Arrested in Austin? Here’s what to do if a loved one is in the Travis County Jail and you need help with jail release. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Hi, I’m Gene Anthes, a criminal defense attorney, and Partner at the law office of GBAFirm.com and ParoleLaw.com. I thought I’d take just a couple of minutes to talk to you about what to expect if you’ve got a loved one who’s in jail and what you should do if that person is in jail in Travis County.
How do you get someone out of jail in Travis County?
You should know that the Travis County Jail in downtown Austin is a temporary jail. It’s a safe jail and is attached to the courthouse downtown (it’s right behind my office). If someone is arrested in Travis County they’re only going to be held down there for a few days. If they’re not released, at that point, they’ll move to the Del Valle jail which is out by the airport. If your loved one is in jail, just know a couple of things.
One, if they’re charged with a misdemeanor, the officer has 24 hours to turn in a document called a Probable Cause Affidavit. If your loved one is charged with a felony offense, the officer has 48 hours to turn in the Probable Cause Affidavit. This is important because nobody can get your loved one out of jail until the affidavit is turned in by the arresting officer. Once the Affidavit is turned in, it will be reviewed by a Judge, called a Magistrate. In Travis County, we have Judges that are on duty 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. That Magistrate Judge will also set the bond amount.
How to Post Bond
If your friend or loved one is charged with a relatively non-violent misdemeanor offense, like a DWI or theft case, the bond amount is typically going to be somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000. If they have no prior criminal history, the odds are very good they’re going to get out on something called a personal bond. A personal bond means that no money has to be paid, but if the person doesn’t show up to Court, then the county is going to sue them for that bond amount. To increase the chances of your loved one getting a personal bond, you can call the Travis County Pre-Trial Services Office and serve as a reference for them. When you call them, give them your loved one’s name and date of birth. You’ll also have to provide an address for the person in jail. Pretrial services will also you if they have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Eventually, your loved one will be released. It takes about 24 hours at the most for someone to be processed into jail and out on a personal bond for a misdemeanor offense.
Once the Magistrate sets that bond, the other option is that you can hire a bail bondsman. Take a $5,000 bond, for example. If you hire a bail bondsman, you pay a bail bondsman typically 10% which would be about $500 bail amount. You don’t get any of that money back and then the bail bondsman acts as a surety to ensure that the person shows up to Court. The $500 bond is for the bail bondsman to keep and is their fee for the jail release process.
Hire a Lawyer
The third option is to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can speed up the entire process and help speed up jail release. So for example, if a person is charged with a misdemeanor offense and the arresting officer has turned in his probable cause affidavit, a lawyer can make sure that the probable cause affidavit gets to the Judge faster and waive the process of your loved one being magistrated by the Judge. This speeds up the process of getting a personal bond for a misdemeanor case or even a personal bond for a felony case. The attorney-client relationship offers protections for an arrested person.
We always recommend you have an attorney present.
The final fourth option is to post a full amount of the cash bond for your close friend or family member to help with their Austin jail release. If you post a cash bond you get that money back at the end of the case, but it sits with the Travis County Sheriff until your loved ones’ case is resolved. Whatever you do, if you talk to your loved one on the phone while they’re in jail, do not talk about the facts of the case. All of those phone calls are being recorded and they can all be used against the person who’s actually been arrested.
How do I find out if someone is in jail in Austin TX?
All information about people in jail can be obtained from calling jail information at 512-854-9889. The jail is operated by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
Visit Travis County Sheriff’s Office to see if someone is in the Travis County jail: https://www.tcsheriff.org/inmate-jail-info/inmate-info/find-an-inmate#/sip
Start there if you are trying to find if one of your family members or a loved one has been arrested.
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See our full list of resources for more.
We’re Here to Help
We are Austin criminal defense attorneys with extensive experience in Austin jail release process. Our law office is here to help your friend or loved one. We hope you never need us, but we’re here if you do.
We’re always happy to meet with clients. The first consultation is free. After that, we pride ourselves on communication. When you hire an attorney at our firm you can be sure that the attorney will always answer phone calls and respond to emails. Having a criminal matter pending is a stressful time. Part of our job is to answer your questions and alleviate your stress.
- What to expect during your first meeting with a criminal defense attorney
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- How to clean your criminal record (Get it Expunged)
About Gunter, Bennett, and Anthes
Here at Gunter, Bennett, and Anthes, we represent individuals and entities under investigation for or charged with all state and federal crimes including:
- Alcohol-Related Offenses include Driving While Intoxicated (DWI arrest), Intoxication Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter
- Legal Emergencies
- Crimes of Violence including assault, battery, domestic violence, family violence, aggravated assault, and homicide
- Sex Offenses including indecency with a Child, Sexual Assault, Possession of Child Pornography, Internet Sex Offenses
- Property Crimes including small cases such as theft by check, shoplifting, or petty theft to complicated cases such as burglary, robbery, credit card fraud, computer theft, identify theft or other cybercrime
- Drug Crimes including the smallest of drug charges such as possession of marijuana to serious felony drug cases like possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute
With over 65 years of combined experience, we provide representation from the investigation stage through trial and, if necessary, appeal. Our attorneys are on call 24 hours a day to help with any criminal law matter that may arise.
Austin Lawyer, Gunter, Bennett, and Anthes, Attorneys at Law, proudly serve the Austin TX metro area (and Central Texas) including Travis County, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Pflugerville, Georgetown, Westlake, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Lago Vista, and Spicewood.