Posting A Bond
If a person is arrested on city charges i.e., new charges, warrants, or capias pro fines (fines that have not been paid), that person can be released in one of several ways:
- A person may post a cash bond - This means that a person places a certain amount of cash with the city to guarantee that he/she will appear at the next court setting. If a person does not appear at the next setting after posting a cash bond, then all the money that was posted will be forfeited to the city. If a person appears and is found not guilty or has his/her cases dismissed then all the bond money will be refunded.
- A person may post a surety bond - This is done by contacting a bonding company who, for a fee, puts up a bond which guarantees that a person will appear at the next court date. The City of Houston has nothing to do with the contract between a defendant and the bonding company. The bonding company normally charges a fee for each bond posted.
- A person may request to be released on personal bond - Whether or not a person is released on personal bond is entirely up to the judge. Factors that are considered by the judge are: the type of charge, the defendant's ties to the community, and whether or not the arrest resulted from warrants for failure to appear in court. Once a person appears before a judge and pleads guilty or is found guilty, he/she may request a deferred payment. A deferred payment means that a person is given time to pay his/her fine.
It is important to remember that a person must dispose of all his/her cases before he/she can be released. A person can post bond at any of our six locations during their appropriate hours of operation.