How much is bail for a DWI in Texas?
If you’ve been arrested for DWI in San Antonio, you will end up behind bars at least temporarily.
The first thing you will naturally be thinking is “How do I get out of here?”
That’s usually the time to hire a DWI lawyer.
You should do that as soon as possible after you are charged with DWI. The first item on the agenda will then be to arrange bail and seek temporary release until your court hearing.
In Texas, there is a bail bond system. This requires following a set legal procedure, which your lawyer can guide you through.
Alternatively, you can hire a lawyer as soon as you have secured your release.
If you are wondering how much is bail for a DWI in Texas, the guideline costs are explained below, along with a brief overview of the system.
The bail bond system in Texas
If you are charged with DWI and taken to jail in Texas, you will be booked and given a date for a court hearing to face the charges.
You can either agree to remain in jail until that date or seek bail.
Bail is an amount of money set by a judge and is covered in Chapter 17 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
in Texas, a bond needs to be written for the bail amount. This is a written document ensuring that you will appear in court for your hearing on the specified date.
Acquiring a bond to post bail requires the intervention of a licensed attorney, who can write bonds for you. Alternatively, there are companies that act as licensed county bond bail agents.
You will be released from jail until your court date if you meet one of the following three requirements:
- Released in own recognizance (ROR)
- Post cash bail
- Post surety bail
With the first option (ROR), the person charged signs a document saying they will return to court on the scheduled hearing date. No payment is required in such cases.
Usually, if you post cash bail, you or a family member will pay the full amount (guideline amounts detailed below).
Even though this cash will be refunded at the end of the case if you comply with all court requirements, many people are unable to find such a significant amount of cash at such short notice.
So, a surety bond is common. This is where either a licensed attorney or a licensed bail bond agent pays the bail.
In both cases, a premium will be paid by the defendant for the service.
There are companies in San Antonio set up especially for the purpose of paying bail bonds for local defendants.
Attorneys will usually charge a percentage of the bail amount for arranging an attorney bond. The attorney who writes the bail bond must also be the attorney who is defending you in your case.
Bail bond costs for DWI in Texas
Bail for DWI in Texas vary depending on several factors:
- Whether you have a previous record of DWI convictions
- Whether you have any other convictions that might suggest that you are a danger to the community (e.g. violent crime)
- Whether you are considered a high risk of fleeing the state of Texas
- Whether you submitted to mandatory testing to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- Whether you committed any aggravating offenses when arrested for DWI (e.g. assault or resisting arrest)
In San Antonio, for a first DWI offense with an otherwise clean criminal record, you can expect to post bail for around $1,000-$5,000.
Elsewhere in Texas, this may vary from county to county. Note that the bail amount is entirely up to the judge’s discretion.
Where there are previous convictions or aggravating circumstances, you may be charged with a felony. In these cases, your state county may have predetermined bail schedules.
Bail schedules are generally not open to the judge’s interpretation and stipulate preset amounts that are required to secure the release of a defendant.
DWI: An expensive mistake
Bail is just the start of the costs involved in a DWI case.
Other costs you can expect to pay with a DWI include:
- Attorney fees
- Court fees
- Punishment fines if convicted
- Costs of getting your license reinstated
- Alcohol education program fees
The total cost of a DWI conviction can easily mount up to well over $10,000. Even if the case doesn’t go to trial, the cost will be significant.
A DWI charge is a mistake that turns out to be very expensive. However, it could be more expensive if you fail to hire a competent DWI lawyer.
Posting bail in Texas with your DWI lawyer
The reasons for hiring a top-quality DWI lawyer in San Antonio are numerous.
Help with securing your temporary release via bail is one of them but there are other important reasons.
If you are charged and convicted of DWI, there can be life-changing consequences. Bail is just the first step in the legal processes that your lawyer will guide you through in trying to clear your name.
As an attorney, I’m 100-percent dedicated to DWI, experienced in all aspects of DWI cases and securing case dismissals.
So, if you’re facing a DWI charge in Texas, call or text 210-920-1281 today for a free case evaluation with me or complete our online contact form.
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Stephen, October 2017
Mr Porter was recommended to me by a coworker. He helped her out of a DWI 3 years ago, and he did the same for me.
Sammy, September 2017
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Bindia, March 2018