When a person is arrested in Texas, they are entitled to a bond except under limited circumstances. Under Texas law, there are three types of bond: cash bond, personal bond, and surety bond. Cash and surety bonds (often described in the context of “bail bond”) can be distinguished from personal bond because a personal bond does not require the same type of surety or security to be deposited as a condition of release. Nevertheless, personal bonds basically serve the same function, that is, a guarantee to appear at the appropriate time and place. The distinction between the terms bail and bond is confusing. It is further obfuscated by the fact that Article 17.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure includes both bail bond and personal bond within its definition of bail, and then subsequently separates “bail bond” – e.g., cash and surety bonds – from personal bond in Articles 17.02 and 17.03 respectively. Essentially bail bond and personal bond are both means of achieving release through bail, which is the process whereby an individual provides some assurance (be it fiscal or otherwise) that he or she will appear before the proper court in exchange for his or her release. Personal bonds are extremely rare in Harris County, Texas. They used to be common, but judges are very reluctant—particularly in felony cases—to allow these bond. Harris County criminal defense lawyers are therefore often in the position of having to argue for a bond reduction rather than for a personal bond for their clients. How does Harris County set bonds? According to a bond schedule. Under this schedule, bonds can be unreasonably high. For example, in theft cases, where judges typically set the bond at double the amount of the alleged theft. Experienced Houston criminal lawyers know that just doubling the bond like this, or setting unreasonably high bonds, is illegal. That’s just one reason it is imperative to hire the best criminal lawyer a client can afford.