A DeKalb Magistrate Judge granted a $100,000 bond one week after a fatal wreck allegedly caused by Benjamin Rollins. Rollins is facing the following charges:
The response to his bond is best described as outrage - mostly because people have automatically assumed his guilt. According to reports, he pled guilty to a DUI in 2016 and has a separate pending DUI case. However, the fact that someone was guilty of another crime has no bearing on their guilt or innocence in another case.
The reality is that a judge makes the decision about bond, and it is not related to the accused person's innocence or guilt. Each and every suspect is entitled to a reasonable bond if it's deemed appropriate by a judge.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will focus today's post on what constitutes bond, and what the purpose of bond is in Georgia.
Bond in Georgia
Bail and bond in Georgia are confusing concepts because they are used intermittently and often incorrectly. A bond is a financial guarantee that you will appear for all court appearances until your case concludes or is dismissed. You pay the bail amount, and if you do not show up for court, the court will keep the bail and immediately issue a warrant for your arrest.
The purpose of bail is to allow someone accused of a crime to stay out of jail while awaiting his or her trial. It is not supposed serve as a separate punishment.
The reality is that our criminal justice system has an interest in keeping defendants out of jail before trial or pleas. The bond process allows a defendant to prepare adequately for their defense. It also reduces overcrowding in jail facilities and confinement costs.
Again, the main purpose of bond is not to punish or an admittance of either guilt or innocence - the main purpose of bond is to secure attendance in court. The conditions of his bond most likely include is abstinence from both alcohol consumption and driving.
The purpose of these conditions is to protect the public. In the event that he violates his bond, the bond will be revoked.
The Georgia Bond process has nothing to do with either guilt or innocence. That determination will come later for Rollins. The burden of proof rests on the state of Georgia to prove that Rollins is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt - if that happens, then we can deem him guilty. But as of right now, Rollins has the presumption of innocence. It is the basis of our criminal justice system.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today.