Everything You Need to Know About Travis County Bond When Arrested

Everything you need to know about Travis County BondIf someone you know has been arrested in Travis County, it’s time to get them out of jail. What follows is an explanation on everything you need to know about Travis County bond procedures. 

Note: These procedures will be similar in other Texas counties, albeit with different contact numbers.

What Is Bond?

The primary purpose of bond (a.k.a. bail or pre-trial release) is to insure the presence of the accused in court while waiting for trial. The Texas Constitution Article 1, Section 11 grants an absolute right to bond, in all but a few limited circumstances (see below). Bond cannot be used as a tool of oppression or in the form of a sanction.

Texas Constitution Article 1, Section 11 -
“All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses, when proof is evident; but this provision shall not be so construed as to prevent bail after indictment found upon examination of the evidence in such manner as may be prescribed by law.”

How Do I Find What Austin Jail the Person Arrested is Located?

You can find a Travis County inmate by using the Travis County Sheriff’s Office’s inmate search or by calling 512-854-4180. You will also learn the accused’s specific charges and what time of bond is allowed (see Types of Bond Below).

What Are The Different Types of Travis County Bond?

There are three types of bonds used in criminal proceedings: Surety Bond, Cash Bond, and Personal Recognizance (“PR”) Bond.

  1. Surety Bond: Perhaps the most known type of bond, a surety bond is a bond posted through an approved Travis County Bonding Company. Austin bonding companies charge a fee for their services, which is typically 10% of the total bond amount. For example if the bond is $5,000, you would pay a bonding company a non-refundable $500. The bonding company acts as the guarantee or surety on the remaining $4500, thus if an accused missed court and his or her bond was forfeited, the bonding company would be on the hook for the $4500.
  2. Cash Bond: Cash bonds are the full amount of the bond posted. For example if a bond is $5,000 you would pay $5,000.

    The cash bond can be paid by cash, cashier’s check, or money order. All cashier’s checks or money orders should be made payable to the Travis County Sherif’s Office.

    The advantage to a cash bond is that the entire bond is refunded to the person who put up the money once the case is disposed (final).

  3. Personal Recognizance – “PR” Bond: “PR” bonds have been gaining steam across Texas. With a PR bond you are released from jail with the promise that you will appear for court and comply with bond conditions. No money is required at the time of release other than an administrative fee of $40 to Travis County Pretrial Services within seven days of release. PR bonds are requested by Travis County Pretrial Services after an interview or an attorney and approved by a judge. 

Where Can I Post a Travis County Bond?

If you are posting a cash bond (not using a surety, bonding company), Travis County Cash Bails can be posted in-person at the jail facility where the defendant is housed. This will be either:

  1. Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center (Bonding Office) at 509 W. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701; or
  2. Travis County Correction Complex at 3614 Bill Price Rd., Del Valle, TX 78617

Remember, cash bonds are the full amount of the bond posted. For example if a bond is $5,000 you would pay $5,000.

The cash bond can be paid by cash, cashier’s check, or money order. All cashier’s checks or money orders should be made payable to the Travis County Sherif’s Office.

The advantage to a cash bond is that the entire bond is refunded once the case is disposed. 

Once Bond Has Been Posted, When Will The Person Get Out of Jail?

In many Travis County arrests scenarios it can take nearly 24 hours for a person arrested to be booked, processed, see pretrial services, go in front of a magistrate or judge, have bail set, have bail posted, and walk out. 

It’s a slow process.

How Will I Know When The Person Is Out of Jail?

Chances are you have been able to speak with the person arrested while they maneuver through the different stages of Travis County Bond procedures. Inmates are allowed to make phone calls while in custody. Once released, they can either call you or arrange for transportation (e.g. Uber). 

When, Where, and What Time Is My Court Date?

In Travis County and other major Texas counties, your Travis County bond papers will have all the information you need to know: when, where, and what time to appear for court.

In smaller Texas counties, you will often be notified by mail of your court date. If you have hired a criminal defense attorney he or she can submit a letter of representation to the court and keep tabs on any potential court dates. 

Travis County Bond Conditions