If your friend or family member is arrested they are afforded various rights, most importantly that they are innocent until proven guilty and they have the right to be released on bail dependent on certain circumstances. After looking at the severity of charges brought against a defendant, a judge will either set their bail amount or choose to deny bail (if the defendant is facing multiple charges, if the judge believes letting the defendant out of jail will result in another crime being committed, or if the judge believes the defendant is a flight risk).
Paying Bail: Your Options
- Cash Bail: You can pay the entire bail amount to the court in cash. This cash will be retained until the case’s conclusion. If the defendant complies with all terms of their bail, you may get the cash bail back when the case is concluded. If the defendant fails to show up for any scheduled court date or is found guilty, the court may retain the cash bail.
- Property Bond: Rather than using cash, the court can also hold property as a bond. If the defendant skips a court date, the court can then seize the property to satisfy the bail amount. These payments are not common except in cases of very high bail amounts.
- Surety Bond: The most common bail bond option is a surety bond. For a fee (usually ranging from 10% to 15%,) a bail bond agent will pay a portion of the bail, agreeing to pay the rest of the amount if the defendant does not show up to court. The person who made the bail bond agreement is then responsible for paying the agent the total amount of the bail if the defendant does not show up for their court date.
Hire a Bondsman
If you do not have the funds to pay a bail bond, a bail bonding service can pay the amount on your behalf. Be sure to choose a service where the agents are licensed and insured to write bail bonds for that specific Georgia jail. To become a co-signer (with the bail agent) on a bond, you need to be at least 25 years of age, have a valid Georgia driver’s license, proof of residence (recent utility bill or lease agreement), and proof of income (2 recent pay stubs). You will pay the non-refundable bonding fee (usually between 10%-15% of the total bail amount set by the judge or the county’s/city’s bonding schedule).
If you need assistance with getting your friend or loved one out of jail or are having trouble meeting some of the bail requirements, call us right away—we may be able to help!