A frequently asked question about Georgia criminal law is how to get yourself out of jail or how to get someone out of jail after being arrested in Georgia. The purpose of posting bond is to ensure that the defendant will appear in court to answer their charges. There are multiple avenues you can take to get bailed out of jail, but it important to weigh all of the options before deciding which is best. There are four different ways to get out of jail: cash bond, surety bond, property bond, or by using a bonding company.
Most of the avenues require that a family member appears in person at the jail or the bonding company. However, there are some places where an online cash bond can be posted. We will discuss the four types and the differences, but for any other questions, contact our office and speak with one of our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Cash Bond: A cash bond is essentially what it sounds like and is the quickest way to get someone out of jail. You pay the full amount of the bond at the jail in cash. As long as the accused appears in court on their specified date, the money will be returned to you.
Surety Bond: A surety bond is an agreement between three parties: the principal, the obligee, and the surety. The principal is the one who needs the bond, the obligee is the one that requires the bond, and the surety is the company that guarantees the principal can fulfill the obligations. The surety (generally a bonding company) will charge you a fee between 10-15% of the bond amount, and then they pay the remainder of the bond. The fee paid to the bonding company will not be returned, even if all court appearances are attended. If the defendant does not show up for their court appearances, then the surety will come after you for reimbursement for the remainder of the bond amount.
Property Bond: Instead of using cash to pay the bond, you can also use your real property. This option requires you to contact the sheriff of the county in which the property is located to obtain the necessary paperwork. After that, a lien will be placed on the equity in your home. Once the case has been completed, and the defendant has met their responsibility in appearing in court, the property will be released back to you free and clear of the lien. One of the drawbacks to using a property bond is that the property is encumbered until the case is completed. Most cases take months or even years to complete which means that the property could not be sold, divided, or refinanced during this time.
Bonding Company: Bonding companies are also known as a bail bondsman. Many people who are unable to pay the total amount of the bail in cash or have enough equity in their real property; therefore, they have the option to use a bonding company to post the bond. A professional bondsman is someone who has agreed with the county to guarantee the defendant's appearance at future court dates. The fee paid to the bonding company will not be returned even if you appear in court. If the defendant does not show up for their court appearances, then the bonding company will come after you for reimbursement for the remainder of the bond amount.
Because of the pros and cons of each type of bond, it is essential to discuss your options with a lawyer before making a decision. We will advise you on which option is best for your case. Don't wait to call a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, because your future is at stake.