Almost every person arrested in Travis County is interviewed by Pre Trial Services for consideration of a personal bond. If the Defendant does not have an extensive criminal history, the bond amount is not too high and the offense charged is not too serious, and the defendant is not on probation, the Defendant might qualify for a personal bond. Other factors include how long the Defendant has lived in Travis County and the impression he or she makes on the bond officer who does the interview. If the charge is Assault, Pretrial Services almost always requires the alleged victim to sign a statement indicating that he or she is not afraid of the Defendant, and is not opposed to his/her release from jail.
If the Defendant is allowed a personal bond through Pre Trial Services, no attorney or bail bondsman is required for the Defendant’s release. However, an attorney can speed up the process considerably. Generally, the Defendant will be released from two to four hours after the personal bond is posted. Quite often, Pretrial Services, and ultimately, the judge, will impose conditions for the release of the Defendant, such as a drug or alcohol assessment, counseling, staying away from the victim (assault cases), supervision or an ignition interlock device (second or subsequent DWIs). There is a $20 fee paid to the couinty for each personal bond granted - more if the case is a DWI second or subsequent and an ignition interlock is required.