Your in bed sleeping, it’s late, and your phone rings. You hear the recording from the Atlanta Fulton County jail from a “friend” of yours requesting permission to accept the call. You accept the call, and a someone you know, i.e friend, loved one, family member, has been arrested in Atlanta and they are asking you for bail. What do you do?
You are about to enter the Atlanta bail bond process.
The first call you should make, is TO YOUR LAWYER! You or the person in jail is going to need a Lawyer. It makes NO difference what the charge is. You will need a Lawyer to show up at the Bond hearing if you or they have one. Why? Keep reading…
If you are arrested in Atlanta for either a felony or misdemeanor, you are entitled to have a bond set or hearing to determine if a bond will be set. As the Defendant, you should be aware of the different options available to post bond in the State of Georgia and in the Atlanta Metro Area.
What is a bond?
Bail bonds are documents issued to individuals who are criminal defendants. An arraignment will have to be held for the individual in order for bail to be determined and set. If bail is to be issued, it may be issued through Federal, immigration, or commercial bonding companies. The purpose of bail is to insure the court appearance of the defendant, who has been arrested, in order to determine guilt or innocence. As all individuals arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty, the failure to guarantee the right to bail would make any arrest and/or incarceration almost a finding of guilt. Bail bond companies provide an opportunity for an individual to obtain freedom as long as he or she meets the obligation of being present in court at the required time and date. In many cases, bail bond companies have working relationships with the court system, and can help speed their clients release by providing ‘blanket coverage’ to the court.
How is it determined?
Not all crimes lead to a bail hearing. Minor offenses may allow the officers at the jail to issue a standard bail amount and release an arrestee with little or no time in a jail cell. Atlanta jails usually have a bail schedule that the officers can refer to for minor offenses. Serious offenses, however, will require a bail hearing by a judge meaning they’ll almost certainly involve a lawyer and a bail bond as well. Several factors go into a judge’s bail determination and these factors can vary from place to place. These are a few of the standard determinants.
- The Seriousness of the Crime
- The Criminal Record of the Accused
- Flight Risk
This is why you should have made your FIRST call to a Atlanta Lawyer. Without one, no one argues on your behalf as to anyone of the 3 reasons listed.
Where do I go?
There are plenty of Atlanta Bail Bondman out there. As we can’t recommend anyone. A good place to start is the Fulton County Sheriffs web site. They have a list of bail bondmans.
Having the following information will quicken the bond release process. It is ok if you are missing something or do not have all the information below, just give us a call and we will be glad to help you.
A. The arrestee’s name and date of birth.
B. The city and state, and name of the jail holding the arrestee.
C. The date the person was arrested.
D. The amount of the bail if known.
There are different kinds of bonds.
1) Cash Bonds: You are able to pay your entire bond in cash. The entire bond will be returned to you once your case is concluded.
2) Property Bonds: You are able to hand over to the Sheriff your property that has equity into it that is twice as much as the total amount of the bond set. No money is required if you choose to hand over your property to post bond.
3) Bail Bondsman: Georgia statute sets the fees as to what the percentages are to pay on bonds to a bondsman. If your bond is up to $10,000.00, the fee can be up to 12% of the bond. If your bond is over $10,000.00, the fee can be up to 15%. No part of the percentage fee put down to post bond is refundable.
4) Own Recognizance: (rarely used) A person can sometimes be allowed to just sign their signature on a document in order to be released. However, this is very rarely used in most instances.
The Atlanta bail bond process could take up to 72 hours. So be prepared to spend a day in Fulton County Jail. The important thing to remember however, you are going to need representation. While you are working out the bond details, let the Howard Law Group start putting together a defense for you or your loved one. As a Former Prosecutor, we understand the Fulton County system and know what the State will do if you DO NOT have representation at the bond hearing. Let us help. Contact us ASAP!