Types of Bail in Atlanta.
There are five options for posting a bond to be released from jail in Atlanta. The choice will often have to do with the amount of the bond. The options include:
- · Cash bond. If you have enough money, or can get the money from relatives or friends, a cash bond requires payment of the total amount of the bond. The benefit of a cash bond is that the bond is returned at the end of the case, as long as you meet all bond requirements. However, lawyers recommend that defendants consider whether spending money on a cash bond will reduce the amount of money available to pay for a legal defense
- · Property bond. It’s possible to put up property – after confirming ownership and its value – in order to be released from jail. There is significant paperwork required, and the help of a bail bond agent is a good idea. In Atlanta, the value of the property must be at least twice the amount of the bond that’s been set in the case.
- · Bail bond. There are a number of bail bond companies in the metropolitan Atlanta area and an experienced agent offers one of the fastest ways to get out of jail – next to posting a cash bond. When the bond is too high to pay in cash, it’s possible to pay 10 percent of the bond amount of a bail bond agent. The agent then guarantees the full amount of the bond through an agreement with the defendant and the court. Any defendant who does not show up for all court hearings, or does not fulfill all conditions of the bond, will forfeit the bond and be required to pay the full amount of bond to the bail bond agent.
- · Personal recognizance. In some cases, particularly with misdemeanco-or crimes where no violence was involved, it’s possible to be released without putting up any money or property. An experience criminal defense lawyer can help to argue on behalf of a defendant to be released on personal recognizance – simply signing a contract agreeing to show up for any scheduled court hearings.
- · Driver’s license collateral. In limited situations, usually involving misdemeanors but not with any drunken driving violations, a defendant may be allowed to leave his or her driver’s license as collateral with the court. When the defendant shows up for hearings or the trial, the license is returned. If not, the license is suspended.
Requirements for co-signers.
An indemnitor or co-signer is someone who agrees to sign a legal agreement with a bail bond agent putting up money or property so that a defendant can be released from jail. If the defendant does not show up for all court hearings, the co-signer – often a relative or close friend – is legally required to pay the entire amount of the bond. In general, a co-signer must have current identification, proof of income and a form of payment accepted by a bail bond company.
Bond costs and options.
The premium for using a bail bond company is 10 percent of the bond amount. That money will not be returned. Georgia also includes a number of fees that all defendants who post bond must be, including a Peace Officer Annuity Benefit, a Police and Persecutors Training Fund and an Indigent Defense Fund. If a bond is not affordable, a criminal defense lawyer can request a hearing to argue for a bond reduction. While excessive bail is prohibited by the Constitution, there is no absolute right to bail a defendant can afford.