Bail Bonds FAQ

What is a Bail Bond?

Bail bonds are a guarantee that the defendant will show up for court in exchange for their release from jail. Technically, it is a type of insurance bond between a surety company, a bondsman, and the jail. By using a bail bond, a defendant can be released before their next scheduled court date so they can secure legal counsel and evidence on their behalf.

How is the Amount of Bail Decided?

In both the Atlanta City Detention Center and Fulton County Jail, they decide the amount of bail based on the standard Georgia ‘bail schedule.’ In cases of repeat offenders or more serious crimes, an initial bail hearing will be held and the judge will determine the amount. Although the judge has complete discretion over the bail amount, he or she will consider the defendant’s risk of fleeing the state, previous crimes, and the severity of the current offense(s).

How is Bail Posted?

A person can post cash for the entire amount of bail directly to the court or the jail. Unfortunately this route has proven to be stressful for the person coming up with a few extra thousand dollars. Usually, the typical single person income family doesn’t have this type of cash laying around. In more recent years, it has become more widely accepted to use a bail bondsman for posting bail, or in this case, a bond. The bail agent collects 10%-15% of the bail amount as their fee. They write a bond for the entire amount of bail, which is backed by their insurance company. One of the staff members of the bonding company then hand-delivers the bail bond to the jail.

What Is Collateral?

If a person has a low credit rating, this could indicate that he or she is not responsible in fulfilling their financial obligations. In order to get a bail bond written, a co-signer will need to sign on the bond. This guarantees that a person has “skin in the game” and will show up to court. If you don’t have a high credit rating, collateral can be used instead of higher fees. Collateral could be real estate, autos, or anything worth significant value.

Will the Collateral be Returned?

The bonding fee won’t be returned, but the collateral WILL be returned once the defendant’s court case has been resolved. The verdict of the case does not matter. All jail fees and bail bond fees paid to the bondsman will not be returned as this is part of services rendered.

What Information Do I Need to Provide the Bail Bond Agent?

When you call Value Bail Bonds, you’ll need to provide the bondsman who answers the phone with the name of the individual and the correct spelling. Its also useful to know their date of birth and their booking number. They should be able to give you this information when they call you from the jail.

How much is the bail?

If you don’t know how much the bail is for a particular inmate, our bondsman can find that out for you. The Atlanta city jail must be contacted by phone and our bail agent can do that for you, or you can call them yourself if you wish. Fulton Count jail has an online portal in which you can search for the inmate by name.

How long does it take to get released from jail on bond?

The amount of time it takes to get released from jail depends entirely on the jail and their workload. The City of Atlanta is pretty quick and it usually only takes a couple of hours once we post the bond for the inmate. Fulton County bail bonds take a little longer, up to 8 hours.

What happens if the defendant fails to appear for court?

If the defendant fails to appear for their court date, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. The financial responsibility for the full amount of bail will become due to whomever co-signed on the bail bond. If you think that the person you bailed out of jail is going to flee, you should contact your bail bondsman as soon as you can to discuss your options. There may be a way to make sure that the defendant does indeed show for court, which is in your best interest. If collateral was used during the writing of the bail bond, then the bonding company has a legal right to this property and can use it to secure the finances for bail. In this case, said collateral would not be returned to you after the case has been closed.