How Does a Defendant Obtain a P.R. Bond (“Personal Bond”)?

Gavel next to small scales of justice on top of open legal book with overlay text reading "Appellate-specific Experience, Experienced Trial Attorney, Case J. Darwin, INC."A “P.R. Bond” is legally defined as a “personal bond.” A personal bond allows a defendant to leave on his own recognizance. This means that the defendant does not have to post a bond. The defendant simply gives his word that he will show up for the future court date if and when it occurs.

An attorney can do this by obtaining the State’s agreement to a personal bond. This is the best result obviously. It is quick, and the Judge will normally agree to it without a hearing.

An attorney could also again file a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (if the case is unindicted) or file a Motion for a Bond Reduction (if the case is indicted) and ask that the Judge grant him a personal bond after a hearing. Again, there is no guarantee that the Judge will grant a personal bond, but it is a possibility depending on a defendant’s criminal history and the severity of the charge.

How does a bond hearing work? Well, the attorney will put on testimony through the defendant or his friends or family. They will testify as to the defendant’s character, and how he is not a danger to the community. If a defendant has a track record of working, that will help as well. Also, the defendant must show that the bond is not currently affordable and efforts have been made to post such a bond.

What is a 90-Day P.R. Bond, Personal Bond, or Statutory Bond?

After 90 days of incarceration and if the State has not indicted a defendant, such person is generally entitled to a 90-day personal bond.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 17.151, “Release because of delay,” provides statutorily for a personal bond. The article provides, in full;

Sec. 1. A defendant who is detained in jail pending trial of an accusation against him must be released either on personal bond or by reducing the amount of bail required if the state is not ready for trial of the criminal action for which he is being detained within:

  1. 90 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a felony;
  2. 30 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment in jail for more than 180 days;
  3. 15 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for 180 days or less or
  4. 5 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine only.

Sec. 2. The provisions of this article do not apply to a defendant who is:

  1. serving a sentence of imprisonment for another offense while the defendant is serving that sentence;
  2. being detained pending trial of another accusation against the defendant as to which the applicable period has not yet elapsed;
  3. incompetent to stand trial, during the period of the defendant’s incompetence; or
  4. being detained for a violation of the conditions of a previous release related to the safety of a victim of the alleged offense or to the safety of the community under this article.

See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 17.151 (West 2018).

Thus, for a felony, a defendant is generally entitled to a personal bond after 90 days of incarceration have elapsed if the defendant has not been indicted. The general exception to this rule is if a defendant has a “hold” in another jurisdiction. A hold means that a defendant has a capias or warrant in another jurisdiction or a charge in another jurisdiction where bond has not been posted.

The Bottom Line

Again, only an attorney can get this done for you. The attorney will either get an agreed order from the State or, if the State will not agree, the attorney will have to bring the defendant to court for a hearing in front of the Judge. The Judge would then be required to grant the defendant a personal bond if the defendant so qualifies and has not been indicted yet.

For a Class A Misdemeanor, there is only a 30-day requirement of incarceration without the filing of information (information is the charging document in a misdemeanor case versus an indictment in a felony case). For a Class B Misdemeanor, there is only a 15-day requirement of incarceration without the filing of information. For a Class C Misdemeanor, this almost never occurs because a Class C Misdemeanor is not punishable by any jail time whatsoever.

The bottom line is that you will need to get an attorney to accomplish this for you. Only an attorney can coordinate a personal bond with the District Attorney’s Office or get you a bond hearing in front of a district judge. Contact Case J. Darwin to help you!

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