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Denton County bail bondsmanLawmakers in Texas have been considering a new law that would make changes to the state’s bail system, and after this bill was passed in September 2021, it was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. While this law will not affect everyone who has been arrested, it may play a significant role in many cases, and some people may have more difficulty posting bail and getting released from prison. Fortunately, a qualified bail agent can ensure that people who have been arrested are able to receive a bail bond that will allow them to get out of jail while their case is pending.

Details of the Bail Reform Law

One of the primary goals of the new law is to help avoid situations where violent offenders may be released and commit additional crimes that cause harm to the public. To address this issue, the law has eliminated the ability for judges to issue personal bonds for those who have been charged with violent crimes or who have been arrested for felony charges, misdemeanor assault, or firearm-related charges while out on bail for another charge. A personal bond allows a person to be released without making a cash payment, although other restrictions may be imposed, such as GPS monitoring or mandatory drug testing. 

Opponents of the bill believe that it will not actually reduce violent crime, but it will instead result in people who cannot afford to pay bail being forced to stay in prison until the conclusion of their criminal case. This issue is much more likely to affect Black people and other minorities, causing them and their families to experience difficulties as they remain in jail.


In August of 2018, Texas Governor Greg Abbott proposed the Damon Allen Act. This bill wants to protect police officers—and communities—after a Texas trooper was murdered by a convict with an extensive criminal record last Thanksgiving. In fact, there are now two sets of bail reform bills named after Texas troopers killed by a criminal—out of jail on bond. Both instances were for assaulting a sheriff's deputy. The criminal who killed Texas trooper Damon Allen didn't only have prior convictions of assaulting a sheriff's deputy, but also had convictions for assaulting a public servant and evading arrest.

The reason this hardened criminal was free on bond despite these violent charges was due to miscommunication. The Justice of the Peace in this situation was unaware of his criminal history—and his past convictions. It's been said this potentially highlighted some issues of magistrate information access.

Texas Known to Slam Bail Reform

This isn't the first time bail reform laws were proposed. In 2017, Texas lawmakers tried to pass extensive laws reforming the bail bond system, which failed. Since then, there have been several lawsuits against Texas counties (that were successful). In fact, two of Texas' most populous counties—Harris and Dallas—were at the front lines of those lawsuits. Federal judges in this case claimed the reform attempts to be unconstitutional. However, with recent events, this topic is making new rounds. Lawmakers predict that in 2019, bail reform issues will return to the headlines as Texas legislators renew their platform—once again sparking the long-disputed call to reform bail bond laws.


What Is Driving Calls for Bail Reform?

Posted on in Legal News

There are competing views bail reform in the state of Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott recently threw his support behind the Damon Allen Act, named for the Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper, who was killed in the line of duty in November 2017.

Abbott's support for the bail reform measure states a goal of keeping the most violent felons from being released. But critics have argued it could go too far and end up keeping nonviolent persons in jail longer than the current system. 

While considerations are still underway — you can read more about the Abbott measure here — it highlights a growing desire to see the process changed. This desire stems from some in our industry who work to take advantage of underprivileged individuals who find themselves under arrest and facing charges. 

Doc's Bail Bonds

Early in 2017, the Dallas City Council approved a program that is known by the name of Marijuana Cite-and-Release. It was officially approved in April. Though it lessens the legal consequences of being caught with marijuana, it is not considered to be decriminalization.

The policy was put into effect on Friday, December 1st. It states that some individuals are able to walk away from being caught with marijuana, with only a ticket. It is still illegal in both Dallas and Texas as a whole. This means that people cannot just purchase marijuana and smoke it as they please.

The way that this works is that individuals who live in the Dallas County part of the city who is stopped within the area with four ounces or less of the drug will only be given a citation. They will not be arrested, and may not have to serve any jail time at all. This only applies to a person who has not had any other convictions, does not hold any outstanding warrants, is at least 17 years of age, and has either a driver's license or state ID for Texas.

Though the individual can walk with just a ticket, it is still the case that possessing marijuana is considered a Class A or Class B misdemeanor offense.

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