Collin County Changes its Writ Bond Policy for DWIs

By Bo Kalabus
bo@kalabuslaw.com
Office: 972-562-7549
24 Hour Jail Release 214-402-4364

Collin County has announced it changed its attorney writ bond policy for certain DWI
charges, which started this May. Until recently, a person booked in on DWI of Class B or A misdemeanor variety -DWI 1st, DWI 1st with a BAC (blood alcohol level) above .15, and DWI 2nd-that did not have bond set (you can’t get out of jail without a bond being set) could have an attorney file a writ bond. The filing of the writ triggered a setting of a cash bond of $500 for the above DWI offenses. With the bond set, the person could then have the bond posted and get out of jail. The reason for the lag in the bond setting is because the Collin County magistrate judges only set bonds on weekday and Saturday mornings, usually between 8:00 am-10:00 am. So if a person is booked in after the magistrate has left (the booking in process can take anywhere from 4-12 hours or longer), then they are sitting in jail for another day. Also, if the arrest happens on the weekend–especially a holiday weekend, the person could be sitting in jail for up to 2-3 days waiting for a bond to be set. After an arrested person was released on a bond trigged by a writ bond filing, the person had to have a hearing before a Collin County Court at Law Judge within 10 days to determine whether a Deep Lung Device (DLD) needed to be installed on their vehicle.

Now, Collin County requires that with certain DWI arrests, the arrested person must be evaluated by the magistrate judge at the jail to determine whether a DLD is required and have the bond set at the jail instead of being able to have bond set via the attorney writ bond and the hearing within 10 days after release. From a writ bond perspective, the following DWI arrests are affected by the new policy:

• DWI 1st offense with a BAC higher than .15; and
• DWI 2nd;

This means that if you or a loved one are facing the above charges, the person will be spending more time in jail waiting to be seen by the magistrate judge to determine whether a DLD is required and having the bond set. There has been no mention of increasing the number of magistrate judges at the Collin County jail or whether their hours at the jail will be increased to help offset the new work load, so the folks booked on these charges can expect delays on getting out.

 

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