Trump to surrender to Fulton County authorities in Georgia 2020 election case

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A sign is posted outside of the Fulton County Jail on August 16, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. Megan Varner/Getty Images

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 have been negotiating the terms of release and bond for their clients with the district attorney’s office – this is known as a consent bond.

The judge considering the bond agreement has to consider four factors, 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 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-profile 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.

Read more about surrenders at the Fulton County jail.


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