Will they hold my bonds insufficient? 1 Answers as of July 13, 2011Im out on bail for 3 felonies in TX. My current lawyer is also my bondsman and he is not representing me properly. Now I have a new charge being brought against me that is from one of the past cases. How can I confirm my current bail wont be held insufficient due to the new charge?(i didnt commit a new crime while out on bail, this was something the police discovered while investigating my pending cases). I can post bail on the new charge if they leave my other bonds alone. I want to hire another lawer but Im in fear my current lawyer will go off my bond if I do so and Ive already giving him over $10k in bond fees which are also supposed to be applied as attorney fees later. Ive got a warrant for this new charge so can I somehow speak to the judge or the DA about the problem Im facing? Im at a loss and Ive agreed to the detective I will be turning myself in within the next 3 days before he files the warrant in the system. Please Help. Ive consulted with several highly rated local lawyers and havent gotten much feedback. Most say to drop my laywer and hire a new one and they will try to get a bond hearing to lower the amounts (currently $80,000 with the new charge having a bond of $25,000). Im in fear that Ill turn myself in and when I go to arraignment they will hold my other bonds insufficent and I wont be able to bail out.
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
First, now you know that using the lawyer / bondsman combo is not a good idea. So, if there are charges in the future, don't do it. Second, your new case should not affect your standing bonds because the bonds predate the date of offense. That said, a judge could decide that when s/he set the bonds on the other cases that it was based on the totality of the circumstances and that the new case adds another dimension that affects the "proper" amount of those bonds, too. It really depends on the judge, the type of cases, the prosecutor, etc. If you are not satisfied with your current lawyer, then you should change lawyers. The long term consequences are far more important than the short term consequence of possibly sitting in jail until the cases are resolved. (I know the thought of doing this is terrible, but you could be talking about the difference between a not guilty / dismissal while sitting in jail with a great lawyer v. a life sentence but you got to be on bond for a year with a crappy lawyer.) Don't know where you are in Texas or if there are a lot of lawyer choices but you might consider hiring a great lawyer who knows the lawyer / bondsman and can have a little talk with him about the bond. The bondsman is not supposed to get off a bond except for a violation of the bond or a real concern. They do have a board that governs them. However, if they file an affidavit to get off, most judges just let them off and do not question (or care) about the real reason. If you hire a strong, respected lawyer, that lawyer may be able to chat with the lawyer / bondsman & ward off any problems. That said, what you have paid him for the bond fees sounds like it barely covers the normal bond fees, if it does. If you owe more money, then that is good cause for him to get off. Moreover, how are you going to pay a good lawyer if you cannot pay all the bond fees (and you were supposedly going to get credit? I will say - this sounds illegal. I do not know if it is but seems to me that everyone would want to hire this lawyer / bondsman to get essentially free bonds if that was okay & legal. Hmmm.) Bottom line - talk with great lawyers. Sounds like you are in a world of trouble. You need the best that you can afford. You might find yourself sitting in jail but maybe not if the lawyer can chat up the bondsman. Perhaps it can be explained that you feel that the cases have snowballed to the point that you need a lawyer with more experience (if the lawyer / bondsman is not that experienced) or more experience at least in the area of criminal law involving your charges. [I guess I should have started with this but you do not say why you want to hire another lawyer. If it is something "fixable", try talking to the lawyer about the issue. Some times we are dense and don't get it. If is not fixable - your comfort with the skill of your lawyer is VERY important. The lawyer is far more important than the bond.] Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Texas