Pre-trial Release and Bond for DUI Arrests in Atlanta

Oftentimes in DUI cases, bond is granted almost automatically, about four to six hours after an arrest has taken place. The judge sitting that evening or morning sometimes signs the bonds of DUIs almost automatically, but sometimes a DUI attorney in Atlanta will play a role in the bonding process.

One role that an attorney can play in these proceedings is that they can recommend a good bondsman, which can in turn often result in a lower rate because of that defense attorney’s relationship with the bondsman.

Determining Bond in Atlanta

In Atlanta, bond amount is generally taken from a pre-determined list, where the particular jurisdiction like the City of Atlanta has said, “This is the amount of bond for a DUI.” Other factors may come into account, such as the subject’s criminal history and the facts and circumstances of the case. However, most DUIs get a standard bond amount and a defendant can post it in several different ways. Posting bond can be as simple as paying cash out of pocket to satisfy the amount. It is also possible to use a bondsman who will post the whole bond amount for a fee, generally somewhere around 12 percent of the bond amount. The individual will not get that fee back at the conclusion of their case.

If someone posts bond themselves, a $1,000 bond for example, they will get that money back at the end of their case if they do not do anything to violate the conditions of their bond and have their bond revoked by the judge.

Another way bond can be posted is using a real-property bond. If someone owns a house, in certain situations the local sheriff will allow them to use the title to their house as collateral for the bond. This is not common in DUI cases because the value of the property is very large relative to what is often a small bond amount.

Failing to Comply With a Pre-Trial Release

Not complying with a pre-trial release often results in incarceration awaiting trial. If an individual breaks the rules, they are punished. And in the context of a DUI pre-trial release, the rules are generally: do not get arrested again.

The most common situation for someone to be incarcerated and have their bond revoked in the context of a DUI is to be arrested for a DUI again. They either will not get a bond when they are arrested the second time, or when they are released they may be transported back to a local jail for the first case for which they are already on bond.

Jail Release Documents

When someone is released from jail, generally they receive copies of their bond paperwork and the conditions of their pre-trial release. They will also receive copies of citations which were issued to them. In a DUI case, this is often a citation for DUI and at least one other offense, generally a minor traffic offense for which they were stopped initially, such as failure to maintain lane, speeding, reckless driving, or an expired tag.

They may also receive some other documents related to the date of their next court appearance. It is important that they retain their documents and provide these documents to their attorney as quickly as possible.

Importance of Hiring An Attorney

It is important to hire an attorney in Atlanta immediately after a DUI arrest because there are several deadlines which may come up as soon as the day that the individual is released; the first being a potential court date.

It is important to have representation in this initial appearance. There is also often a deadline of 10 business days from the date of arrest where an individual’s license will be suspended in the State of Georgia, and if they do not comply with this 10-day deadline they will not be able to drive for a period of up to one year. In some situations there is not even a limited permit available for the suspension, if they fail to comply with this 10-day deadline.