When individuals are arrested for a crime in Texas, they will go before a judge who determines if a bond will be set, if the individual will be held without bail, or if the individual is eligible to be released on his or her own personal recognizance. Some people in Texas have worried that the bond systems in place can allow arrestees to be released pending trial, only to return to the streets, commit a serious crime, and be arrested again.
Such was the case in 2019 when Caitlynhne Infinger Guajardo – who was 20 years old and pregnant at the time – was allegedly stabbed a total of 20 times and killed along with her unborn child. The alleged killer, Alex Guajardo, had been arrested for assaulting Caitlynne several days before, in addition to torturing and killing Caitlynne’s cat. However, when Mr. Guajardo was seen at bail review, a Harris County judge did not hold him without bail – or even set a high bail in his case. Instead, the judge released him on his own personal recognizance, and he was free to go. Guajardo is currently facing capital murder charges for both Caitlynne’s death and the death of their unborn child.
Since the time of the alleged murder, a bill has been introduced in the Texas state legislature in Caitlynne’s name, trying to toughen the standards on personal recognizance releases.
If you are facing a bail hearing or a criminal charge while currently out on bail (or on your own personal recognizance), the experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC can explain all of your legal options to you and pursue the best possible result on your behalf. Please speak with us today to discover more about how we could help defend you against your pending criminal charge.
What the Proposed Law Would Change
Proponents of Caitlynne’s law have argued that the extent of prior bond reforms has gone too far and that dangerous criminals are being released back onto the streets all too frequently. Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt is currently sponsoring Caitlynne’s Law. If the bill were ultimately passed by the Texas state legislature, judges who handle bail review hearings would be required to do the following:
- Stop releasing suspects on their own personal recognizance if they have already been issued such a release in the past
- Issue a $10,000 minimum bond for any arrestee who has been charged with a felony offense on three or more prior occasions
Senator Bettencourt and other proponents of the law have stressed the fact that this issue impacts all Texas citizens, and they are convinced that the law is necessary to prevent similar crimes from happening to others. However, this law can also provide unfair roadblocks to those facing bail hearings, and more people might needlessly wait in jail while their cases are pending.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is essential that you have skilled legal representation in your case as early on in the process as possible. The knowledgeable legal team at Granger and Mueller PC is ready to fight for fair bail and all other rights of defendants.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Austin criminal defense attorney, please call us today at 512-474-9999 or contact us online for more information about how we can assist.