Our son has been in jail for 5 months and although documentation has been presented to clear him of the charges, he is still incarcerated. He was denied bond last year for reasons unknown to us, and as of today he still doesn't have a bond. He has an attorney that keeps telling us that the DA doesn't have a case but our son is still incarcerated. What can we do? What rights do our son have? Is it legal for a court to deny him bond and just hold him in jail? We need answers since this is very confusing and stressful, and it appears that the legal system is failing our son.
It's impossible for anyone on here to answer this question without knowing about the case. Your questions should be presented to his lawyer. If you are unhappy with the current lawyer, consult with some other lawyers.
What is the charge? If it is correct that he is being held without bond then either the charge is extremely serious or the court has some reason to believe that he might be dangerous or fail to appear if released. And while his lawyer thinks that there is not much of a case against him, the DA and the judge apparently disagree.
But these are just general thoughts. I defer to my Georgia colleagues, who will be familiar with your state law and practice, as I am not.
For serious charges (murder, armed robbery, rape, drug trafficking), the legal system can seem to move incredibly slow if you have a loved one on custody. This can be particularly frustrating where you know or have evidence of the person's innocence. Ultimately, the only one who can dismiss the charge is the District Attorney. And, many times, the prosecutors believe what they want to believe, regardless of what evidence is presented to them by the defense. At this point, I would go back to your attorney and see if your questions can be answered. If you feel unsatisfied, then, just like a doctor in a medical situation, It may be time to consult with another attorney. If you would like to discuss the case further, my number is 404-371-9191.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Your son has been indicted or has been in jail longer than 90 days. If an indictment has been returned, your son's attorney would need to file a speedy trial demand. This will force the prosecutor to put him on trial within two terms of court. Then he can present evidence of his innocence. If he has not been indicted and has been incarcerated for longer than 90 days, he is entitled to a bond. 5 months is longer than this period, so his attorney should already have a bond set for him (if he hasn't he is either not paying close attention to the case or doesnt know what he is doing). If he has a bond set and it is too high to make, his attorney needs to file for a reduction. Sometimes these are granted when there is a delay in the prosecution of an inmate. He has not spent enough time in jail to trigger his constitutional speedy trial rights. That takes at least a year in the simplest of felony cases. However, the State gets more time the more complicated the case is. For instance, death penalty cases may not go to trial for years.
The fact that your son does not have a bond set after 5 months is concerning. It may be time to seek new counsel in the case. If I can be of assistance, call me.
Allen R. (Rusty) Knox
125 TownPark Drive, Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144