Here is the statute that controls capias pro fine in Texas:
Art. 45.045.    CAPIAS PRO FINE. (a) If the
defendant is not in custody when the judgment is rendered or if the
defendant fails to satisfy the judgment according to its terms, the
court may order a capias pro fine issued for the defendant's arrest.
The capias pro fine shall state the amount of the judgment and sentence
, and command the appropriate peace officer to bring the
defendant before the court or place the defendant in jail until the
defendant can be brought before the court.
(b) A capias pro fine may not be issued for an individual
convicted for an offense committed before the individual's 17th
(1) the individual is 17 years of age or older;
(2) the court finds that the issuance of the capias pro fine
is justified after considering:
(A) the sophistication and maturity of the individual;
(B) the criminal record
and history of the individual; and
(C) the reasonable likelihood of bringing about the
discharge of the judgment through the use of procedures and
services currently available to the court; and
(3) the court has proceeded under Article 45.050 to compel
the individual to discharge the judgment.
(c) This article does not limit the authority of a court to
order a child taken into custody under Article 45.058 or 45.059.
Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1971,
62nd Leg., p. 2991, ch. 987, Sec. 6, eff. June 15, 1971. Renumbered
from Vernon's Ann.C.C.P. art. 45.51 and amended by Acts 1999, 76th
Leg., ch. 1545, Sec. 45, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003,
78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Additionally, here is a statement from the Supreme Court of Texas on the subject:
Another source that you may find helpful can be found at:
It seems clear that the court has the authority in Texas to hold someone in jail based on capias pro fine. I can find no Supreme Court decisions that state otherwise. However, if I am understanding you correctly, you are concerned about the Habeas Corpus issues involved with the practice of holding a person in jail over a fine. Higher courts have consistently found that it is within the purview of the municipal court to hold persons based on capias pro fine. (see: http://www.altlaw.org/v1/cases/527229). To do so however, the court must bring that person before the court issuing the warrant either immediately after the arrest or no later than the next business day.
I hope this helps!
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