Bond Representation

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Bond Representation

What Is A Bond?

When someone gets arrested and is in the custody of the county jail, they have an opportunity to get out of jail by being granted a bond. A bond is the amount of money that a person in custody needs to pay to the jail in order to be released.In some circumstances, including traffic violations, a bond is automatically set. However, many bonds in Georgia require a person to go before a magistrate judge who has the authorization and jurisdiction to immediately set the bond at a court date.This court date, ordinarily scheduled within 72 hours of the arrest, is called the First Appearance. A person in custody has the right to understand the charges that they are facing, and an explanation as to why they are in custody, within 72 hours of being arrested. They will go before a magistrate judge at their First Appearance for this purpose as well.

Each county varies in the method of the First Appearance in the jail. Some counties, including Dekalb County, conduct the First Appearance via closed circuit TV. Others, like Fulton County, conduct the hearing in a magistrate courtroom located inside the jail.

It is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible, so that the defendant can have representation at the First Appearance and to start preparing the defense.

Contact The Law Office Of Timothy McCalep to schedule an appointment to protect your rights at 404-988-5809. You can also contact me online.

Protecting Your Rights To Get Out Of Jail With A Bond

If bond was not automatically set upon arrest, it is not guaranteed that the defendant will get a bond at First Appearance either.

There are many factors that go into whether a defendant will be granted a bond and an attorney can help point these factors out to the magistrate judge. The judge is generally not supposed to consider the facts of the case, but rather they are supposed to consider the Ayala factors:

  • Whether the defendant is a flight risk and unlikely to not come back to court
  • Whether the defendant is a serious threat to the community
  • Whether the defendant is likely to commit a felony while out on bond
  • Whether the defendant is likely to intimidate witnesses

Other factors that help determine whether the defendant should be released include whether the defendant has community ties and whether the defendant has possibly missed court appearances in previous cases.

Missed court dates are referred to as FTAs (Failure to Appear). Community ties may be demonstrated to the judge by showing how long the defendant has lived in the area, nearby spouses, schools, workplace, children and other factors.

Experienced Preparation For Your Defense

With an experienced attorney there are ways to get a bond amount outside of the First Appearance by negotiating with the prosecution for a consent bond and by setting it down with a duty judge.

In Fulton County a defendant may have a separate hearing on bond alone. While the judge is not supposed to consider the facts of a case, they will want to know general details of the charge to help them decide how high or low a bond to set.

It is possible to get a signature bond at this level with the help of an experienced attorney like myself. A signature bond means that the defendant will not have to put up any money at all and essentially just sign their name affirming that they will come back to court to face the charges against them.

What Happens If The Judge Does Not Set A Bond?

Even with the most experienced lawyer and all of the Ayala factors in a defendant’s favor, it is possible that the magistrate judge will not grant a bond due to a serious charge, and the judge may not have the jurisdiction to set a bond.

Serious charges that a magistrate judge may not be able to set a bond for include:

  • Murder
  • Attempted murder
  • Aggravated child molestation
  • Armed robbery
  • Kidnapping

Call the Law Office of Timothy McCalep in Atlanta at 404-988-5809 to talk about ways to get your loved ones out of jail. I have no greater passion in criminal law than helping people get out of jail and helping them stay out of jail. You may also contact me via email.