If you or a loved one has recently been arrested, the first thing on your mind is getting out of jail. Unfortunately, the process of bonding out is more complicated than expected. So, what do you need to know to get out of jail as quickly as possible?
1) Will I get a bond? If so, when?
In Georgia, the rules are organized according to whether the arrest offense is a felony or a misdemeanor. If it is a misdemeanor, then you are entitled to a bond by law. If the charge is a felony, then it is in the judge’s discretion whether to grant bail. There are certain serious offenses for which only a superior court judge can grant bail. In that case, the superior court will be notified of your arrest within 48 hours. The superior court is then required to set a bond hearing within 30 days after receiving the notice. However, if you file a petition for a bond, then the hearing must be held within 10 days after receiving the petition.
2) What does the court consider when determining whether to grant bond and when determining high the bond should be?
Judges consider four factors when determining whether to grant bond, and when determining how much the bond should be: (1) Are you a risk to run away and not come back to court?; (2) Do you pose a threat or danger to people or property in the local community?; (3) Is it likely that you will commit a felony before your case is resolved?; and (4) Are you likely to intimidate witnesses against you?
3) Once I get a bond, what are my options for covering the amount?
Cash bond – This requires you to put up the entire bond amount in cash or by money order. Most people cannot afford the entire amount, and that is where bondsmen come in. As long as you are able to pay 13-15% of the bond, then a bondsman will put up the money for you and require that you pay a fee.
*The money that you pay to bond out will be refunded at the close of the case as long as it is not forfeited by your failure to appear in court. The fee to the bonding company will not be refunded.
Property bond – You may be able to put up real property (house or land) as a way to guarantee your appearance in court. Generally, you must have enough equity in the home or property to cover the amount of the bond. In some places, you have to have twice the amount of the bond in equity. Most bondsmen will still help you bond out of jail, and they may accept more than just real property. For example, some will allow you to put up the title to your car as a guarantee that you will return to court. Remember, if you use property to bond out and you fail to appear in court, then you are at risk of losing that property!
If you or a loved one have recently been arrested and want help bonding out, do not hesitate to contact us at 404-581-0999. You can trust that our firm will do everything possible to get you or your loved one out of jail and to make the process as simple and painless as possible.