If a person can arrange to pay the full amount to the sheriff in cash or property, or can arrange for payment through a bail bond company or another third party, the sheriff releases that person automatically without evaluating whether the person will flee before trial or endanger the community. Those who cannot pay the pre-determined bail amount must remain in jail, waiting days or weeks for their first hearing.
The lawsuit also targets the deficient misdemeanor public defender system in the county. Glynn County only pays one lawyer to represent everyone accused of a misdemeanor who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. This contract defender does not visit clients who are stuck in jail, file motions on their behalf, or appear at hearings to request lower bail. The contract attorney instead only meets clients when they plead guilty to sign off on sentencing paperwork.
The lawsuit in Glynn County is the third related filing by the ACLU in alone, with many to come across the country in the effort to end our overreliance on the money bail system.
A Defendant's Release on Bail with Conditions
Know your rights. For almost years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Print. March 9, The nolo contendere plea is sometimes used in traffic cases.
It is also used in cases in which the person is likely to be fined but not sent to jail. If a plea of not guilty is made, a trial date is set. The accused remains out of jail on bail or is released on recognizance or returned to jail until the trial. A special plea of not guilty by reason of insanity may also be entered. This plea is used most often in capital crimes. If this plea is made, the court will have to hear expert testimony from psychiatrists and psychologists. What if a defendant is found to be insane at the time of trial or mentally incompetent to stand trial?
The court can order the defendant to be confined in a state hospital until he or she is considered competent to stand trial. If the defendant becomes competent to stand trial, the trial will proceed as if the issue of mental competence had not arisen. What happens if the accused is found during the trial to have been insane at the time of the crime?
The defendant will not necessarily be freed. The court may order the defendant to be committed to a state hos-pital or other place of confinement until he or she is considered sane. If declared sane, the accused will usually be released. In Georgia, juries may find a person guilty but mentally ill.
Setting of Bond in Georgia Criminal Cases
In these cases, the defendant serves his or her sentence in either a state hospital or a jail facility that has special treatment programs. The individual is not freed once he or she is considered well. The defendant will have to serve the length of the sentence imposed by the judge. The length of the sentence served is the same as it would be had the accused not been found to be mentally ill.
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If a person pleads guilty, the court must be satisfied that such a plea is reasonable and freely given. Furthermore, it must conclude that, in all prob-ability, the person is guilty as charged. And the court must ensure that due process has been given to the defendant-that is, none of his or her rights can have been violated.
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Once the court has made these determinations, it then sets a date for sentencing. Before that date, there is usually an investigation to determine if any mitigating or aggravating circumstances exist. If so, the court will consider them in sentencing the defendant. A judge may give a lighter sentence if there are mitigating circumstances in a case. For example, the defendant may have some problem that helps explain why the crime was committed, or the defendant may have a good record with no previous arrests.
These circumstances might cause a judge to be more lenient in setting the sentence than would normally be the case. Aggravating circumstances, on the other hand, tend to cause a judge to set a stricter sentence. Aggravating circumstances may include the fact that the defendant has a criminal history or that the crime was particularly cruel or gruesome. During the early stages of the trial process, the prosecutor and the defense attorney may meet to determine if the case can be settled without going to trial.
These efforts are referred to as plea bargaining. Plea bargaining may begin just after the defendant obtains a lawyer. In plea bargaining, the defense attorney sometimes suggests that the client consider pleading guilty to a less serious charge. For example, suppose the client is charged with burglary of a house, a felony punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
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- A Defendant's Release on Bail with Conditions?
The defense attorney may suggest that his or her client consider pleading guilty to the less serious charge of criminal trespass. At other times, the defense attorney may suggest that his or her client plead guilty to the charge in order to receive a recommended sentence by the prosecutor.
Entitlement to Bond
A recommended sentence might be a sentence that is lighter or more favorable to the defendant than would usually be the case. This plea negotiation is often carried out with the judge's knowledge and permission. Judges reserve the right, however, to make up their own minds about a sentence. A judge is not legally bound by the agreement reached by the prosecutor and the defense attorney. The judge may have reason to believe that the defendant is merely claiming guilt and is plea bargaining simply because he or she fears a trial.
The current practice is to resolve as many cases as possible through plea bargaining in order to lighten the caseload for the courts. That is not to say that a prosecutor attempts to plea bargain every single case. Each case is carefully reviewed beforehand. Factors are considered such as the amount of evidence the district attorney has against the defendant, the criminal history of the defendant, and the severity of the crime.
There has been a great deal of debate over plea bargaining. On the one hand, many people believe that our court system could not survive without plea bargaining. They argue that if it were forced to try everyone accused of a crime, the court system would collapse because of too many cases and enormous costs of so many trials. Other people oppose plea bargaining because it seems to put the responsibility of determining guilt on the prosecutor instead of on the judge and jury.
They argue that plea bargaining works against a person's right to a trial by a jury of one's peers. They claim that plea bargaining enables guilty parties to get off with sentences that are too light. A fundamental concept in the criminal justice system of this country is that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the state.
A defendant does not have to prove anything. He or she does not even have to take the stand in his or her own de-fense, and the prosecutor cannot even comment on the defendant's choice in this matter. In addition, there are certain defenses that a defendant may use at trial or even as early as during the plea bargaining stage. For each case, an attorney must decide which defenses might apply. The most common defense is to deny the charges. Witnesses and alibis are used, when possible, to support the denial. Trying to shift the blame to someone else is also an effective method of defense.
Defense attorneys may also make use of a number of pretrial motions, which can be quite important. To prevent damaging evidence being introduced at trial, the defense attorney may make a "motion to suppress evidence," claiming that the evidence was obtained illegally. Alternatively, an attorney may make a "motion for a continuance" for the trial to be postponed in order to have more time to prepare the case.
If an attorney feels the community may be hostile to the defendant, and therefore the defendant might not receive a fair trial, he or she may make a "motion for a change of venue" that is, a request to change the location of the trial. The Vinson Institute is not responsible for errors in the online text. Content is for information only; in no way should the information in the book be considered legal advice to anyone on any matter for which there are legal implications.
Any such matter should be specifically addressed with an attorney.
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