If there is cause to believe you have committed a criminal offense, you are likely to find yourself sitting in jail. Fortunately, in most cases, judges in Texas allow criminal defendants to leave jail after paying a bond.
A bond is simply something you give up in exchange for promising to appear in court. Your bond may involve cash, property or even just your word. When a judge grants your bond, he or she should explain the conditions of it. Generally, though, you cannot do at least three things when you are out on bond.
1. Using illegal drugs
You may have to participate in regular drug and alcohol screenings when you are out on bond. Using illegal drugs, including marijuana, may give a judge a reason to revoke your bond. Likewise, depending on the conditions of your bond, consuming alcohol also may be a violation.
2. Committing crimes
Your bond is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. If you commit additional crimes when you are out on bond, you can expect officers to arrest you. Furthermore, you can expect a judge to set a higher bond for your subsequent offense. He or she may also decline to set one at all, forcing you to remain in jail until your trial.
3. Staying out too late
In the Lone Star State, many individuals who have bonds also have curfews. If you are not at home at the time of your curfew, you may violate the terms of your bond. You may also have restrictions on when and where you may travel.
Ultimately, because the judge’s pre-trial release order may place significant limitations on your activities when you are out on bond, you must read and understand the order to avoid breaching its conditions.