Many defendants (accused) are released on bond from jail before disposition of their case. Bond is guaranteed by the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions, except in certain cases. Bond is money or property put up to ensure the defendant's appearance in court. The judge considers several issues in determining the bond amount of the accused. These may include the:
Possibility of fleeing
Possibility of threatening witnesses
Risk of committing another crime
Threat or danger to the community
The Bond Process
Many defendants will be immediately released because the amount of bond is pre-set. The defendant gets a bonding company or an individual to provide a cash or property bond. This may be done within hours of the defendant's being arrested.
If the defendant has not made bond within 72 hours, most will appear before a judge. At that time, a bond may be set and the defendant may be released. Usually, victims do not attend these first appearance hearings and will not be notified of them since they are routine in most cases. An exception occurs where the law requires that victims be notified before bond is set. It is the policy of most judges to restrain defendants in domestic violence from having contact with alleged victims.
Special Bond Hearings
There are certain serious crimes in which a bond can only be set by a Superior Court judge. These hearings are usually at a later time after notice to the district attorney's office. The Victim Assistance Program will attempt to notify you prior to these bond hearings.
If the accused is a juvenile (under 17 years of age), the proceedings are different. Call Murray County Juvenile Court at (706) 695-5828 for more information.
For Additional Information
The Victim Assistance Program in the Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office can inform you of your rights, assist you with any questions you may have, or refer you to the appropriate agency for help. They may be contacted at (706) 272-2273 (CARE) between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. All services are free.