What To Expect At A Bond Hearing
If You Are A Family Member:
Please arrive early to the jail in which your loved one is being held. We suggest at least thirty (30) minutes early. You’ll need a photo ID (driver’s license, government issued ID, etc.). You will also need to leave time to go through all of the security checkpoints that the jail requires. We suggest hiring an experienced South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney to represent your loved one at this hearing if they haven’t done so themselves.
Representation And The Hearing:
You, or a loved one, have the right to be represented at your bond hearing. You have the right to have a criminal defense attorney that can argue the merits of your bond and make the outcome more favorable. Depending on the charge, what to expect can vary wildly. The severity of your charge (first degree homicide vs. simple possession) will very clearly make a difference in the likelihood that you’re granted bond. And a bond for an arrest without a “life without parole” possible outcome will be set by a South Carolina Magistrate or Municipal Court Judge who will take many things into consideration including whether the accused is:
- A flight risk?
- A danger to the community at large?
After this, the Judge may take into consideration:
- Criminal history,
- Seriousness of the charges,
- Employment status,
- Length of time at residence,
- Any testimony from victim (if applicable),
- Anything else that may transpire, or anything else the Judge takes into account
The three (3) different types of bail bonds available for a criminal defendant are:
- Personal Recognizance Bond (PR bond) – Allows defendant to be released without any money posted to the court, but rather with a promise to appear when the case is called for trial.
- Surety Bond – You must post money with the Court to be released. (Ex: if the Judge sets a $10,000 surety bond, the defendant must post $10,000 in cash or real estate with the Court in order to be released. If the defendant does not appear before the court when the trial is called, they may forfeit the money down or have their real estate foreclosed on.)
- Surety Bond With 10% Cash Option – Defendant must post 10% of the total bond amount in cash (i.e. $10,000 surety bond with the ten percent option is ordered, the defendant may post $1,000 in cash)
Can’t Afford Your Bond?
If you can post your own bond (cash or real estate and appear before the court when your case is called, you will have your money or property returned to you at the conclusion of the case. If this isn’t possible, you may see if a bail bonding company can help you. Keep in mind, the fees and payment options they charge you will not be returned to you at the end. Moreover, if you have an experienced criminal defense attorney, they may make a motion requesting that your bond be reduced to make it more reasonable or affordable.
Just because you have been arrested doesn’t mean that you’re guilty or even a bad person, but it does mean that you’ll be forced to deal with the repercussions of this on all aspects of your life. Reaching out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is critical and could possibly be the difference between staying in jail and getting released on bond. Let us help you.