In any DUI case there a number of steps that a person who has been arrested may have to go through in order to reach a resolution in his or her case. One of the first things that must be determined in a case is what the bail amount will be. After an arrest, spending time behind bars can be a stressful and frightening experience, so most people want to get of jail as soon as they can. This page strives to answer some common questions you may have about bail and bond.
Are Bail And Bond The Same Thing?
The terms 'bail' and 'bond' are often used interchangeably, but they do mean different things. This difference is discussed below:
- Bail is the money that you pay to the court to get out of jail. The reason that the court has you pay this amount is to ensure that you will appear for all future court proceedings. Should you fail to make it to your court appearances, then the court can issue a warrant for your arrest as well as keep the bail money that you paid.
- Bond, on the other hand, is an amount paid by a bondsman or a bonding company. Essentially, should you fail to attend the required court proceedings in your case, the bonding company or individual pledges to pay the bail amount on your behalf. The amount of bond that a particular bonding company will require will depend on the company, however, bond amounts are typically lower than bail amounts. Usually, the amount will be somewhere between 10%-15% of whatever the bail amount is.
Is Bail Always Granted?
Whether or not a person who has been arrested will be granted bail will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. There are certain types of cases where bail is not normally granted and other circumstances, such as if the person who was arrested was on probation, can also affect whether or not bail will be permitted. In addition, for certain serious crimes like murder or armed robbery, a judge may decide to not set bail and keep the suspect behind bars. For more information, contact your Alpharetta DUI Lawyer today.
How Is The Bail Amount Decided?
The judge determines what the proper amount of bail is for a particular case. However, there are 'bail schedules' in most jurisdictions which outline bail amounts for certain types of crimes. If a person has been arrested on one of these offenses, he or she may not have to appear before a judge for a bail hearing, as the bail amount has already been approved.
If a judge is determining your bail amount, then you may be curious as to what criteria the judge will use when deciding what the proper bail amount is. While there are numerous factors that a judge may consider, one of the biggest ones is whether or not the defendant is likely to flee the jurisdiction or not so as to avoid prosecution. Factors that a judge may take into account to determine if a person is a flight risk include:
- if he or she has family or other ties to the area
- if the individual is employed in the jurisdiction
- how long the person has lived in the area
- whether or not the individual appeared for court proceedings in the past.
Other factors that are taken into consideration include a person's ability to pay, the seriousness of the offense, whether there is a threat to public safety, and the individual's character and reputation.
What If I Am Released On My Own Recognizance? Is That A Form Of Bail?
In Georgia, there are several different kinds of bail bonds. These are discussed in further detail below:
- Release On Own Recognizance: A person can be released without having to post bail, if he or she is released on his or her own recognizance. A person may be granted this type of bail if they were arrested for a minor offense, such as a traffic offense or a misdemeanor. However, for more serious crimes, this type of bail is not usually available.
- Cash Bond: Cash bonds are always available to those who were granted bail. By cash, the court means cash, and will not usually accept credit cards or checks. However, certain jurisdictions now are permitting online transactions. The advantage to posting a cash bond is that you can get your money back after a resolution has been reached in your case, so long as you did not miss any of the court proceedings that you were required to be at.
- Property Bond: Property bonds are another type of bond that you can post in order to be released from jail. This type of bond is where you, or someone on your behalf, uses a piece of property -- usually a house -- as collateral in order to pay your bail. If you show up for all your required court proceedings, then the bond is released after the case has been adjudicated. However, if you fail to appear as required, the court can potentially foreclose on the house to recover the bail amount.
- Professional Bondsman: As mentioned previously, if you cannot afford the full bail amount, you can choose to work with a professional bonding company in order to post the money needed in order to be released. The bonding company will usually require that you pay a portion of the bail and this sum is normally not refundable. In addition, some companies may also require a deposit.
Are There Limits On What I Can Do When I Am Out On Bail?
A person who has been released on bail usually has to comply with certain conditions in order to stay out of jail. The particular conditions that a person has to comply with will depend on what crime the individual has been charged with. For example, one common condition that everyone gets on release is that they must obey the laws. A more specific condition that may be imposed on a defendant is if the person is facing domestic violence charges. He or she may be ordered to stay away from the complaining witness as a condition of bail.
What Happens If I Don't Comply With My Bail Conditions?
If you fail to comply with the conditions set forth for your release, then a judge can revoke bail and you can be sent back to jail.
Contact An Attorney
If you or your loved one has been arrested for DUI in Rowell or Alpharetta, please do not hesitate to contact Roswell DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today. You can reach our office at (404) 816-4440, or contact us online.