New Texas Bail Bill Removes PR Bail for Those Accused of Violent Crimes


New Texas Bail Bill Removes PR Bail for Those Accused of Violent Crimes

Texas senate bill 6

For those unfamiliar with the bond reform going on in Texas, Senate Bill 6 excludes the possibility of a PR (Personal Recognizance) guarantee for persons accused of violent crimes. These defendants will be required to place regular cash bonds or use a bail bond company if they cannot afford a cash bond. The new bill comes into force this year (2021).

How Senate Bill 6 Changes Bond Liabilities in Texas

Under the law, defendants are presumed innocent even if there is compelling evidence (such as video recordings or oral confessions) prior to trial. Senate Bill 6 changes how and even if a person can be released from prison pending resolution of their criminal case(s).

Governor Greg Abbott signed SB6 into law that requires defendants charged with violent crimes to pay cash to get out of Texas prisons. They also have the option to pay off part of the bond amount using a bond company if they don’t have cash.

The Texas House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 6 on August 30, then on August 31, the State Senate approved amendments to the bond bill. regular legislative session beginning in January.

During the Safer Houston summit, Abbott spoke about the bail bond bill and said it would be a top priority. The bill, dubbed the Damon Allen Act, is designed to prevent dangerous criminals from being released from prison. Officer Damon Allen was killed in 2017 during a traffic stop. The defendant was released from prison on bail after allegedly assaulting a sheriff’s deputy.

How are defendants being released from prison now?

Currently, most defendants in Texas prisons are released using bonds, whether they be PR bonds, cash bonds, or bails (guarantees). If the defendant is issued a non-public bond and does not have the financial resources to pay the entire amount, he has the option of using a bail bondsman where, instead of paying the full amount, he pays a much lower percentage. Often this percentage is 7 to 8 percent of the total bond. And even part of these amounts are often placed on payment plans.

In particular, Harris County was forced to release more public relations defendants. These PR bonds do not require cash. However, sometimes they have requirements such as drug and alcohol testing. A PR bond is essentially an oath by the defendant that he will attend all necessary court hearings and comply with all drug and alcohol screening requirements when required. Of course, the problem with public relations is that no one is following the defendant other than the occasional drug test request.

Public Relations Collateral Issue

PR bonds often give defendants the illusion that their allegations are not important, and if they don’t show up in court, there’s nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, the PR bonds also created the illusion that it was easy to get out of prison – a kind of “revolving door” scenario. Some law enforcement officials say the defendants made statements such as “ha, I’ll be back home before you finish your shift!” sitting in the back seat of a patrol car.

Another problem with PR bonds is that the respondent doesn’t have the concept of “village” or “community”. In other words, there is no one around the defendant who would be interested in keeping the defendant in touch. No friend or family member is directly involved with the defendant to ensure his weekly check-ups, drug test appearances, or court appearances when necessary. Essentially, the defendant is on an “island” as far as support is concerned.
SB 6 prohibits the use of personal confession bonds for people accused of violent crimes. Instead, they will either have to contribute cash in an amount set by the court or pay the company’s required interest on the secured bonds. SB6 also prohibits cashless release for those arrested on criminal charges if they have already been released from prison on bail for a criminal assault.

New system to check criminal history before posting bail

The bill also calls for a new system to allow court officials to have access to defendants’ criminal records before bail is posted. This will help judges and magistrates get a better idea of ​​the defendant’s previous criminal history.


Some Democrats and other civil rights activists believe that removing non-cash bonds, but not bail, from the bill would create a wealth-based detention/release system that would lead to overcrowding in prisons. They also stated that requiring cash to get out of jail would punish low-income people first, and they believe that this would limit the judiciary and spur the commercial bail bond industry.

On the other hand, the bill’s supporters say the bill could not be fairer. Bail bonds will be set based on the person’s charges as well as their previous criminal history.

Laquita Garcia of the Texas Organization Project stated that “SB 6 is built on right-wing hysteria that violates Texan rights, not public safety. If this bill is implemented, it will lead to more prison overcrowding and further criminalization of poverty in our state, meaning more Texans — a disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics — will remain in prison solely because they cannot afford to post bail. “. Conversely, proponents of the bill believe that people should be held accountable for their actions, criminal or otherwise. And anyone involved in criminal activity, rich or poor, should not complain about the cost of this activity. Many of the bill’s supporters noted that they believe opponents are not ready for a tough conversation about people taking responsibility for being involved in the actions that led to their arrest.

Legislators, victims of crime and their supporters insist that the law is necessary to keep dangerous people behind bars while their cases are investigated. In addition, many of the bill’s supporters point to an increase in violent crime and numerous examples of defendants charged with violent crimes being released on bail and then charged with more crimes.

The Kaitlynn Guajardo murder case is just one such example, where her estranged husband allegedly killed her shortly after being released on bail, where he had previously been arrested on charges of assaulting Guajardo.

“I mean, this is the answer to our prayers,” said Melanie Infinger, who has been fighting for the law since her daughter Caitlin Guajardo was killed in 2019.

“Bail reform is extremely important to me because it ended up costing the lives of my daughter, my daughter and my future grandson, with whom she was pregnant at the time,” Infinger said.

How This Bill Will Affect Dallas Bonds

Once Senate Bill 6 is fully implemented, it will affect Dallas bail obligations as well as bail obligations throughout the state of Texas. All cities and counties will be required to comply with the provisions of the bill, including Dallas and Tarrant counties.

Southern Bail Bonds Dallas endeavors to keep up to date with any news or events affecting the Dallas pledged bond industry. We strive to provide the best possible service and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about collateral.

If you need to post a deposit for a friend or loved one, contact our office now at 214-372-2500! We can help you get the answer you need and place your bonds quickly.

A message about a new Texas bail bill that would remove public relations bail for those charged with violent crimes first appeared on Southern bail bonds in Dallas.

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