Being arrested and charged with a crime can be scary, especially if this is your first serious encounter with law enforcement. Typically, a judge or magistrate will set a bail amount during your first court appearance. To secure your release pending trial, you’ll be required to present this amount (in cash or property) to the court.
If you lack sufficient funds to secure your release, a reliable bail bondsman (also called a bond agent) can help. In most states, arrestees are required to post only 10% to 15% of the full bond amount, with the remaining financial burden being shouldered by the bond agent. This system helps defendants with few financial resources to resume work and family life pending trial. If you are unable to post bond, you will be forced to wait in jail until your case is heard.
But even for defendants who are able to post bond, the system can seem confusing. There are rules and regulations that must be followed in order to keep the bond in effect. Failure to abide by these conditions could result in a judge or magistrate revoking your bond, triggering your re-arrest and return to jail.
So let’s look at a few common mistakes to avoid.
- Making false statements to the court or to your bond agent.
Intentionally deceiving either the court or your bond agent can quickly sink your chances of remaining free on bail. Remember, your liberty depends on maintaining an open and transparent relationship with the courts. In this process, your bond agent is your ally, not your enemy, so it’s important that all information you provide during the bond process be truthful to the best of your understanding.
- Missing a scheduled court appearance.
A bail bond is essentially a promise you make to the court, assuring the judge or magistrate that you will be available and present for all scheduled court appearances. Failure to make any scheduled appearance can result in revocation of your bond. If you are unable to make an appearance due to an emergency, notify your bond agent immediately. Do NOT simply skip your court date and hope to work out the problem later.
- Failure to read and honor the conditions of bail.
Bail often comes with conditions that extend beyond financial responsibility. For example, you may be required to stay clear of specific people (as when a restraining order is in place), to maintain your sobriety (which may be verified by random urine testing), or to surrender any firearms in your possession. Failure to understand and comply with these conditions can cause your bail to be revoked—so be sure you read all conditions of your release and comply with them fully.
- Reoffending while released on bail.
It may seem obvious, but you should make every effort to stay clear of trouble while released on bail. Being rearrested for an additional offense while free on bail is a deal-breaker that will likely result in your incarceration until trial. Also, you’ll likely be subject to far harsher penalties because you have broken your promise to the court.
- Choosing an unqualified co-signer.
If a friend or family member has agreed to help you post the bond amount demanded by the court, that person will need to meet certain qualifications before your bond agent will approve them. For example, they may need to show proper state-issued identification, proof of residency, or proof of employment. Selecting a co-signer who is unable to meet these requirements may result in their rejection by the bond agency, setting the process back to step one. And even if your co-signer is approved, they will need to provide information on you (including your name, date of birth, address, and county where you were arrested). Having these details handy can help speed your release.
At Bond James Bond, we work with clients to ensure they meet all scheduled court appearances, as well as any terms or conditions set by the court. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime, contact one of our representatives. Our licensed and experienced bond agents are eager to help.
Bond, James Bond, Inc. can handle any size or type of Georgia bail bonds in Barrow County, Bartow County, Cherokee County, Clarke County, Cobb County, Floyd County, Gordon County, Gwinnett County, Paulding County and Polk County. We are always open - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays. We have 11 locations which are conveniently located to serve you better. Visit us at www.bondjamesbondinc.com, or call Bond, James Bond, Inc. at (770) 382-9111.