Finding out a family member or friend has been arrested for a serious crime is hard enough, finding out they have been denied bond makes it worse. When someone is arrested they are brought in front of a Judge. That judge is given little more than the information on the warrant or a police statement. Those documents ALWAYS put the client in the worst light and reflect only the crime of which they are accused. What is worse is that a majority of the time the client doesn’t have an attorney armed with all the facts and information necessary to paint a better light for them and properly assist them in receiving a bond. That situation is where the help of our law firm comes in. Let’s look at what is required to get a bond for our clients!
When considering a bond for our client, a Judge has to consider four factors when determining whether to grant a bond. These factors stem from a case called Ayala v. State. In that case the Supreme Court of Georgia determined that there were four questions that a Judge needs to answer to decide whether a bond will be granted.
Does the Defendant/accused:
- Pose a significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;
2) Pose a significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;
(3) Pose a significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and
(4) Pose a significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice.
In a case that our firm handled recently, a very young female defendant was arrested for carjacking and theft of an automobile. Both charges carry very serious punishments. Prior to our involvement, at the first bond hearing, the Judge denied our client bond because of the crime itself, citing that she posed a significant threat to re-offend and that she would intimidate the witness.
Now what? Just let her sit in jail for who knows how long? No! Her parents hired our firm and we filed a Motion for Bond Reconsideration. While waiting for the new bond hearing, we gathered evidence that painted a clearer picture of our client, not just the fact she is accused of a crime, but her history, ties to the community, personal information that the first Court either didn’t consider or wasn’t aware of. Medical records, family history, specific facts about the character of the accused to show the Court that they are worthy of a bond.
At the new bond hearing, we presented our client as a person with no prior criminal history, no risk of re-offending, no likelihood of not coming to court, and no likelihood of intimidating witnesses. We showed the Court everything about the whole person, not just the one-sided picture presented by the prosecution that the first Judge considered. From those efforts, in this case, she’s home with her family and not sitting in jail.
In the days of Covid-19 it is very important that these motions get filed immediately, as Courts are closed, or limited in their ability to handle large caseloads, failure to file a time bond motion could lead to weeks if not months of time in jail.