What is a signature bond?

In 2018, the City of Atlanta pushed through a piece of bail reform legislation that allows people charged with nonviolent misdemeanor crimes to remain free before their trials, based on just a signature. This signature bond essentially promises that the defendant would show up for their court date. The new signature bond system in 2018 began with the best of intentions, but since then, has resulted in a large number of failure to appear charges.

If your friend or loved one has been charged with a nonviolent crime, that isn’t a felony, and is granted a signature bond, there is good news and bad. The good news is that you or the defendant won’t have to pay any money up front. Signature bonds are to help those who can’t afford a cash bond by removing the burden on the poor who were charged with minor offenses. At times, these defendants would go days, weeks, or even months waiting in jail before they had even been charged with a crime.

The bad news is, getting the defendant to show up for their court appearances might be an issue. Without the deterrent of losing the money that they otherwise would have put up in the form of a traditional bail bond, a person might be less likely to show up. After all, the only thing pushing them to do so was their promise as per their signature bond.

If a friend or loved one has called you from the City of Atlanta Detention Center and has stated that they have a signature bond, you don’t need to go down to the jail. You don’t need to pay any money. The defendant simply has to wait their turn to see the judge and sign the bond. Its that simple. For more information on bail bonds in Atlanta, refer to our homepage.

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