Getting out on Bail in Georgia

Getting out on Bail in Georgia

Stephanie Cortes
 | 
This week, tourists flocked to the Tybee Islands and Savannah in Georgia to let loose during Spring Break.

If you were one of them (or your friend was) and got in trouble with the police, you may be reading this wondering how to get yourself (or your friend) out on bail. 

Here, we explain how the bail system works in Georgia. 

When will I find out how much the bail amount is? 

 

When an individual is arrested by law enforcement and charged for an alleged crime, that person may have the opportunity to become released until their case is heard by posting bail or obtaining a bond. If the individual was not arrested due to a warrant, they will receive a bail hearing within 48 hours, where the judge or court official determines the bail amount.

 

The decision considers factors of the offense including the possibility of the defendant participating in additional crimes and fleeing after release. It is important to know that in some cases, individuals may not be granted the opportunity for bail. 

 

Bail is a method utilized by the court to secure an agreement for release with the defendant that ensures they return for their hearings and comply with the conditions. Here is a short Illinois-specific guide for getting out on bail.

Who qualifies for bail in Georgia?

Individuals who are charged with committing felony offenses may not qualify for bail. It will depend on the factors of the case. 

Generally, individuals who are eligible for bail are determined by the court to be low risk. According to Justia.com, factors that are generally favorable in receiving bail “include a lack of prior criminal history and ties to the community.” By providing bail, the court strongly believes that the defendant will return for their hearings and follow the conditions of release.

What are my options? 

If the defendant is eligible for posting bonds, they may consider the following four options in Georgia to bail out:

  1. Own Recognizance Release in Georgia - This is typically used for cases of smaller offenses. A bail payment is not required, however, the defendant must sign documents agreeing to the court’s conditions.
  2. Cash Bail - Individuals may pay the entire full bail amount with cash or a money order. 
  3. Georgia Surety Bail Bonds - The defendant or their loved ones may contact a bail bondsmen to post bail on their behalf. Bail bond may cost around 10 to 15% of the bail amount in Georgia. This fee is not returned, regardless of the case outcome.
  4. Gerogia Property Bail Bonds - Individuals may utilize their personal property that is the equal or greater than the bail amount. Not showing up to court hearings and failing to comply with the conditions may cause Georgia court to issue a warrant for your arrest and take possession of your property.
  5. Driver License as collateral - In some cities such as Atlanta, defendant’s may leave their Driver License as a form of collateral that promises the court they will return for hearings. This option only applies to limited situations with misdemeanors and generally requires no offenses for operating a motor vehicle under influence.

Getting out on Bail in Georgia

According to Bailbondingnow.com, the following is what to expect in Georgia’s bail bond process:

  1. After the individual is arrested, they are booked at the county or municipal jail. 
  2. Some facilities permit making multiple phone calls and others only allow one call. 
  3. The defendant can make a call to have a friend or loved one post bond on their behalf. 
  4. Once, the friend or loved one finds a bonding agency, they may co-sign on the bond.
  5. The co-signer will need to pay a non-refundable bonding fee of around 10%-15% of the total bail amount.
  6. The bondsman will then go to the jail facility to present the insured bond for the entire amount. 
  7. The jail then begins the releasing process. In Georgia, counties may take up to 24 hours.
  8. After being released, the individual must sign the bail bond with the bonding company. 
  9. The defendant must follow up with the bonding company monthly until their case is closed.

How a lawyer can help

Consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate challenges in the bail system and guidance for your case. The following are ways a Georgia lawyer can represent your best interest:

  • For felony cases - If you were arrested for felony offenses, bail will not be provided to you on a local level. An attorney can help you by filing a motion requesting the Superior Court to provide bail. This process is often complex and time-consuming.
  • Argue for “no bail” or “reduced bail” matters: These types of motions depend on several factors and an attorney can gather information needed to best represent your interest.
 

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

Stephanie Cortes

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