Being arrested is serious. There are many things at stake — most importantly, your freedom to live a normal life. Depending on what you are arrested for, you could be facing prison time and a criminal record, both of which could impact you forever. You’re going to want a great defense lawyer in order to have the best chance of lessening your charges and going back to your normal life before your arrest.

ASAP Bail Bonds offers 24-hour bail bonds service in Gwinnett County and beyond. We understand that bail can be expensive, so we do our best to help alleviate the cost by offering you bail bonds. A bail bond is an agreement you enter for us to pay your bail for you, while you pay us a small percentage of your bail as a fee. We then help with all the paperwork to get you out of jail and on with your life by providing constant support services if you need them. Below, we’ll discuss the difference between a public defender and a criminal defense attorney, as well as how this relates to bail bonds. Contact us today to get started!

What Is a Public Defender?

A public defender is a lawyer who works for the state of Georgia defending people who can’t afford a criminal defense attorney. Many people mistakenly believe that the government must provide them representation. This is only partly true. It wasn’t until 1963 that a case came before the Supreme Court to establish this. In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does require free legal counsel to indigent, or poor, defendants in criminal cases. Criminal cases are defined by the commitment of a crime against the state. The other type of cases is a civil case, which is usually a dispute between individuals. Thus, Americans are only guaranteed free defense lawyer services if they struggle financially and are accused of a criminal offense.

In 2003, the state of Georgia set formal terms to determine indigency in order to eliminate bias in the court system. In the Georgia Indigent Defense Act of 2003, you must meet certain criteria in order to be declared indigent, which is usually determined in an interview process done by the Indigent Defense at Magistrate Court. Keep in mind that it is extremely hard to qualify for indigency.

What Is a Criminal Defense Attorney?

A criminal defense lawyer is a private lawyer who specializes in defending individuals who are accused of committing a crime. Criminal defense lawyers deal with everything surrounding your criminal case, from your arrest and the investigation done by the police to the criminal charges you are facing and your trial.

Often, criminal attorneys specialize even further into one particular crime, such as capital cases (those that involve the death penalty) or driving under the influence (DUI) charges. While it can be expensive to hire and retain a criminal defense lawyer, even in a minor arrest, such as vandalism, you have to consider that arrests are public records, convictions can follow you the rest of your life, and jail time may be at stake. If you keep in mind that this is your life at stake, criminal defense attorneys can be worth every penny.

How a Lawyer Helps With Bail Bonds

At your first court hearing (either 48 or 72 hours after your arrest), the judge will set your bail based on the crime, your criminal history, and circumstances of the case. The judge is also trying to determine if you are a flight risk, so they will look at whether or not you have a job in the area or family that would keep you here. This step is when a good criminal defense attorney can help you.

You are guaranteed bail that is not excessive by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If your bail is set too high, your defense lawyer can request a reduction in bail, an option granted in the Bail Reform Act. A bail reduction hearing would have to be scheduled, which is no guarantee that the bail will be lowered. The argument must be made by your defense attorney that if the bail amount is too high, it is effectively banning you from bail, which is illegal in the case that you’re not a flight risk or a threat to the public. However, the judge is not required to lower the bail amount.

Also, if you have committed a non-bondable offense in the state of Georgia, such as murder or rape, your lawyer could then file a motion for bond in Superior Court to get bail. That being said, these cases are rarely won and can take weeks.

Secure Your Loved One’s Release With ASAP Bail Bonds

ASAP Bail Bonds serves Gwinnett County and the state of Georgia with affordable, 24-hour bail bonds so you can get out of jail quickly. We understand that you will have a lot of decisions to make in the next few days, including deciding upon the best criminal defense lawyer to meet your needs. Let us take the bail bond procedures off your plate. We’ll handle the entire process of securing your release for an affordable fee, including the paying of the bail and the paperwork involved. We understand that you have a lot to concentrate on while you prepare your case. Call ASAP Bail Bonds today to get started on your freedom!