There are a number of steps in a DUI case that a person who has been arrested may have to go through in order to reach a resolution in their case. One of the first steps is the point at which bail or bond is set. Being arrested for driving under the influence is already a stressful and frightening experience and being put behind bars can be especially intimidating so most people want to get out of jail as soon as they can.
Are Bail And Bond The Same Thing?
While bail and bond are terms that are often used interchangeably, they are technically different things. Contact your Hall County DUI Lawyer for additional information. This difference is discussed below:
- Bail is the monetary amount that you pay to the court. This money is paid to ensure that you will appear for all future court proceedings. Should you fail to appear as required, then the court can issue a warrant for your arrest. In addition, the court can keep the bail money that you paid.
- Bond, on the other hand, is paid by a bondsman or a bonding company. The company or individual essentially pledges to pay the bail amount on your behalf, should you fail to attend the required court proceedings in your case. The amount that you have to pay for bond is typically lower than what you pay for bail. The amount of bond that a particular bonding company will require will depend on the company, however, usually the amount will be somewhere between 10%-15% of whatever the bail amount is.
Is Bail Always Granted?
Whether or not a suspect is granted release will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. There are certain instances where bail is not normally granted, such as if the person who was arrested was already on probation for a different offense. In addition, a judge may decide to not set bail for certain serious crimes such as murder or armed robbery.
How Is The Bail Amount Decided?
The amount of bail that is set in a particular case is decided by the judge. There are 'bail schedules' in most jurisdictions which detail the bail amount for certain 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 you do have to go before a judge in order to find out what amount of bail, if any, will be required in your case, you may wonder what criteria a judge uses to determine what the appropriate amount of bail is in particular case. There are numerous factors that a judge considers, however, the main factor is whether or not the suspect is likely to flee the jurisdiction or not so as to avoid prosecution. The judge looks at a number of factors in order to determine if someone is a flight risk including if the person 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, and whether or not the individual appeared for court proceedings in the past. In addition, other factors that are taken into consideration include whether the individual'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?
There are several different types of bail bonds in Georgia. These are discussed in further detail below:
- Release On Own Recognizance: A suspect may be released without having to post any bail if he or she is released on his or her own recognizance. This may occur if you have been arrested for a minor offense, such as a traffic offense or a misdemeanor. This type of bail is not usually available to those who have been arrested for a felony or a high and aggravated misdemeanor.
- Cash Bond: This type of bond is always available to those who were granted bail. The amount usually must be paid in cash, not via credit card or check. However, there are certain jurisdictions that are permitting online transactions nowadays. The advantage of posting a cash bond is that you can get your money back after the case has reached a resolution so long as you did not miss any court proceedings that you were required to be at.
- Property Bond: Another type of bond that you can post in order to be released from jail is a property bond. This type of bond is where you use a piece of property -- usually a house -- as collateral. If the accused shows up for all court proceedings then the bond is released after the case has been adjudicated. However, if the defendant does not 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 amount of the bail, you can work with a professional bonding company in order to post the money needed in order to be released. The bonding company usually requires that you pay a portion of the bail and this money is normally not refundable. In addition, some companies also require a deposit.
Are There Limits On What I Can Do When I Am Out On Bail?
There are usually certain conditions that a person who has been bailed out must comply with in order to stay out of jail prior to trial. These conditions can vary depending on what crime the individual has been charged with. For example, one common condition for release is to obey the law. A more specific condition that may be imposed would be if a person is facing domestic violence charges and is ordered to stay away from the complaining witness.
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 the bail can be revoked and you can be sent back to jail.
Contact An Attorney
If you or your loved one has been arrested for DUI in Hall County, please do not hesitate to contact Hall County DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today. You can reach our office at (404) 816-4440, or contact us online.