Bond Revocation

In last week’s post, we discussed the process of getting a bond generally. In today’s post, we discuss bond revocations. In Georgia, if you violate a condition of your bond, you could have your bond revoked. This means you will be taken in to custody until your case is resolved. Bond conditions usually include staying away from the alleged victim, witnesses, or the property in the case, and avoiding any new criminal charges. Most bond conditions include the provision that you not “violate the rules of any state or governmental unit.” This could be anything from a traffic ticket to a felony. But just because you have been charged with a new crime does not necessarily mean you will have your bond revoked.

Right to Notice and a Hearing

Georgia case law is clear that you must first be given notice and an opportunity to be heard before your bond can be revoked. The judge cannot simply revoke your bond from his chambers without telling you. See Hood v. Carsten 267 Ga. 579 (1997). Moreover, you must also be given a hearing, which is “structured to insure that the finding of a violation of a condition of bond and the exercise of the court’s discretion to revoke bond were based on verified facts.” If the judge has not provided you with a hearing or notice, then he may not revoke your bond.

At the hearing, the judge will need to determine if there is enough evidence to show that you violated the conditions of your bond. If the evidence against you in the new charge is weak, you will not likely have your bond revoked. It also matters whether the new charge is a felony or a misdemeanor. Under the standard, 4-factor test for bond, you are only to be denied bond if the judge finds you a substantial risk of committing a new felony. Nowhere does the test discuss committing a new misdemeanor. If you are only to alleged to have committed a new misdemeanor, this is not a traditional ground revoking one’s bond. Your attorney should explain to the judge that a misdemeanor charge or conviction is not covered by the 4-factor test for bond.

Bottom Line

If you are out on bond and have picked up a new charge, talk to criminal defense attorney today about your options. The state may try to revoke your bond. However, you do have rights. You can request a hearing to determine if there is sufficient grounds to revoke your bond. If the new charge is a misdemeanor or if the evidence for a felony is weak, you may be able to keep you bond from being revoked.