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    Do you know someone who needs help getting out of the Williamson County Jail in Georgetown or some other jail in central Texas???

    Call me at 512-869-0131 if you have questions about what needs to be done to get someone out of jail in Georgetown or elsewhere. Getting a friend or a loved one out of jail is not something most people do every day so it is natural to have questions about the process. Feel free to call me with any questions you might have.


    Waiver of Magistration. I may be able to help you get a friend or family member out of jail sooner by "waiving magistration" for him/her. Sometimes there is a problem with getting out of jail right away if a judge has already set a bond for a prisoner and a bail bondsman has already been hired to go on the prisoner's bond, but the prisoner has not been "magistrated."

    Normally the magistrate arrives at the Williamson County Jail in Georgetown in the morning and leaves the jail in the early afternoon when he is done with his work for the day (setting bonds for those who do not already have bonds set and magistrating those who have not been magistrated). In that case, you can hire an attorney to go to the jail and explain the prisoner's rights to him/her so that he/she does not have to spend the night in jail before being released.

    I am available for hire to go to the Williamson County Jail to waive magistration for a prisoner. You can usually reach me at 512-869-0131 seven days a week. If you phone me, I will be glad to explain what my fees are to go waive magistration for someone at the jail in Georgetown. I accept payments by cash, personal check, money order, debit card, and most major credit cards.

    If you have questions about the magistration process in Williamson County, continue reading to understand in detail how the process works...

     Pictured to the right: The Williamson County Jail at 306 West Fourth Street in Georgetown. When someone is arrested in Williamson County, eventually they will be taken to the Williamson County Jail in Georgetown. Everyone who is arrested must post some kind of a bond before they will be released from jail. The judge who sets the bond amounts at the jail is called a Magistrate.  Williamson County has two or three magistrates who share the duties of setting the bonds for people held at the jail. One of these magistrates arrives at the Williamson County Jail daily around 7:00 a.m. to review the records of all newly arrested inmates who have not yet had bonds set for them. (Recently they started having a magistrate return to the jail on most days around 4:00 p.m. to magistrate inmates who arrived at the jail after the morning magistration session.) Based on the type of offense that the inmate is being held for, his/her prior criminal history, and his/her ties to the community, the judge will determine the amount of the bond that must be posted by the prisoner before he/she will be released from jail.

     The bond can be either a surety bond, a cash bond, or a personal bond. Most people get out of the Williamson County Jail on surety bonds and most surety bonds are written by bail bondsmen. Let's assume that the magistrate has set the bond at $5,000. You can hire one of the local bail bond companies who are authorized to post bonds for the Williamson County Jail. Most bail bond companies will require you to pay them ten to twenty percent of the bond before they vouch for your future court appearances by posting a bond with the jail.

    (Many local bail bond companies will reduce the percentage you must pay them for a surety bond if you have already hired an attorney. The fact that you have already hired an attorney shows the bail bond company that you are serious about dealing with the pending criminal charges. That makes you a reduced flight risk to the bail bond company so they will charge you ten percent of the bond amount rather than a larger percentage. This is another reason to hire an attorney as soon as you can if criminal charges have been filed against you.)

     If your bond was set at $5,000 for example, it would normally cost you somewhere from $500 to $1000 to hire a local bail bond company to get you out of jail. The money you pay them is their fee for getting you out of jail and for vouching for your future court appearances. You will be required to check in with them via telephone regularly (usually once a week) and make all your future court appearances while your case is pending. If you fail to check in with the bail bond company regularly or otherwise fail to comply with the contract you signed with them when they helped get you out of jail, the bail bond company can surrender your bond with a judge and arrange to get you put back in jail. YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOUR OBLIGATIONS ARE TO THE BAIL BOND COMPANY AND COMPLY WITH THEM.

     If you fail to show up in court when your case is set for a future court appearance, the judge will forfeit your bond, notify the bail bond company and try to collect on the bond from the bail bond company. (In reality, when a bondsman finds out that you have missed court, he/she will make every effort to locate you immediately and get you in front of the judge within 24 hours of the missed court appearance to try to get the judge to reinstate the bond if you have any reasonable excuse for missing court.)

