In typical cases in Fulton County, Georgia, police make an arrest, the person arrested is booked into jail and that person must appear before a magistrate judge within 72 hours. But the process for defendants who are indicted and face grand jury arrest warrants – as is the case with Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants – works differently.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis gave the 19 defendants until noon ET on August 25 to surrender voluntarily. While the grand jury issued arrest warrants, those warrants do not become active until the district attorney enters them into the Georgia Crime Information Center, which is the statewide crime database. This is what we expect to happen if someone fails to voluntarily surrender by the deadline.
In the meantime, the attorneys for defendants in the Trump case are expected to negotiate with the district attorney’s office to work out the terms of release and bond for their clients – this is known as a consent bond.
The judge that considers the bond agreement has to consider four factors when deciding whether to approve the bond agreements, attorneys told CNN. The judge has to determine the defendant is not a flight risk, is not likely to commit other felonies pending trial, does not present a danger to the community and is not likely to intimidate witnesses or take other steps to interfere with the case.
Surrender and booking: According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, all defendants in this case are expected to be booked at the Rice Street Jail. Once a defendant enters the jail and is taken into custody, they are technically “under arrest.” They are not expected to be handcuffed.
Once defendants are taken into custody, they are expected to be fingerprinted and have their mugshot taken, according to Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat.
Normally, those taken into custody are thoroughly searched by a jail deputy. In the past, though, some high-profiled defendants who have voluntarily surrendered were not subjected to that thorough body search. We don’t know if anyone related to the Trump case would be subjected to this search.
Defendants typically undergo a medical screening and receive a pre-trial consultation to determine whether they can sign out on their own recognizance. It’s unclear if that will happen with Trump and his co-defendants.
For a typical defendant, the booking process can take hours, much of which is spent waiting around for their turn to be booked.
But attorneys told CNN the process could move more swiftly for VIP defendants in the Trump case. They could theoretically be processed within 15 minutes if officials at the jail want to swiftly move them in and get them out.
If the defendants have a bond agreement in place, they will be processed and then released. If defendants do not have a bond agreement in place, they will be kept in custody.
The jail is open 24/7 and defendants can turn themselves in at any time. Some may try to coordinate with the sheriff’s office before they arrive in order to expedite the process.
In Trump’s case, we expect Secret Service to coordinate with the sheriff’s office ahead of time.
Once bonded out, a typical defendant would exit through the front door. It’s not clear if that will be the case here. High-profile defendants in the past have been allowed to exit through an alternate intake entrance – one that is less accessible to the public and media once driven beyond the gate.
Read more about surrenders at the Fulton County jail here.