Receiving an affordable bond and being able to prepare for trial from outside the confines of jail is one of the most important parts of criminal proceedings. If you have been arrested and accused of a crime, you need an effective lawyer to argue that you should be released pending the resolution of your case. In federal court, you often will only have one chance to argue for bond before the magistrate court, making a bond hearing an extremely high-stakes proceeding.
Bond proceedings in federal court focus on whether the accused poses a risk of flight or a danger to any particular person or to the community at large. In certain cases, depending on what you are charged with or the potential sentences you are facing, the burden lies with the accused to prove to the judge that you should be released on bond. It is crucial that your lawyer understands this aspect of federal procedure and knows how to effectively argue for your release.
In state court, in some cases, you may receive a pre-set bond according to a bond schedule. If a pre-set bond is not available, you may have an opportunity to argue for bond at a first appearance hearing. This is a hearing conducted by a magistrate judge who will inform the accused of his rights in a criminal case. Additionally, the judge may consider setting a bond in some felony cases. If there is not pre-set bond and the magistrate judge does not set a bond, then you may have to wait in jail until a motion for bond is filed in the superior court. Superior court judges consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to grant a bond: whether the accused poses a risk of flight; whether the accused poses a danger to any person in the community or to the community at large; whether the accused poses a risk of committing felonies pending trial; whether the accused poses a risk of intimidating witnesses or obstructing justice and; whether the accused will appear for trial if granted a bond. Occasionally, a superior court judge will decline to set a bond in a case. However, if you are denied bond but not indicted by a grand jury within 90 days, you will be entitled to bond under most circumstances.
Molly Hiland Parmer is able to persuasively advocate for individuals in Atlanta and across Georgia seeking release from custody or a reduction in their bond amount. If you are arrested for an alleged criminal offense, whether in state or federal court, she understands how important it is to secure your release. She can work to help you negotiate favorable bond terms so that you can handle your legal matters from the outside, rather than confined to a jail or pretrial detention center.