How Long Does It Take to Get a Bond Reduction?

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, the court may order you detained pending trial unless you can pay money called bail, which serves as financial security to ensure you will appear in court for all pretrial hearings and your trial. However, based on the nature of your criminal charges, criminal history, and personal circumstances, the court may set a bail amount too high for you to afford. If so, you can request a reduction of your bail or bond. Because the court has discretion whether to grant a bond reduction request, you should turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney to argue for the need and fairness of a bond reduction. Contact Case J. Darwin Law Office today for a free initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney who can advocate to secure a bond reduction and your release from pretrial detention.

How Do Courts Determine Bail/Bond?

In Texas, courts have broad discretion to set a bail or bond amount so long as the court does not impose a constitutionally excessive amount. Courts set bail to ensure defendants appear for all scheduled hearings and trials. However, courts are prohibited from using bail to punish or oppress defendants. When setting bail, courts conduct an individualized assessment that evaluates factors such as:

  • The nature and facts of the alleged crime, including the severity of the crime or the defendant’s alleged acts
  • The defendant’s criminal history or history of prior bail violations
  • The defendant’s ability to afford bail
  • The defendant’s ties to the community, including steady employment and the need to support the defendant’s family
  • Whether the defendant would pose a danger to the alleged victim(s) or community if released

Can You Reduce Bond?

Depending on the seriousness of criminal charges, a court may impose a high amount of bail on a defendant. When a defendant cannot afford to pay the bail set by the court, they may request a bond reduction. To obtain a bond reduction, a defendant must convince the court of the necessity and fairness of a reduction. A court may agree to a bond reduction based on the circumstances of the alleged criminal offense, the defendant’s criminal history, their ties to the community, and whether the defendant poses a flight risk or a risk of failing to appear for pretrial hearings and trial.

How to File for a Bond Reduction

To obtain a bond reduction, a defendant must file a motion with the trial court requesting a reduction. The motion should include:

  • The current bail amount set by the court
  • A description of the pending charges and allegations in the criminal complaint
  • An explanation of why the defendant cannot afford bail

The court will schedule a hearing after a defendant files a motion for a bond reduction. Depending on the court’s schedule, it may take several days to a couple of weeks to schedule a hearing to rule on the defendant’s bond reduction motion. At the hearing, the defendant can explain their need for a bond reduction and the fairness of a reduction. A defendant may testify at the motion hearing but does not have to and may present evidence, including pay stubs, bank statements, and testimony from family members and friends. Defendants should remember that prosecutors may use a defendant’s testimony at a bond reduction hearing in the defendant’s trial.

Requirements to Obtain a Bond Reduction

A court may grant a bond reduction if a defendant can convince the court of the excessiveness of their current bail and the fairness and necessity of a bond reduction. Courts usually will not grant bond reductions simply due to a defendant’s inability to pay the original bail amount. However, courts can consider an inability to pay as one factor in deciding a bond reduction motion. Instead, courts may also look for other factors before agreeing to grant a bond reduction, such as:

  • Whether the defendant has made reasonable efforts to meet the current bail amount
  • Whether the defendant’s family and acquaintances can help the defendant afford bail
  • Whether family members rely on the defendant for financial support or household services
  • Whether the defendant has ties to the community that make them less of a flight risk
  • Whether the defendant has a history of failing to make court appearances
  • Whether the current bail amount does more to punish or harass the defendant
  • Whether a lower bail amount will still ensure the defendant’s appearance in court

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You Secure a Bond Reduction

Courts do not always agree to grant bond reductions when requested by defendants. If you need a bond reduction to make bail, a criminal defense attorney can help you prepare a compelling argument to convince the court to agree to a reduction. A lawyer can assist you with filing a bond reduction motion by:

  • Explaining the bond reduction process and advising you of the likelihood of the court granting a reduction in your case
  • Gathering evidence to support your bond reduction motion, including your financial records, criminal history records, employment information, and testimony from family members and acquaintances
  • Reviewing the facts of your criminal case, including your charges and the allegations in the criminal complaint
  • Drafting and filing a motion for bond reduction
  • Helping you prepare for the motion hearing, including advising you on whether you should testify at the hearing
  • Advocating on your behalf at the bond reduction hearing, including arguing the excessiveness of your current bail amount and explaining how a lower bond can still ensure your appearance for pretrial hearings and trial

Contact Case J. Law Office to Discuss Your Options for a Bond Reduction

If you can’t afford bail, a bond reduction may help you secure your release from pretrial detention. Contact Case J. Darwin Law Office today for a free, confidential consultation to learn more about the bond reduction process and discuss your eligibility for a reduction. Let our criminal defense attorney in Texas fight for your rights.


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