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Booking and Bail in Georgia

The Booking Process

After the DUI arrest, a suspect is processed into the legal system, or “booked.”

You are searched, photographed, and fingerprinted. Delicate information and notes about the so-called crime are recorded. Your background is searched through a criminal records database. Personal effects, which includes anything that is carried on your person, are confiscated and recorded. Lawful items will be returned upon your release. You are then placed in a holding cell, generally with other people who have been arrested.


For a DUI arrest, you will possibly get released in a relatively short amount of time by posting bail or being released “on your own recognizance.” With bail, a family member, companion or bail bondsman pays an amount to have you released and in effect promises that you will report to court for listed proceedings: your arraignment, preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, and the trial are all possibilities. With a bail bondsman, a portion of the bail – usually 10 percent – is compensated for your discharge and you sign a “bond” that you will make your court appearances.

If you do not make your scheduled appearance, the bondsman must pay the full amount of your bond to the court, after which a hunt for you begins. A warrant is issued for your arrest, and workers of the bail bonds corporation, often called “bounty hunters,” attempt to find you to collect their money as well. The amount of bail set is determined by your criminal history, the significance of the offense, and whether you are a known member of the neighbourhood in which you were detained with family and business ties. Bail can be refused if you are considered a flight risk.

If you are released “on your own recognizance,” the court has reason to believe you are a responsible citizen and will make your listed court appearances. Your criminal history and the seriousness of the crime are taken into consideration. You sign a statement that you will not disappear the area, and you might be required to stay in contact with court officials on a regular basis until your scheduled hearings. If you fail to make your court appearance after being released on your own recognisance, a warrant is issued for your detainment.

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