    Sometimes the bail bond company will require co-signers or some collateral before they will agree to go on your bond if the bondsman believes you are a higher than normal flight risk. If you fail to show up for scheduled court appearances and your bond gets forfeited, then the bonding company will go after the co-signers or you will forfeit the additional collateral that you put up to get you out of jail.

     As an alternative to posting a surety bond, you can post a cash bond with the jail if you can raise in cash all of the amount of the bond set by the magistrate. Most people cannot raise the total amount of the bond to post a cash bond so they will end up hiring a local bail bond company to post a surety bond.

     Personal bonds are not as common in Williamson County. If you hire an attorney, your attorney might be able to arrange for a personal bond but you will have to sit in jail until this is done. It could take a few days to a week or two to find out if a judge will allow you to get out of jail on a personal bond. Your attorney will charge you for the time he spends trying to arrange for a personal bond. Because of the cost in legal fees and the time and uncertainty involved, most people try to get out of jail in Williamson County on a surety bond right away rather than wait for a decision on eligibility for a personal bond.

     Before you get out of jail, you have to post a bond AND you have to be "magistrated." The magistrate will read you your legal rights and have you sign a document stating that your legal rights have been explained to you and that you understand all of your legal rights.

     Sometimes there is a problem with getting out of jail right away if some judge has already set a bond for you and you have already hired a bail bondsman to go on your bond, but you have not been magistrated. Normally the magistrate arrives at the jail in the morning and leaves the jail in the early afternoon when he is done with his work for the day (setting bonds for those who do not have bonds set and magistrating those who have not been magistrated).

    In that case, you can hire an attorney to come to the jail and explain your rights to you so that you do not have to spend the night in jail before being released. I am available for hire to come to the Williamson County Jail to waive magistration for you. You can usually reach me at 512-869-0131 seven days a week. If you phone me, I will be glad to explain what my fees are to come waive magistration for someone at the jail in Georgetown. I accept payments by cash, personal check, money order, debit card, and most major credit cards.


Magistrate's Warnings. These are the rights that a magistrate will read to you between the time you get arrested and booked into jail and before you can be released from jail in Texas:

1. You have the right to remain silent. (Note from Ken Crain: You should exercise your constitutional right to shut up and say absolutely nothing to the police or anyone else about your case before you speak to an attorney. You also need to know that inmate telephone calls that originate from the Williamson County Jail and most other jails are recorded by the sheriff's department. Do not talk about the facts of the case on the phone with anyone because your calls are being recorded and your phone calls will almost certainly be listened to by police and prosecutors. Telephone calls to attorneys are not supposed to be recorded and listened to, but if you believe phone calls to attorneys are never recorded and never listened to by the authorities, then I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to talk to you about. Remember, you can always tell a prosecutor or a peace officer more later, but you cannot take back something that you have already told them. You might not think that whatever you are telling them is harmful to your case, but it might be. Speak to a lawyer before talking to the cops. Have an attorney present in the room with you when you talk to the cops. If you follow this advice, you will be glad you did.)

2. You have the right to retain an attorney.

3. You have the right to request the appointment of an attorney if you are indigent and cannot afford to pay for your own attorney.

4. You will be allowed a reasonable time and opportunity to consult with your attorney.

5. You have the right to have an attorney present during any interview with peace officers.

6. You have the right to terminate the interview at any time.

7. You are not required to make any statement.

8. Any statement made by you may be used against you at trial and in court.

9. You have the right to have an examining trial. (This applies to felonies only.)

You will also be informed of the procedures to request a court appointed attorney, if you want to request one. You will have to submit an application. You may be required to provide employment information and financial information to show that you are indigent. The application must be signed and must be sworn. If you provide false information about your financial situation under oath, then you might be prosecuted for perjury, which is a felony in Texas. If an attorney is appointed to represent you, the attorney will be notified by the court and you should hear from the attorney within a few days. If you are later placed on probation for the criminal charges, then you will be required to make payments to reimburse the county for the cost of providing a court appointed attorney to represent you in the criminal case.


 
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