Lady Justice Statue

Criminal Law



“Bail” is the security given by the accused that he will appear and answer before the proper court the accusation brought against him, and includes a bail bond or a personal bond.

A “bail bond” is a written undertaking entered into by the defendant and the defendant’s sureties for the appearance of the principal therein before a court or magistrate to answer a criminal accusation; provided, however, that the defendant on execution of the bail bond may deposit with the custodian of funds of the court in which the prosecution is pending current money of the United States in the amount of the bond in lieu of having sureties signing the same.  Any cash funds deposited under this article shall be receipted for by the officer receiving the funds and, on order of the court, be refunded in the amount shown on the face of the receipt less the administrative fee authorized by Section 117.055, Local Government Code, after the defendant complies with the conditions of the defendant’s bond, to:

        • any person in the name of whom a receipt was issued, including the defendant if a receipt was issued to the defendant; or
        • the defendant, if no other person is able to produce a receipt for the funds.


When a defendant is bound by bail to appear and fails to appear in any court in which such case may be pending and at any time when his personal appearance is required under this Code, or by any court or magistrate, a forfeiture of his bail and a judicial declaration of such forfeiture shall be taken in the manner provided in Article 22.02


The amount of bail to be required in any case is to be regulated by the court, judge, magistrate or officer taking the bail; they are to be governed in the exercise of this discretion by the Constitution and by the following rules:

        1. The bail shall be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking will be complied with.
        2. The power to require bail is not to be so used as to make it an instrument of oppression.
        3. The nature of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed are to be considered.
        4. The ability to make bail is to be regarded, and proof may be taken upon this point.
        5. The future safety of a victim of the alleged offense and the community shall be considered.


The writ of habeas corpus is the remedy to be used when any person is restrained in his liberty.  It is an order issued by a court or judge of competent jurisdiction, directed to any one having a person in his custody, or under his restraint, commanding him to produce such person, at a time and place named in the writ, and show why he is held in custody or under restraint.

The writ runs in the name of “The State of Texas”.  It is addressed to a person having another under restraint, or in his custody, describing, as near as may be, the name of the office, if any, of the person to whom it is directed, and the name of the person said to be detained.  It shall fix the time and place of return, and be signed by the judge, or by the clerk with his seal, where issued by a court.