Types of charges and what they mean
Types of Bonds
Fine/s – This must be paid in cash to the Jail or County
Cash Bond – The total amount must be paid in cash to the Jail or County
Surety Bond – The bond must be written by an approved bail bondsman
Bond Fee – Every bond has an additional $15.00 fee per bond, max of two ($30.00)
No Bond – No bond can be made at this time, and the individual will NOT be released
Misdemeanor charges can range from ‘Driving While License Invalid’ to ‘Driving While Intoxicated’
Class B Misdemeanor – Confinement for a term not to exceed 180 days in the county jail; and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.
Class A Misdemeanor – Confinement for a term not to exceed one year in the county jail; and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000.
Misdemeanor cases are filed by the arresting agency on scene or judge’s written warrant with the District Attorney’s Office. If the District Attorney’s Office decides to prosecute the case, a written statement is created to be filed and presented on behalf of the State of Texas charging the defendant with an offense. It provides the defendant with notice as to the offense for which he stands charged. Once the information has been processed, a file is generated and the case is randomly assigned to a misdemeanor court.
Felony charges can range from ‘Credit Card Abuse’ to ‘Murder’ or other heinous crimes.
State Jail Felony – confinement for a term from 180 days to two years in a state jail; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Third Degree Felony – confinement for a term from two to 10 years in prison; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Second Degree Felony – confinement for a term from two to 20 years in prison; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
First Degree Felony -confinement for life or a term from five to 99 years in prison; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Capital Felony – punishment in prison for life or death penalty. If the State does not seek the death penalty, upon conviction, an automatic life sentence is imposed. Where the State seeks the death penalty, upon conviction, the jury must answer questions which may result in either a sentence of life imprisonment or the death sentence.
Felony level offenses are filed by the arresting agency with the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office then generates an inditement. (An inditement is the written statement of a Grand Jury accusing a person therein named of some act or omission which, by law, is declared to be an offense.) The inditement puts the defendant on notice regarding the charges being brought.
Once the paperwork has been generated the case is then set to be heard by the Grand Jury. (The Grand Jury is a panel of citizens who briefly review information provided by the police who then make a determination whether there is sufficient evidence to believe that an offense has occurred.)
Any person charged with a felony offense has an absolute right to have his/her case seen by the Grand Jury. Once filed, a felony case is randomly assigned to a felony court. It may take two to three weeks before a case is actually heard by the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury will either issue a true bill of inditement or a no bill. True bill means that the Grand Jury found that there was enough evidence to proceed with inditement. A no bill means the Grand Jury found that there was NOT enough evidence to proceed and the case is disposed.