2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 10 - MAGISTRATE COURTS
ARTICLE 10 - DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FRAUD PROSECUTIONS
§ 15-10-203 - Optional procedure for forfeiture of bonds on misdemeanor deposit account fraud violations; failure to appear at trial; bench warrants; no contest cash bonds and related schedules
. Optional procedure for forfeiture of bonds on misdemeanor deposit account fraud violations; failure to appear at trial; bench warrants; no contest cash bonds and related schedules
(a) The chief magistrate of each county may by written order establish a schedule of no contest cash bonds which the accused may post when arrested or accused by warrant or citation pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 15-10-202
. The schedule of no contest cash bond amounts shall be sufficient to cover court costs, minimum fines as set forth in Code Section 16-9-20
, and restitution in the full amount of the dishonored check. At the time of posting a no contest cash bond, the receipt shall contain the following language: "IF YOU GIVE A NO CONTEST CASH BOND AND FAIL TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL, THIS BOND MAY BE FORFEITED AND, IF SO FORFEITED, SHALL CONSTITUTE A MISDEMEANOR GUILTY PLEA AND A WAIVER OF CERTAIN CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS," which shall be acknowledged by the person arrested.
(b) A person arrested or accused by warrant or citation pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 15-10-202
who does not wish to post a no contest cash bond may post a property bond or standard appearance bond to assure his or her future appearance in court.
(c) If a person who gives a no contest cash bond fails subsequently to appear for trial, such failure shall constitute a guilty plea and the no contest cash bond shall be forfeited, unless the court proceeds under the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section. It shall not be necessary for the state to take any further action to forfeit the no contest cash bond. Forfeiture of a no contest cash bond shall be considered to constitute imposition and payment of a fine and restitution and, if so considered, shall be a bar to a subsequent prosecution of the accused for the violation in accordance with Code Section 16-9-20
(d) If the judge determines at the time of the nonappearance at trial of the defendant in his or her sole discretion that substantial justice will not be accomplished by the forfeiture of the no contest cash bond amount and the disposition of the charges with prejudice, the posting of the no contest cash bond shall not be considered a plea of guilty nor constitute a bar to a subsequent prosecution of the defendant for the violation, and any moneys posted under the no contest cash bond shall be held in the court's registry pending subsequent prosecution, and the defendant shall be served with a citation for a reasonable future appearance date, and, in default of the defendant's appearance, the court shall issue a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest.
(e) Upon a conviction under a subsequent prosecution, the proceeds of any no contest cash bond shall be applied and distributed toward restitution, fine, and court costs imposed by the court.
(f) If a defendant posts a property bond or standard appearance bond and thereafter fails to appear at the designated time, a bench warrant shall be issued for such person and the bond shall be forfeited as provided by Code Section 17-6-17
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer