If police in Texas arrested you and charged you with a crime, you now have a path that you must follow through the state’s criminal justice system. Although every criminal case is different, there is a general procedure that criminal charges follow.

You need to understand your rights and responsibilities following your arrest in Texas. If you neglect any of your legal duties after your arrest, or if you are not aware of your rights under the law, you could endure serious consequences in the future.

Arrest and posting bond in Texas

Immediately following your arrest for a serious crime, you will have to wait in jail until your bail bond hearing. This is the hearing where the judge sets the amount of your bail. If you post bond, it means that you can leave jail by paying the amount of bail. There are several ways you can do this, including paying out-of-pocket or enlisting the assistance of a bail bond agent for a percentage of your bail, with the agent then promising to pay the remainder to the court if the defendant does not show up for his or her court appearance. The amount you pay is a premium that you will most likely not get back. The bail bondsman may also require additional collateral. You are responsible for showing up at your court hearing.

Court appearance

A critical step is finding criminal defense representation for your court appearance, which, as an example, in Texas’s Denton County typically takes place 30 to 60 days following arrest. You should not attempt to represent yourself in your criminal case, because your lack of knowledge of the appropriate procedure and laws can increase your chances of a conviction and subsequent consequences, depending on the severity of your crime.

If you are facing criminal charges and do not know what steps to take next, do not attempt to proceed on your own. The consequences and penalties you risk as a result of criminal charges are too serious to underestimate. Research your options regarding criminal defense and take the necessary steps to secure a professional who can help you build a strategy to move through the process.