Arrest Warrant – An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes the police to take someone accused of a crime into custody. An arrest warrant is issued by the competent authority upon a showing of probable cause.
Attorney Bond – Attorneys in some Texas Counties can post bonds only if they affirm that they are hired on the case. This means that an attorney must represent you in some capacity in the actual charge before he is allowed to post an attorney bond. In many cases this may be beneficial because, as a client of the attorney or law firm, you will not be required to report to a bond company. Additionally, everything you tell your attorney, or their staff is confidential and cannot be revealed without your permission.
Attorney Personal Bond – A personal bond that an attorney arranges through a judge or magistrate.
Attorney Surety Bond – A bond issued by an attorney in which the attorney and defendant are jointly and severally liable for the bail amount. An attorney must provide proof of financial assets to the local sheriff in order to be authorized to post an attorney surety bond. An attorney surety bond does not require the authorization of a judge or magistrate.
Cash Bond – This usually carries the greatest up-front costs for release from jail. The defendant or his/her family posts the entire amount of the bond in cash. If the magistrate judgesets bail at $10,000, then that’s the amount of cash needed to bond out with a cash bond. The money is held during the months that the case is pending and eventually refunded back to the payer (minus administration fees) upon judicial order. If an issue arises such as court date is missed, the entire amount of the bond is forfeited to the county.
Existing-case arrest warrant – issued when a judge believes there has been a violation of a bond condition, a missed court appearance, or that bail is insufficient for the charged offense.
Magistrate – A magistrate is a civil officer who holds executive, legislative, or judicial authority. It commonly refers to lower court justices, such as justices of the peace or municipal court judges. However, the term may be used generically to refer to any judge of a court, or anyone officially performing a judge’s functions.
The following is a list of some types of duties that may be performed by a magistrate:
- To issue arrest warrants.
- To admit to bail (also known as set bail/bond) or commit to jail.
- To authorize release of accused on bond, such as personal bond.
- To issue search warrants.
- To issue warrants and subpoenas.
- To issue civil warrants and pre-trial levies and seizures.
- To administer oaths and take acknowledgements.
- To issue emergency custody orders.
- To issue temporary mental detention orders.
- To issue medical emergency custody and temporary detention orders.
- To issue emergency protective orders.
New-case arrest warrant – issued when a judge agrees that a police officer or detective has gathered enough evidence to show that a defendant may have committed a crime.
Personal Bond – This is also commonly called “being released on your personal recognizance.” A personal bond requires the authorization of a judge. If a magistrate judge sets bail at $10,000 but agrees to release on a personal bond, then the defendant is released but would be liable for the full amount should he or she fail to appear in court. In most counties, there’s a Personal Bond office who interviews defendants and determines personal bond eligibility, but the process can take days to complete. In addition, at the recommendation of the personal bond office defendants could be tagged with expensive bond requirements/conditions such as ankle monitoring, supervision, counseling, and urinalysis.
Probable Cause – enough reasonable ground for conducting a search or pressing a charge.
Surety Bond – This bond is a promise by you and a bail bondsman to pay back the full amount of the bail, should the defendant fail to appear in court. The bail bondsman charges a non-refundable fee and almost always requires the family or client to put up real property collateral (such as a home) that exceeds the amount of the bond. That collateral could be seized and sold should the defendant fail to appear in court.
Voir Dire (to speak the truth) – initial interview of future jurors to determine that they are capable of being fair and suitable to serve on the jury. Questions asked by attorneys or the judge will rule out if jurors may know any of the parties involved or have any reason to create a biased verdict.
Walk Through – The process of removing a warrant by posting bond without being formally arrested. A walk through is typically done with a criminal defense attorney. The attorney makes advance arrangements to appear with the client at the jail to officially “surrender” on the arrest warrant.The goal is to “walk through” the arrest process without spending any time in jail. This is accomplished by the attorney obtaining, in advance, a personal bond approved by a county judge, district judge, or magistrate judge. A person doing a walk through is still technically arrested but the pre-arranged bond allows his or her immediate release.