In Criminal

Introduction

When someone you care about gets arrested, your top priority (and theirs too) is getting them released from jail. Depending on the location of their arrest, they might be held in a city or county jail. Once you find them, it’s important to grasp the bail-bond process in South Carolina and how a criminal defense lawyer can assist in bringing them back home.

Bond Process

A bail bond typically refers to a sum of money paid to the court as a guarantee that an accused person will comply with the conditions of their release from custody. If the individual meets all court requirements, the payment is returned at the conclusion of the legal proceedings. If the defendant fails to meet their obligations, such as appearing in court, the amount of money may be forfeited, resulting in financial consequences for the individual and possibly for the person who posted the bond, such as a bail bondsman.

How is Bail Amount Determined?

Multiple factors, such as the gravity of the offense or a prior criminal record, may fluctuate the bail amount. The judge may deny bail altogether if there are concerns regarding the accused person being a flight risk or posing a danger to society. In these cases, the defendant will be held in custody until their trial.

How Does Bond Work?

When someone is arrested In South Carolina, their first step towards getting released is a bond hearing. During this hearing, a judge determines how much money the accused person needs to pay to be released from jail. Additionally, the judge may require release conditions such as requiring the individual to wear an ankle monitor.

Bondsmen

A bail bondsman is someone who provides a service to individuals who have been arrested and cannot afford to post bail. If the defendant chooses to use any, they will usually have to pay them a percentage of the total bail amount as a fee. In exchange, the accused person agrees to appear in court for all required hearings and proceedings. If the individual fails to appear, the bail bondsman will be responsible for paying the full bail amount to the court.

Type of Bonds

PR Bond

A personal recognizance bond is a type where the defendant is released from jail without having to pay anything. Instead, the accused person signs a written promise to appear in court. A judge will allow a release on personal recognizance only if it’s clear that the individual presents no danger to the public and that he/she will appear for trial.

Cash Bond

If a judge feels a defendant does present a danger to the public or thinks they may be a flight risk, they are likely to be given a cash bond. This type requires the defendant to pay the full amount of bail set in order to be released from jail. If the accused person shows up to all of their required court dates, the paid amount is returned to them at the conclusion of the case.

Surety Bond

This is the most common type. The defendant pays a non-refundable percentage of the total bail amount to a surety company or bondsman. In return, the surety company or bondsman guarantee that they will pay the full bail amount if the accused person fails to appear in court.

How to Post Bail

Depending on the type of bond, the defendant or their family member may pay the full amount to the court or jail in the form of cash or a cashier’s check. If the accused person or their family cannot afford to pay the full bail amount, they may need to contact a bail bondsman. In some cases, an accused person may use property or other assets as collateral to post bail. This means that if the individual fails to appear in court as required, that property may be forfeited to cover the bail amount. Once bail has been posted and any conditions of release have been met, the defendant will be released from custody pending trial. If the individual complies with all court requirements and appears for all scheduled court dates, the bail money or collateral will typically be refunded or returned at the conclusion of the case.

Navigating the Bond Hearing Process in South Carolina

image of a bail bond hearing

An experienced lawyer knows how to present the strongest possible case for bond, increasing the chances of a positive outcome.

Why Having a Lawyer Matters

In South Carolina, the bond hearing process can be a pivotal moment for individuals facing legal charges. This is where the court determines whether the accused person will be released from custody pending trial. While this process may seem straightforward, it’s anything but, and having legal representation can make a world of difference. South Carolina law states that the longest you can be held without a bond hearing is 24 hours. Many bond hearings are set within eight to twelve hours to ensure that you have time to get a lawyer and find a way to make bond.

Understanding the Process

At a bond hearing, a judge considers various factors to determine the appropriate bond amount or whether to grant bond at all. During this hearing, you won’t enter a plea or file motions; its sole purpose is for a judge to determine if you’ll be granted bond, and if so, what conditions will accompany it. These factors typically include the severity of the alleged crime, the defendant’s ties to the community, criminal history, flight risk, and potential danger to the public. The decision made during this hearing can significantly impact the individual’s ability to prepare for trial and maintain their livelihood.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Having a lawyer present at a bond hearing is not just advantageous; it’s often crucial. Here’s why:

  1. Legal Expertise
    A skilled attorney understands the nuances of bond hearings and can effectively advocate for their client’s release. They can present compelling arguments regarding the accused person’s ties to the community, employment status, and other mitigating factors that may influence the judge’ decision.
  2. Navigating Complex Legal Procedures
    The legal system can be complex and intimidating, especially for those unfamiliar with its intricacies. A lawyer can guide their client through the bond hearing process, ensuring that their rights are protected and that they fully understand the proceedings.
  3. Maximizing Chances of Release
    Ultimately, the goal of a bond hearing is to secure the defendant’s release from custody. An experienced lawyer knows how to present the strongest possible case for bond, increasing the chances of a positive outcome.

Why Choose Us?

At Henderson & Henderson, we understand the importance of effective representation during bond hearings. We are committed to advocating for our clients’ rights and fighting tirelessly to secure their release. When you choose us, you can rest assured that we will be there for you every step of the way. If you or a loved one is facing a bond hearing in South Carolina, don’t navigate the process alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Pre-payment and Pricing

While we believe in providing exceptional legal representation regardless of financial circumstances, we do require an initial payment to cover our services for attending the bond hearing. This ensures that we can dedicate the necessary time and resources to your case from the outset. Our pre-payment fee is $1000, which covers the cost of our representation at the bond hearing. Further costs may occur outside of the bond hearing representation, which can be determined on a case by case basis.

Remember, investing in quality legal representation can make all the difference in the outcome of your bond hearing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today (phone: (843) 212-3188) to learn more about criminal law and how our criminal defense attorney can assist you.

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