How Does A Bond Hearing Work in SC?
Being arrested is one of the most stressful situations a person can ever experience. Thanks to TV and movies, most people have a pretty good grasp on what to expect if they ever find themselves in a pair of handcuffs. But what about what happens after that?
After you’ve been arrested and booked, what follows is a bond hearing. Let’s take a look at what the bond hearing process looks like in South Carolina.
What is a bond hearing?
A bond hearing is what happens after a person is arrested and booked. The accused goes before a judge, and the judge determines whether or not he or she will be temporarily released until trial. Even if the judge allows the accused to leave, someone will still have to come up with a bond payment. This is what’s referred to as “making bail.”
Where does the bond hearing take place?
Where you go for a bond hearing largely depends on where you were arrested. Each city holds bond court at a specific location depending on the county where you were arrested, regardless of whether you were arrested by the city police department, the county sherriff’s department or the South Carolina Highway Patrol. For example, in Columbia, judges will hold bond hearings at:
For cases originating in Richland County or the City of Columbia:
Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center
201 John Mark Dial Drive,
Columbia, SC 29209
For cases originating in Lexington County:
521 Gibson Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Important Note: Certain charges, however, must have their bonds set in General Sessions Court including Burglary in the 1st Degree and Murder.
The best way to make sure you have the right location is by contacting the Clerk of Court in the county of the arrest. This information isn’t always available over the phone, however. If that’s the case for your situation, then contact your attorney. Your attorney will be able to get all the pertinent information as to where your bond hearing will being held.
When will the bond hearing happen?
A bond hearing typically occurs within 24 hours of the defendant’s arrest and booking. Because each court determines their own days and hours for hearings, you’ll need to contact the Clerk of Court for the exact date and time of your hearing. Once again, though, this information isn’t always given over the phone. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to contact your attorney.
Are all bonds the same?
While being granted a bond does mean the person arrested can be temporarily released, a bond won’t be the same for everyone arrested in South Carolina. The judge decides the amount of the bond and the terms and conditions the defendant must follow.
In some cases, a personal reconnaissance bond may be granted. Referred to as a PR bond, this type of bond means no bail money is needed to get out of jail, and you don’t need a bondsman.
However, if the judge decides on a surety bond, then money (or sometimes collateral) will be needed to get a defendant out of jail. Any monetary bond may be posted by friends or family of the defendant or by a licensed bondsman.
The monetary amount of the bond is in addition to any other possible conditions a judge may set, like making your bond conditional to electronic monitoring.
How much will the bond cost?
In addition to what type of bond is granted, the cost of a bond also depends on multiple variables.
- Do you have a job?
- Do you have connections to the community?
- Are you a flight risk?
- Do you pose a threat if released?
All of the above and more can factor into the cost and type of bond. And, yes, the judge can opt to deny bond depending on the crime.
If the price of the bond is more than you can pay, you may be able to have your lawyer petition for a reduction.
How do I post bail?
How you’ll need to post bail depends on the type of bond you were granted.
For a cash bond, the clerk of court must be paid the full amount. The good news is that money will be returned to the person who fronted it once the case is decided, provided the defendant awaiting trial doesn’t violate the terms of the bond.
A cash percentage bond only requires a certain percent of the total bond to be paid to the clerk of court. In this case, if the accused violates the terms, they’re the ones held accountable for the full amount. The State can even seize their property to collect payment.
Surety bonds are usually paid by a bail bondsman. The bondsman will likely charge a percentage of the total bond for his services, and in this case, the bondsman’s fee isn’t refundable at the end of the case. That being said, a surety bond may also be paid by the defendant himself and returned at the end of the case, as long as the defendant doesn’t violate the terms of the bond.
Regardless of bond type, once the required payment is deposited with the clerk of court, the defendant’s release can be processed.
How do I get help?
Facing the consequences of an arrest is never easy, and navigating the bond hearing process on your own is extremely stressful. That means your best, and possibly smartest, course of action is to contact a South Carolina lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact Columbia, SC criminal defense attorney, Lori Murray to discuss your bond hearing. Or call 803-779-4472.
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