Obtaining Release on a 90-Day Bond in Georgia
A bond in a criminal case is an assurance given by a defendant that he or she will come to court for further proceedings at a later date. In felony cases, the posting of bond requires a judge’s approval. Being denied bond can be a hardship, but there is still hope for release. Georgia law entitles felony defendants to have their cases heard by a grand jury within 90 days of arrest. With a few limited exceptions, if the prosecutor doesn’t meet this deadline, the defendant has a right to what is known as a 90-day bond.
Although Georgia law is clear that a 90-day bond must be set, judges have considerable latitude in deciding on the amount. When deciding on the bond, the court can consider a variety of factors, including:
- The defendant’s potential flight risk
- The defendant’s ability to pay
- The seriousness of the offense
- The defendant’s character and reputation
- S. citizenship or other immigration status
It is possible that if 90 days go by and the defendant presents a weak case for release on bond, the judge may require an amount that the defendant would realistically never be able to afford. The court also may grant a single 90-day extension of the deadline for a grand jury hearing if the prosecutor shows good cause.
It is vital for defendants to be represented by skilled defense counsel when requesting a 90-day bond, because judges have discretion to determine not only the bond amount but also any restrictions that come with the bond. If a request is made without sufficient explanation about the facts and circumstances supporting release, then the amount of bond may end up being too high and/or the conditions too restrictive. While legal representation doesn’t guarantee release on a reasonable bond, it does give the defendant a better chance.
At the law firm of James D. Michael, P.C., we frequently represent defendants at bond hearings throughout the Atlanta area. We are adept at making persuasive arguments for 90-day bonds and other conditions for pretrial release. You can speak with our criminal defense attorney by calling our Decatur office at 404-857-4059 or contact us online.