Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 799
By: Ellis
Criminal Jurisprudence


Currently, a county pretrial services agency oversees certain defendants.
The agency will supervise a defendant ordered by a court into supervision,
posting a personal bond, or being monitored through adjudication
proceedings. While the agency may assess a fee for defendants the agency
supervises, no statutory authority permits the agency to assess a personal
bond fee.  Authorizing a court to levy fees on a personal bond or
supervision may allow the agency to partially offset its costs.
Flexibility in the fee requirements may permit a court to choose a standard
fee for defendants released on a personal bond or a supervision fee.
Finally, judicial supervision of the agency may allow for closer
coordination between the court's and the agency's operations.  S.B. 799
authorizes a court to assess either a personal bond fee or a supervision
fee for a pretrial service agency and allow a commissioners court to
authorize a district or county court to participate in managing the agency. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Article 17.031(b), Code of Criminal Procedure, to
provide that if there is a pretrial services office, rather than a personal
bond office, in the county from which the warrant for arrest was issued,
the court releasing the defendant will forward a copy of the personal bond
to the pretrial services office, rather than the personal bond office, in
that county.  Makes a nonsubstantive change.  

SECTION 2.  Amends Article 17.42, Code of Criminal Procedure, as follows:


Sec. 1.  Authorizes certain counties or judicial districts, with the
approval of the commissioners court, to establish a pretrial services
office, rather than a personal bond office, to gather and review
information about an accused that may have a bearing on whether the accused
will comply with the conditions of bail, rather than a personal bond, and
report the office's findings to a certain court having criminal
jurisdiction, rather than report to the court before which the case is
pending.  Authorizes a pretrial services office to operate programs,
including programs that require testing for controlled substances, to
supervise persons released on a personal, cash, or surety bond.  

Sec. 2.  Entitles certain district and statutory judges served by a
pretrial services office to participate in the office's management, with
the approval of the commissioners court that established the office.
Requires the commissioners court or the judges of a district that
establishes or participates in the office to employ a director for the
office.  Makes conforming changes.  

Sec. 3. Makes no change.

Sec. 4. Provides that if a court uses the pretrial services office to
release a defendant on  personal bond or to provide supervision of a
defendant released on a personal, cash, or surety bond, the court is
required to assess either a personal bond fee or a supervision fee for a
defendant released on personal bond, or is authorized to assess a
supervision fee for a defendant released on surety or cash bond.  Prohibits
the amount of a supervision fee assessed under this section from being less
than $25 or more than $40 each month during which the defendant is under
the pretrial services office's supervision.  Authorizes the court, in
assessing such a fee, to require payment of the fee as a condition of the
release, a condition of the bond, or court costs.  Authorizes the court to
require a defendant to pay costs incurred by a pretrial services offices in
requiring the defendant to submit to electronic monitoring or testing for
controlled substances or to provide the defendant with an interlock
ignition device or other services related to the supervision of the
defendant.  Makes conforming changes. 

Sec. 5.  Makes conforming changes. 

Sec. 6.  Makes conforming changes. 

SECTION 3.  Repealer: Article 17.03(g) (Personal Bond), Code of Criminal
Procedure, which authorizes the court to order that a personal bond fee
assessed under Section 17.42 (Personal Bond Office) be paid before the
defendant is released; paid as a condition of bond;  paid as court costs;
reduced as otherwise provided for by statute; or waived. 

SECTION 4.  Makes application of this Act prospective.

SECTION 5.  Effective date: September 1, 1999.

SECTION 6.  Emergency clause.