Basics

  • Release on personal bond provides qualified defendants an opportunity to be released on bond
  • Individuals released on personal bond are able to assist with their defense while awaiting trial
  • Individuals released on personal bond are able to maintain their employment and meet financial obligations while awaiting disposition of their case.
  • Individuals released on personal bond have the opportunity to access appropriate treatment resources
  • Release on personal bond provides Travis County with a means to effectively and safely manage jail population
  • Pretrial Services provides a cost savings to Travis County by reducing the number of defendants incarcerated while awaiting trial and reducing the cost of pre-trial detention
Pretrial Services helps people who need a personal bond. They interview defendants and make recommendations to the Court on whether the defendant should be released on personal bond. If the bond includes supervision, they will monitor compliance and provide case management to assure that defendants report to court and successfully complete court-ordered treatment and other conditions.

If you have a criminal case, you will likely need an attorney. Travis County Pretrial Services screens individuals for eligibility to receive a court-appointed attorney for defendants charged with a criminal offense filed by the State of Texas.

For more information about court-appointed attorneys and qualifications, please contact Court Administration at 512-854-9244.

Pretrial Services cannot recommend an attorney. You may use publicly available resources for more information. For a place to start, the Lawyer Referral Services of Central Texas can be reached by phone at 512-472-8303 or toll-free at 1-866-303-8303 or at www.AustinLRS.org.

If your vehicle has been towed after an arrest, please contact the Travis County Jail at 512-854-9889. Additional information about vehicle impounding can be found on the Sheriff’s Office website at www.tcsheriff.org/services/vehicle.

Legal and Evidence Based Practices

Pretrial Legal and Evidence Based Practices (Pretrial LEBP) is defined as "interventions and practices that are consistent with the legal and constitutional rights afforded to accused persons awaiting trial and methods research have proven to be effective in reducing unnecessary detention while assuring court appearance and the safety of the community during the pretrial stage." - Marie VanNostrand, PhD.

Having its roots in the medical community, the evidence based practices movement seeks to ensure that the focus is on using procedures that have been proven by research to be successful in order to accomplish goals. For a Pretrial Services agency, this involves ensuring that the methods used in the Pretrial process (making recommendations to the Court concerning personal bond and providing supervision to defendants free on bond) are proven by research to be effective at reducing the risk of pretrial failure (re-arrest and failure to appear in court) while also assuring the safety of the community and respecting the constitutional rights of the defendant.

The Central Booking Unit aligns with Pretrial LEBP through implementing an objective risk assessment to guide the bond recommendation process, updating our statistical and reporting methods, using Motivational Interviewing techniques in the interview process, and ensuring that we consider defendants for release on personal bond with the least possible restrictions while assuring the safety of the community and respecting the constitutional rights of the accused.

The Case Management Unit aligns with Pretrial LEBP through identifying additional opportunities to remind defendants of court-dates, ensuring that supervision of defendants is risk-based, using Motivational Interviewing techniques in supervision, and effectively measuring outcomes of defendant supervision.

Travis County Pretrial Services is continually reviewing and revising their policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that they are consistent with the most current Pretrial LEBP.

