Yet Again Collin County Changes its Writ Bond Policy for DWIs

24 Hour Jail Release 214-402-4364
By Bo Kalabus
Office: 972-562-7549
Well, it appears Collin County has changed its writ bond policy yet again. Once more, an attorney can file a writ bond (or attorney bond) for a person booked in on a Class A misdemeanor variety DWI 1st with a BAC (blood alcohol level) above .15, or DWI 2nd-that does not have bond set–remember, you can’t get out of jail without a bond being set. The filing of the writ still triggers a setting of a cash bond of $500 for the above DWI offenses. With the bond set, the person can now have the bond posted and get out of jail. The latest twist is that a Deep Lung Device (DLD) will be ordered to be installed on the arrested person’s vehicle at the time they are bonded out of jail if they are facing the charges detailed above.

To recap, I had blogged on May 13, 2012, that Collin County changed its attorney writ bond policy for certain DWI charges. The new policy blocked attorneys from filing writs (or attorney bonds) on the following DWI arrests:

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

The reason for the policy shift was to allow an arrested person facing such charges above to be evaluated by the magistrate judge at the jail to determine whether a DLD would be required to be installed on their vehicle as a condition of bond. The arrested person’s bond would be set at the jail at the same time, instead of being able to have bond set via the attorney writ bond and having the hearing to determine whether the DLD should be installed within 10 days after the person’s release from jail. The policy change would mean the folks facing such charges would mostly likely spend more time in jail waiting to see a magistrate judge. In Collin County, the magistrate judge only sees inmates on weekday and Saturday mornings usually between 8:00 am and 10:00 am. What this means is if you are not booked in by the time the magistrate judge leaves for the day, you will have to sit for another day until the magistrate returns the next morning–and hopefully the next day is not a Sunday because the magistrate judge does not come in on Sundays, or on holidays for that matter. This is unlike Dallas County that has magistrate judges available 24 hours a day.

The latest policy change is a good one considering people facing DWI 2nds, or DWIs with a BAC above a .15 will have a DLD slapped on their vehicle by just about any sitting judge in the State of Texas. So, having a DLD issued as a condition of bond while still enabling the arrested person to use a writ bond as a vehicle to get their bond set when a magistrate is unavailable strikes a reasonable balance between the safety of the community and the rights of those accused.

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