How Does Bail Work?
Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. is a respected Dekalb County attorney who offers criminal defense services to clients in need. As a former criminal defense attorney at the Dekalb County Public Defender’s Office, he is uniquely positioned to provide accused citizens with effective criminal defense representation. Andrew’s thorough understanding of Georgia’s criminal laws enables him to protect his clients by fully leveraging their rights under those laws.
If you have questions about bail and how it’s handled in Georgia’s criminal justice system, the following information may be of interest. If you have additional questions or are facing criminal charges, call our office for a free consultation. If you are in need of an experienced attorney in Dekalb County, call Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. without delay at (404) 373-7735.
What Is Bail?
Bail is a sum of money that the court requires as a guarantee that the accused will make themselves present for all court proceedings related to their charges. Bail is not required in every case. As an alternative to bail, the court might allow someone to leave jail on “personal recognizance.” However, if the judge sets bail, he or she will choose a dollar amount that they believe to be a fair amount in consideration of the alleged crime, the accused’s character, and other considerations. A Dekalb County attorney for the accused may argue for the lowest bail amount possible so that their client can pay it in order to be out of jail as soon as possible:
- If you are believed to be at risk for running away, otherwise known as a “flight risk,” then you may not get bail, or it will be of a substantial amount.
- The court will want to feel confident that you will return to court on your own for any proceedings related to the charges against you.
- If you are well-respected by community members who are recognized as influential and important to the community, you stand a far greater chance that the judge will grant you bail.
Is the Bail Refundable?
The court receives your bail fee and holds it until or unless your charges are dismissed or you are convicted and placed into custody for the length of your sentence. However, if you posted bail and did not return to court for all of your required legal proceedings, the court will keep the bail fee. Your Dekalb County attorney will not be able to get that money refunded to you except under very rare exceptions.
What Is a Bail Bond?
When the defendant cannot afford to pay the bail amount, they may be able to get a bail bondsman to pay it on their behalf. A bail bondsman is in the business of offering bail bonds to the court on behalf of those who cannot afford it. A bail bond is an insurance company’s promise to the court that the defendant will show up for their court proceedings. The insurance company provides the money to the bail bondsman or bail bond agency who then pays the bond to the court on the accused’s behalf.
A Dekalb County attorney might present this example:
- If the court set bail at $25,000, the bail bond agency or bondsman might charge the defendant 10 percent of that amount, or $2,500 to post the required bond.
- Instead of having to pay the court $25,000, they only have to pay $2,500.
- They will not receive the $2,500 back even after the bond agency receives their $25,000 back from the court. You might wish to see the $2,500 as the cost of getting out of jail until the case is dismissed or you are sentenced if convicted.
- If you skip a required court proceeding, the bail bond company will charge you an additional (and substantial fee). This is known as the guarantee and if you do not have the assets to pay that amount, someone who does will have to pledge it on your account. If you flee, then they will owe the bail bond company the guarantee.
An Attorney Dekalb County GA Respects
If you would like to speak to a respected Dekalb County attorney about your case at no charge, contact Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. at (404) 373-7735 immediately.