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    Frequently Asked Questions




       

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    # Question Answer
    01 What does Pretrial Services do? The department interviews and compiles information on eligible defendants who are arrested and charged by Tarrant County with a felony or class A or B misdemeanor offense.  If the court approves the defendant’s release on personal bond, Pretrial Officers monitor and enforce defendant compliance and report non-compliance to the court.  The department focuses all activities around assuring appearance in court and minimizing danger to the community. 
    02 What is a Personal Bond? Chapters 17.01 and 17.03 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure define a personal bond as a form of bail that does not require the defendant to post security; however, Section 17.42 provides that a fee may be assessed if a court releases an accused on personal bond based on the recommendation of a personal bond office.  The personal bond fee is $20 or three percent of the amount of bail, whichever is greater.
    03 What determines eligibility for a personal bond? Many factors determine a defendant’s eligibility for release on personal bond, which may include a person’s stability in the community, the seriousness of the charge, prior criminal activity and any potential danger to public safety presented by the defendant.
    04 How do I contact someone from Pretrial Services? Call the main number at 817-884-1465.
    05 I was arrested on a misdemeanor charge, am I eligible for personal bond? Pretrial services can consider most Class A and B misdemeanor offenses.  Cases are reviewed on an individual basis.  Call the Pretrial Services Office during regular business hours at 817-884-1465.
    06 I was arrested on a felony charge, am I eligible for personal bond? Pretrial services can consider most 2nd and 3rd degree felonies that are non-violent in nature.  Cases are reviewed on an individual basis.  Please call the Pretrial Services Office during regular business hours at 817-884-1465.
    07 Are there conditions of release that I may have to obey if I’m released on Pretrial Bond? Yes.  At a minimum, all defendants are required to report to the Pretrial Services once a month between the 1st and the 15th of the month.  Most misdemeanor defendants are required to report by mail and felony defendants are required to report in person.  In addition, the court may impose additional conditions of release as necessary.  If you fail to comply with conditions of release, you will be rearrested and returned to jail.
    08 I have been notified that I have a warrant for my arrest; am I eligible for Pretrial Bond? If you meet the guidelines and criteria for release, you will be interviewed and considered for personal bond.  Please call the Pretrial Services Office during regular business hours at 817-884-1465 to discuss eligibility.
    09 I was released from jail from an outlying municipal jail on Pretrial Bond, what do I do next? If you were released directly from one of Tarrant County’s outlying jails, you are required to report to the Pretrial Services Office within five business days of your release.  If you fail to report, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will be returned to jail.
    10 I was released on personal bond but did not receive any paperwork. What should I do? Call the Pretrial Services Office immediately at 817-884-1465 to find out about release conditions and court dates.  Regular business hours are Monday thru Friday, 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    11 Where and what time can the defendant be picked up if he/she is granted a personal bond? Once the release paper work has been submitted, the Sheriff’s Department (Tarrant County Jail) or whatever jail facility the defendant is being held at is in charge of the release process.  Pretrial Services cannot provide a definite release time.
    12 When do I need to report? If you have a felony charge, you must report in person between the 1st and the 15th of each month.  If you have a misdemeanor charge, you will most likely be allowed to mail your report in between the 1st and the 15th of each month.  PLEASE NOTE – some misdemeanor judges require defendants assigned to their courts to report in person.  If your case is assigned to one of those courts, your caseworker will contact you.
    13 What happens if a person under supervision by Pretrial Services does not comply with the conditions of release? Pretrial Services will notify the court of the defendant’s non-compliance and the judge can revoke the bond and order that person be returned to jail.
    14 What happens if I miss my monthly report? If you fail to report to the Pretrial Services office as required by the 15th of the month, a warrant can be issued for your arrest.  If you realize you have missed reporting, please contact the Pretrial Services Office immediately.  If you encounter circumstances beyond your control that may cause you to miss the reporting deadline, call the Pretrial Services Office to discuss the issue immediately.
    15 What if my address or employer changes? Report the changes to your caseworker immediately.
    16 What’s going to happen with my case when I go to court? Pretrial Services does not provide legal advice.  Such question(s) need to be discussed with the attorney handling your case.
    17 How do I find out about my court date? You will be notified by mail of all scheduled court settings at least 10 days prior to court.  You will receive a phone reminder at least 2-3 days prior to your court date.  In addition, you may call the Pretrial Services Office at any time to inquire when your next court setting.
    18 If I cannot afford an attorney, what should I do? If you are indigent, you may be eligible for a court-appointed attorney.  There is an application process to determine if you qualify for a court-appointed attorney. Please contact the Office of Attorney Appointments.
    19 What happens if I miss court? If you do not attend a scheduled court hearing, unless your attorney tells you that you do not need to appear, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you may be returned to jail.
    20 Where do I go if ordered for drug testing? If your bond conditions require that you get weekly or random drug tests, you must report to the Pretrial Services Office to first obtain a Drug Test Form and pay the $11 Drug Test Fee.   After you are checked in, you will be sent to the CSCD office for testing.  If you do not comply with drug testing bond conditions, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and the court may order that you be returned to jail.
    21 I have an ignition interlock device on my car, but I am no longer driving it.  Can it be removed? Only the court can waive the installation of an interlock device.  The Judge over your case will address this this at your first court appearance.
    22 How long must I have the ignition interlock device on my vehicle? It is a condition of bond; therefore it must remain on your vehicle until disposition of your case or until the Judge orders it removed. 
    23 The Order to Install an ignition interlock device states that I have 30 days from the date of release from custody to have the unit installed.  If I am unable to meet this deadline, what should I do?
    Contact the Pretrial Services Ignition Interlock Caseworker at 817-884-1465.  She will instruct you on what to do.