Kyle H. Jarzmik Law
Making Bail in Georgia
When you're arrested and sitting in jail, one of the first things you're usually thinking is How do I get out of here? Many felony offenses, such as murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated stalking require an appearance before a Superior Court Judge, who if you get any bail, and what amount that bail will be. A person charged with certain felonies is not entitled to a bail as a matter of law.If a Judge does set a bond amount, a person is not entitled to a bail amount that they are able to post.
For cases in which bail was denied, a person has the right to have their case presented to a Grand Jury within 90 days (an additional 90 days can be granted in capital cases). If the case is not presented within 90 days, the person is entitled to have a bail amount set. Again, they are not entitled to a bail they can post or entitled to be released. O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.
For charges that require bail to be set by a Superior Court Judge, the Court is authorized to release someone on bail IF he/she:
O.C.G.A. § 17-6-1 (e)
Family Violence Cases
For offenses involving an act of family violence, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 19-13-1, the schedule of bails provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall require increased bail and shall include a listing of specific conditions which shall include, but not be limited to, having no contact of any kind or character with the victim or any member of the victim‚Äôs family or household, not physically abusing or threatening to physically abuse the victim, the immediate enrollment in and participation in domestic violence counseling, substance abuse therapy, or other therapeutic requirements. § 17-6-1 (f)(2).
A person IS entitled to have a bail set for any misdemeanor charges. Again, a person is not entitled to a bail amount that they are able to post. Many jurisdictions have pre-set bail schedules established by written order of a Judge. This avoids the necessity of having to appear before a Judge to post bail. Note that for those charged with any type of DUI, the jail has a right to hold that person for a period of 6 hours after booking and prior to being released.
Types of Bail
While your attorney cannot post bail for you, if you find yourself arrested and in or out of jail, please call me.
- Poses no significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;
- Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;
- Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and
- Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice.
- Signature or Own Recognizance Bond: This does not require any payment, merely a signature that you will appear in court for your next court date after you are released. You might be subject to monitoring by the jurisdiction‚Äôs pre-trial release program. This typically only occurs for misdemeanors cases for people who have clean records and some ties to the community.
- Cash Bond: This requires you or someone else to posting the entire bail amount in cash. When the case is resolved AND you don‚Äôt miss any court dates, that money can be returned to the person that posted it with proof of a final disposition in the case.
- Sureties, i.e. Bail Bondsman: You can contact a local bondsman to post the bail for you. Local bonding company phone numbers are typically posted near the telephone in the jail that you're permitted to use. They will charge you a non-refundable fee. By law, they cannot charge more than 12% of the face value of the bond if it's set at $10,000 or less. They cannot charge more than 15% of the bond for any bond in excess of $10,000. The bonding company will want to keep track of you and make sure you appear in court. If you do not appear in court, they might pursue legal actions against you to collect the entire bond amount.
- Property Bond: With valid proof of a warranty deed and the appropriate loan and tax documents, property can be posted instead of cash. This results in a lien on the property for the amount of the bail.