If know someone who has been arrested recently in the Atlanta metro area, then you most likely know how bail bonds work in Georgia. If you are currently in the process of getting someone bailed out then you have to remember that the law is based on one important principal – you are innocent until proven guilty. This means that even when you are arrested, you have certain rights that you are afforded. One of these rights is to be released on bail dependent on certain circumstances.
Normally a judge will hear the charges brought against you before deciding whether you qualify for bail and what the amount will be set at. If you fail to qualify, you will need to be held in jail until you can plead your case at a trial.
The judge will take into account the following aspects of the charges when deciding bail…
How Georgia Bail Hearings Work:
- The judge will look at the severity of the charges brought against the defendant. The more severe the crime, the higher the bail amount will be.
- The judge will also consider a higher bond if the defendant has been charged with the same or other crimes. Multiple charges may mean that the judge will deny bail, especially if they feel that letting the inmate out of jail will result in another crime being committed.
- The judge or magistrate will also have to determine whether the incarcerated is a flight risk or not. If the defendant has the means (financial or otherwise) to flee the state or the country and seems likely to run from the charges, he/she will not be granted bail.
Here’s a detailed description of how bail bonds work in the state of Georgia.
The amount of bail that you will need to pay to be released from jail until your court date is not the amount that you will need to pay. The bond amount is normally 10%-15% of the bail amount depending on the co-signer’s ability to meet standard bail bond qualifications. So if your bail amount is set at $10 000, you will need to pay $1,000-$1,500. In the Atlanta area, 15% is the going rate. However, if you flee the state and do not show up for your trial, the full amount will become due.
If you do not have the funds available to pay the bail bond, or cannot rely on family or friends, a bail bondsman may pay the amount on your behalf. It is then their duty to ensure that you present yourself for trial. If you do flee the state, the bail bondsman can send a bounty hunter after you to return you to jail. A warrant for your arrest for jumping bail will also be issued.
A bail bondsman will usually charge you 10%-15% of the total bail amount as their fee. They will require some type of surety, whether it be assets or some other type of collateral. The bail bondsman can sue you for the fee or attach your assets to ensure the fee is paid.
Whether you are convicted of the crime or if the charges against you are acquitted, the full amount paid for your bond will be returned. If you have fled and been returned to jail, the amount will still be returned. However, if you fail to appear in court and are not found, the bond amount will become forfeit. Keep in mind that the fee to a bail bondsman will still be due and will not form part of the amount that is returned to them by the court.
In a nutshell…
Here’s Exactly How Bail Bonds Work in Georgia
- When a person gets arrested, they will be booked into either a county or municipal jail.
- Some jails allow multiple phone calls, while others only allow one.
- The defendant makes a call to a friend or loved one to get bonded out of that jail.
- The friend or loved one must then find a bondsman who is licensed and insured to write bail bonds for that specific Georgia jail.
- Provided that person meets the qualifications of the bonding agency, they become a co-signer on that bond (along with the bail agent).
- The co-signer pays a bonding fee of anywhere between 10%-15% of the total bail amount set by the judge or the county’s/city’s bonding schedule. This amount is non-refundable.
- The bondsman goes to the jail with a bond insured for the full amount of bail.
- The jail then starts the release process.
- The jail-release process in Georgia can take up to 24 hours in some counties, but as little as 45 minutes in others.
- When the inmate is released from incarceration, he/she will be required to sign the bail bond at the office of the bonding company who wrote it.
- The defendant will then be required to check in every month with said bonding company until the completion of their court case.
To locate a bail bonding company in a specific county, please visit our homepage or check the links below. To find your friend or loved one in the major counties throughout Atlanta metro, use our inmate search tool resources.