Augusta Bond Hearing Lawyer
Fighting for Affordable Bail
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Georgia, the last thing you want is to sit in jail while you wait for your trial or try to negotiate a plea agreement. Pre-trial incarceration can disrupt families, lead to job loss, and even loss of housing. We understand how important it is for people charged with crimes to secure their freedom pending trial.
Bond Hearing Attorney in Augusta, GA
Why is Bond Important
Bonding out of jail while your case moves forward offers several critical advantages, including:
- Allowing you to continue working and paying your bills while the case progresses
- Giving you greater freedom to work with your attorney to prepare your case
- Leaving you free to care for your children and otherwise keep up your role in your family and community
Because bond is so important to preserving your way of life and putting forth the best possible defense to the charges against you, it’s important to work with an experienced Augusta criminal defense lawyer who can effectively advocate for your release on bond.
Bail v. Bond: What’s the Difference?
“Bail” and “bond” are often used interchangeably, and that can be confusing. Technically, bail is the amount set by the court that must be guaranteed for you to be released. However, few people deposit the full amount of the bail. Instead, most post a guarantee, also known as a bond.
One of the most common ways to do this is to contract with a bondsman, or bonding agent. You pay the bonding agent’s fee, which is typically about 15% of the total amount of bail required. The bonding agent contracts with the court to pay the remaining 85% if you fail to appear in court. That guarantee is your bond. When the case wraps up, you don’t get that 15% back. That’s the bonding agent’s fee for writing your bond and taking on the risk that you might not appear in court and they might be responsible for the remainder of the bond.
In Richmond County, you also have the option of posting the full bond in cash. In that case, the money is held to ensure your appearance in court. The Sheriff’s department takes a fee for processing the bond, which is much smaller than the bondsman’s fee. When the case is resolved, the remaining funds are returned to you. If you fail to appear in court, the funds will be forfeited.
Finally, you or someone else may sign a property bond, pledging property you or they own as collateral to ensure that you appear in court. As with a cash bond, the property is forfeited if you fail to appear.
Your Augusta bond hearing attorney can go over the options with you and explain the risks and benefits of each, how much you would have to pay or deposit, and whether and how much of that deposit would be refundable.
How Bail is Set in Georgia
For some relatively low-level crimes, there’s a default bail schedule set by the court. People who have been arrested on listed charges can generally be bonded out without ever appearing in court.
Other defendants are required to appear in court to get bail established before they have the option of posting bond. Still others may have a default bail set, but be unable to post bond and need a bond hearing to try to get the amount reduced.
Bail / Bond Factors in Georgia
In determining whether someone should be released on bail, the court will consider:
- Whether the defendant is a flight risk or is likely to fail to appear in court
- Whether the defendant poses a significant risk to any person or to the community if released
- Whether the person poses a significant risk of committing a felony while out on bail
- Whether the person poses a significant risk of engaging in witness intimidation or other obstruction of justice
In some circumstances, the law creates presumptions about answers to these questions based on factors such as past criminal history. An experienced bail bond attorney is the best source of information about what type of evidence you will need to present to overcome those presumptions.
In determining the amount of bail, the court will consider factors relating to the defendant’s finances, including resources, income, financial obligations, and dependents. The court may also consider any other factors it considers relevant. Your attorney will be able to tell you more about the type of factors your judge typically focuses on in making bail determinations.
Richmond County Bond Hearings
Most felony bonds are set by the magistrate court in Richmond County. Bond is typically set at the initial appearance. The main purpose of the initial appearance is to advise the accused of the charges against them, and advise them of their rights. That leads many people who have been arrested to see this hearing as a formality and decide they don’t need an attorney to accompany them. But, this hearing is the first opportunity for many criminal defendants to get bail established, or to request a reduction in the amount of bail if they can’t afford to bond out.
The hearing must take place within 72 hours (48 if the arrest was without a warrant), which means you’ll want to reach out to a bond hearing lawyer right away after you’re arrested. If you miss out on this opportunity, your attorney will have to file a motion for a bail hearing, which can delay your release.
Bond Hearings for Certain Serious Felonies
Though most bond hearings take place in the magistrate’s court, Georgia law carves out certain crimes for which only a Superior Court judge may set bail. If you have been accused of a crime on that list, there is no pre-set hearing at which bond will be determined. Instead, your bond hearing lawyer will have to file a motion in the Richmond County Superior Court requesting a hearing.
A hearing will be scheduled–this typically takes about 10 days–and your bond hearing lawyer will appear with you to argue for an affordable bail. When the charges are serious, it is especially important that your attorney has time to put together a strong case for bail.
Talk to an Augusta Bond Hearing Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The bottom line is that securing bail in a reasonable amount is a more complicated process than most people realize. Talking to an experienced bond hearing lawyer right away after your arrest will give your attorney the opportunity to gather evidence and/or witnesses to support your request for bail.
When the stakes are high, the results matter most.
Client charged with attempted rape, aggravated assault, home invasion, burglary in the first degree, aggravated assault, kidnapping, possession of a firearm. Not guilty all counts.
Client charged with murder and possession of a firearm. Case reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter.
Possession With Intent
Client charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Jury verdict of simple possession of marijuana.
Client charged with simple battery. Not guilty all counts at trial.
Trafficking methamphetamine. Dismissed. Probation on remaining counts.
Client charged with aggravated assault, burglary in the first degree, and forgery in the fourth degree. Facing 41 years in prison. Not guilty verdict on all felonies. Only convicted of one count of misdemeanor battery.
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Skilled, Respectful Representation
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Won My Case In Less Than 1 Hour
"Mr. Todd was a great attorney and handled my case quickly. I hired him three days before my trial and he came in, did a great job, and he got my case beat in less then an hour in the courtroom. I can't recommend Todd Mitchell enough"
Successfully Proved My Son's Innocence
"Mr. Todd took the time to listen to my son's side of the story. He was very understanding and patient. He took the time to gather the evidence that supported the case and proved my son's innocence. We are very appreciative. Again, thank you!"
The King of Trials - Mr. J. Todd "The Lion" Mitchell
"Mr. Mitchell is a real lion in the court room. I was facing 52 years and came out with a 2-5 year sentence. When his back is against the wall, Todd doesn't give up. I think he should change his name to J. Todd "The Lion" Mitchell. He is the only lawyer I will trust."
Todd is Knowledgeable & Fearless!
"I was in an impossible situation and thought I would spend a chunk of my life behind bars. Then God sent Todd Mitchell. He spoke up for me to the judge and D.A. at the hearing and was continuously on top of the case. His is the only number I'll call."
Great Counsel and a Great Outcome
"I hired Todd to handle a criminal case with a high probability of significant jail time. He was key in navigating the complexities of my case and always offered sound advice which ultimately resulted in the best possible outcome for my circumstances."
Todd Mitchell is a Winning Trial Expert
"Todd Mitchell is a trial expert, not just a criminal defense lawyer. His extensive experience WINNING trials, not just trying them, sets him apart from other attorneys in this area. If you want someone who will fight for you, hire Todd Mitchell."