Although bail is used throughout the U.S., each state has the right to set its own laws and regulations regarding bail and bail bonds. Georgia bail bond laws and bail bond process are pretty similar to most, but there are distinctions. Let’s review how to bail someone out of jail in Georgia.
What Happens After an Arrest
When someone is arrested in Georgia, they are taken into custody, photographed and fingerprinted, and are allowed one phone call. Next, they will be held for a few hours up to three days (depending upon the alleged offense) before they receive a bail hearing.
To determine the bail amount, a judge reviews the allegations and the defendant’s past criminal history at the bail hearing. This is the first step in the Georgia bail bonds process.
What is Bail
Bail is the amount of money the court determines must be paid to secure someone’s release from jail. The purpose of the bail is to ensure that the released defendant will return for their assigned court dates. If the person meets all of their court dates, the bail will be fully refunded.
Georgia bail bond laws allow for bail in nearly all criminal cases. It can range from a few hundred dollars to several million. Often, the bail amount is too high for most defendants to pay in full. Most people choose a bail bond.
Four Ways to Get Out of Jail in Georgia
From the time of arrest till the court case is completed may take months or even years. Rather than keeping someone in jail until the court date, Georgia bail bond laws allow for four ways to get out of jail:
- Personal Bond – Occasionally, the court will accept a personal bond for minor offenses. In this case, the defendant is required to sign a contract promising to return for the assigned court dates. Because the accused is released upon their signing this contract, if you’re searching how to bail someone out of jail in Georgia, a personal bond is likely not available.
- Cash Bond – When the court sets an amount for bail, the defendant can post a cash bond. This means paying the entire bail amount. Many courts in Georgia accept debit cards, credit cards, or traveler’s checks in addition to cash. Once all the court dates are met, or the court case is dismissed, the cash bond will be refunded in full.
- Property Bond – The court may accept personal property to secure release from jail. Georgia bail bond laws require sufficient equity in the property to equal twice the bail amount. To arrange a property bond, you must contact the county’s sheriff where the property is located. A lien is placed against the property, which cannot be sold or refinanced until the case is completed. If the defendant makes all court dates, the lien will be lifted.
- Bail Bond – When a bail bondsman or bail bond agent agrees to put up the money for your bail in exchange for a fee, this is called a bail bond. Let’s say the bail is set for $10,000. You would pay a percentage of this amount to a bail bondsman, who in turn agrees to pay the entire bail amount to the court if you miss your court date.
Georgia bail bond laws allow bail bondsmen to charge a bit more than the U.S. average. Generally, you will be charged 12-15% of the bail amount, $1,200 to $1,500 in our example, to the bail bond agent. The bail bondsman’s fee is non-refundable.
Posting a bail bond using the services of a bail bondsman is how most people get someone out of jail in Georgia.
Georgia Bail Bond Requirements
In addition to paying the bail amount by cash, property, or bail bond, the released defendant must abide by the “conditions of release.” The conditions are spelled out along with the bail amount in the bond and are a critical element of the bail bonds process. These conditions typically include a requirement that the defendant “obey all laws” while out on bail. Note that other conditions are more specific to the charges.
Someone accused of domestic violence may be subject to a “no contact” provision in the bond. A charge of driving under the influence may mandate attendance at Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. Depending upon the circumstances, the judge may require the accused to remain employed, restrict their travel, or limit their use of firearms while awaiting their court date. Any violation of the bond conditions can cause the court to revoke the bond and require the accused to be rearrested and held in jail until the court date. In some cases, violating the bond conditions may result in additional court charges.
How to Hire a Bail Bondsman in Georgia
Always work with a licensed bail bondsman. You can connect with the bondsman in person, via telephone, or online. To hire the bail bondsman, you’ll need to provide basic information, complete paperwork, and make payment. Often, this is difficult to do from jail, where your wallet and identification are held by the prison staff, and you’re restricted to one phone call.
Generally, someone in jail calls a friend, family member, or attorney to hire a bail bondsman on their behalf. The attorney almost certainly already knows how to bail someone out of jail in Georgia. The friend or family member will likely have no idea how bail bonds work or how to post bail in Georgia.
With Simply Bail, we guide you every step of the way through the bail bond process. We help connect you with licensed bail bond agents we have worked with and trust. Further, we make it simple to navigate the complexities of the Georgia bail bond laws entirely from your electronic device. There will never be a need for you to visit the bail bond office or the jail.
Simply Bail is the fastest, most hassle-free way to get someone out of jail in Georgia.