Are Murder And Manslaughter Bondable Charges In Texas?
Capital murder is the only charge in Texas in which a defendant is not entitled to a bond as a general rule. If a judge wants to deny bond to a capital murder defendant, he or she can.
However, for all other charges, including murder and manslaughter, defendants are entitled to a bond unless certain, limited circumstances apply. These circumstances are set out in section 11a of the Texas Constitution. They are:
- If a defendant is charged with a felony and has been convicted of two prior felonies at two different times
- If a defendant has been charged with a felony while on bail for a felony for which he has been indicted
- If a defendant has been charged of committing a felony with a deadly weapon and has been convicted of a prior felony; or
- If a defendant has been accused of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, or indecency with a child while on felony probation.
If any of these four circumstances apply, the State has seven days to ask the judge for a hearing to hold the defendant without bond. If, at the hearing, the judge finds that one of these four circumstances applies and (for circumstances 1 and 3 only) if evidence is also presented substantially showing the defendant’s guilt, the judge can order the defendant held without bond for sixty days. But after sixty days, the no bond order is set aside and the judge must set a bond.
Even under the worst-case scenario, a murder or manslaughter defendant will be held without bond for only sixty days. And although capital murder defendants do not have the right to a bond, most judges will set bonds in capital murder cases as well. Whether the bond that the judge ultimately sets is one that the defendant can realistically make, however, is another matter entirely.
Defendants who do make bond in murder and manslaughter cases are usually placed on bond supervision, which can include travel restrictions, a curfew, and GPS monitoring.
For more information on Murder, Manslaughter Bondable Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 936-4521 today.
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