The Georgia Criminal Process can be very overwhelming. Today I'd like to focus on bail and bond in the state of Georgia. Most people believe that bail and bond in Georgia are the same thing. The terms are even used interchangeably.
Bail is the term that describes money given as a deposit to ensure that you will show up for all of your court proceedings.
Bond is the term that describes when a bondsman makes a pledge on someone's behalf to pay their bill if they do not attend court.
The purpose is to allow someone who has been accused of a crime the ability to stay out of jail while they're waiting to go to trial. Therefore, bond is technically an assurance that a person gives the state of Georgia while in prison promising that they will come to court when they are instructed.
Strictly speaking, everyone is entitled to a bond. However, if a person is charged with something serious like a dangerous crime, the judge may end up setting the bond high enough that the person cannot afford to pay it. This means that even though the bond is set, the person will have no other choice but to wait in jail until the case is finished.
There are three different types of bonds, and a person can choose which particular type of bond that they are going to use.
First there is a cash bond. A cash bond is arguably the quickest way for a person to get out of jail but the money will not be returned until after his or her case is completed. The largest benefit of using a cash bond is that if a person does not miss his or her court date then he or she will get their money back at the end of the case.
Next is a surety bond. A surety bond is an agreement between three different parties. This is the most common type of bond. The bonding company will ensure that the person will appear for all of their court proceedings because if not then the court will actually receive the full amount of the bond from the bonding company providing the surety.
The third type of bond is a property bond. A property bond is when a person pledges their property - meaning that in exchange for their release they encumber their property. In order to do this the person has to have warranty deed or current tax statement showing the properties current fair market value. In the event that the person does not show up for court in the county can actually file foreclosure procedure against the property. As you can see there are some large disadvantages do using this type of bond Including the amount of time it can take to resolve the case and the overall risk of pledging real property.
If the person fails to appear to any of the court proceedings, the result isn't pretty. The money for the bond will end up being forfeited, and the person is returned to jail.
As I mentioned earlier the Georgia Criminal Process is stressful. Therefore, having a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer to walk you or a loved one through the process can be reassuring. At Lawson and Berry, we have over 50 years of combined experience with Georgia Criminal Defense work and are ready to help you with your case. Call us today.