Personal Bond

  • A bond is the amount of money set by a judge for releasing a defendant from jail before his/her trial. There are three types of bonds: cash, surety, and personal. Click here for more information about the types of bonds.
  • A personal bond is a sworn agreement by the defendant that he/she will return to Court as ordered and will comply with the conditions placed on his/her release. No money is required at the time of release, but the defendant is required to pay an administrative fee to Pretrial Services within 7 days of release. Click here for more information about personal bond fees.
  • Travis County Pretrial Services interviews the majority of defendants booked on Travis County charges and considers them for release on personal bond. Individual defendants cannot post a personal bond themselves. Only Pretrial Services or an attorney may submit a personal bond to a judge. Only a judge can approve release on a personal bond. If you wish to inquire about the status of a defendant’s personal bond application, you should contact Travis County Pretrial Services at 512-854-9381.
  • Once a bond amount is set by a judge, a defendant is eligible for release. Click here for possible release options. Once a release is approved, the jail release process can take several hours, depending on the demands and staffing at the jail.
Travis County Pretrial Services interviews the majority of defendants booked on Travis County charges and considers them for release on personal bond.
There will be a recommendation to the judge to either accept or deny the application for personal bond. If the application for personal bond is not granted, the individual can still hire a bail bonding company, pay a cash bond, or hire an attorney’s office to assist in the release. Depending on the circumstances, there may be recommendations for specific conditions on the bond. While some conditions are mandated by state statute, others will be based on the interview and investigation process. The judge will ultimately determine if, or what, conditions will be required.
Pretrial Officers' key focus is to determine whether or not the defendant, if released, poses a risk to community safety or a risk of failure to appear. Pretrial Services considers multiple factors when determining if a person is eligible for a personal bond. Factors that influence the Pretrial Officer's recommendation to the Court include but are not limited to stability in the community, family support, criminal history, history of violence, and community safety. Additionally, we use standardized assessment tools to measure the probability of recidivism and substance abuse.
  • Drug Counseling
  • Alcohol Counseling
  • Family Violence Counseling
  • No Contact with Complaining Witness
  • Urinalysis Testing
  • Participation in one or more of Pretrial Services' Caseload Programs
Bond conditions can only be removed by court order. Contact your attorney for assistance.
  • Pay your personal bond fee within 7 days of release.
  • Report to Court on the date/time indicated on the personal bond paperwork.
  • If there are conditions as indicated on the “Order Setting Conditions” form, you need to read the condition form to find out what to do next.
  • If you are assigned a caseload officer, you will find a form with contact information and you may be required to contact the assigned officer. You may be required to report on a regular basis. When you see your assigned officer, the officer will go over the rules of the program.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

In the state of Texas, if you’ve ever had a prior DWI conviction, you are required by law to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle any time you are charged with a 2nd DWI or more. If you have no prior DWI conviction, the court may order an ignition interlock device.
You may qualify for a waiver. You must notify your Pretrial Officer and your attorney immediately of this request. Keep in mind, it is your responsibility to provide proper documentation and complete a waiver affidavit within your deadline date for installation of the ignition interlock device. Failure to do so could result in the revocation of your bond.
You must discuss this with your attorney to see if they are able to approach the Court on your behalf with the request for an extension. Failure to install the ignition interlock device by your deadline could result in the revocation of your bond.
There is an installation and a monthly fee you must pay directly to the ignition interlock company for use/maintenance of the device. Additionally, you must pay a $10 monthly monitoring fee to Pretrial Services for each month that the device is installed.
The device will remain installed until the Court orders the removal of the device.
Contact your vendor immediately and inform your Pretrial Officer.
Contact Pretrial Services at 512-854-9381 to submit your request. It may take up to 7 days to process the request.

Fees

No. Payments must be brought into one of our offices, mailed, or made online. For more information please read our fees page.
If the attorney was able to get you out on a personal bond, the processing fee is still owed to our office. You will need to speak with your attorney to see if the processing fee was included in what you paid the attorney.
You will receive a reminder letter with your current balance owed. Please pay as soon as you are able. Partial payments are accepted.
If you made a payment to our office and had an outstanding balance, the payment will be applied to the oldest balance first. If you believe this is an error, you will need to call our office Monday through Friday between 7:30AM-5:30PM to speak with someone regarding your balance.
We will return payments if the payment could not be applied. Examples include personal checks were sent, money orders or cashier’s checks were made to anyone other than Pretrial Services, or if we were unable to determine who the payment was for.

Contact Information

Rodolfo Pérez, Jr.
Director

Daniel McCoy-Bae
Assistant Director

Pretrial Services

Drug Diversion Court

Adult Probation