimes, a Weatherford criminal defense attorney can advocate before the review board and increase your chances of OR release, especially in borderline cases.

Cash Bail

The pretrial release process sounds time-consuming, and it is time-consuming, especially when considering that the review board keeps limited hours. For immediate, on-the-spot release, cash bail is usually the way to go.

The Parker County Sheriff sets some presumptive bail amounts, mainly based on the severity of the offense. For example, misdemeanor bail might be $750 and felony bail might be $1,500. If someone posts the entire amount with the sheriff in cash, the sheriff releases the defendant.

Cash bail is a security, like an apartment security deposit. When you move in, you normally give the landlord X dollars. If you fulfill all the lease conditions and do not damage the property, you'll get that money back at the end of the lease. Likewise, if the defendant fulfills all bail conditions and takes care of the case, the sheriff refunds bail money.

Bail Bond

High cost is the obvious downside to cash bail. To many people, $750 might as well be $750 million.

A bail bondsman will prepare a surety bond for about a 15 percent premium. It takes a bit longer to process the paperwork, but we may be talking about four hours instead of two.

There are some other advantages as well. For example, a bail bondsman is a good resource person. Bond agents carefully explain all the terms and conditions of bail. Furthermore, they are available to answer questions about the criminal justice process. In some cases, an attorney may be able to act as a bail bondsman.

Quick pretrial release gets your case off to a good start. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. Home and jail visits are available. 

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