In Texas a blue warrant has long been the enemy of all those who are on paper. A blue warrant is what we call a warrant issued for a parole violation. Allegedly, they used to be issued on blue paper, hence the name.
The Governor recently signed SB790, so after 9/1/15 you will be able to actually have a bond set on a blue warrant if you meet certain requirements. Blue warrants have typically meant a very extended stay in the county jail while the system sorted out your new case (which is the cause of many blue warrants), or the Parole Board decided what to do about your technicals (dirty UAs, missing meetings etc). Bond just wasn’t an option for a blue warrant before, but it will be soon.
This move should save counties a nice pile of cash. As I write this Kaufman County has 19 “Hold For TDCJ” inmates right now, that’s more than any other criminal offense. This bill is part of a larger Smart on Crime movement, which is a nice way of saying that up until recently, we have been stupid on crime. Being stupid (“tuff”) is expensive. Holding people who pose no threat to public safety is a great way to waste tax dollars, letting people out on bond saves you money, so we only pay to lock up people we are truly scared of, not merely mad at.
Who can get a bond set on a blue warrant/parole hold?
First, it depends on your criminal history. You can’t have been convicted or, or been or be on parole for, any offense in Chapter 29 or Title 5 of the Penal Code. Chapter 29 is Robbery and Agg Rob. Title 5 offenses are “offenses against the person” and include homicide, kidnapping, trafficking, and assault. So if any of those are in your conviction history, you aren’t eligible.
You must not have picked up a new offense on parole.
You can only have technical violations, or administrative violations, not a new offense. The law says if you’ve picked up a new charge, you aren’t eligible for bond on a blue warrant.
You have to be in jail for a judge to grant the bond on a blue warrant.
The law says a magistrate in the county in which you are held must agree that you are not a threat to public safety, inter alia, before granting the bond. I get a lot of emails from people who have a blue warrant and haven’t been arrested. The law is pretty clear that you must be in jail to get a blue warrant bond.