Are You Entitled to a Bond in South Carolina?
I’ve been accused of a crime. Will I receive a bail?
Let’s talk about bonds, and whether you’ll receive a bail for whatever crimes that you’ve been accused of committing. I’m Tyler Bailey, the founder and managing attorney at Bailey Law Firm, and I represent people who’ve been accused of committing crimes all throughout South Carolina. In South Carolina, we have a constitutional right to bail or bond only if it’s not a capital offense. Unless you’ve been charged with murder, or attempted murder, or something of that nature, you have a right for a judge to set a bond. After it’s set, you can pay the bond, or if you’re allowed out on your personal recognizance, you’re allowed outside jail pending your trial, where you’ll be able to request a jury trial, cross-examine witnesses, examine witnesses until you’ve been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Before diving too far into that process, let’s reel it back in and focus back on bond.
What do judges look at to determine my bond?
Several factors will determine the amount of your bond and even whether you will even receive a bond. Judges look into some factors when determining bond:
- Whether you’re a flight risk
- If you’re a danger to the community
- Your ties to the state
They want to make sure that if they let you out on bond, you’re actually going to show back up for court. What I or any experienced criminal defense attorney will do is present your case to the judge showing that you’re not a flight risk. We’ll go over your ties to the community, where you went to high school, where you attend church, where your family’s from. We’ll also go through if you have stable employment and that you have ties to this area. This is your home, and you have no intention on leaving the state and never coming back.
What could prevent me from being released on bail?
It’s also very important to let the judge know that you’re not a danger to the community. We’ll go over your criminal history, showing that you don’t have a lengthy criminal record, or you have not been accused of committing violent crimes. Judges are worried that by releasing you, you’re going to commit a crime that’s going to harm somebody. Experienced criminal defense attorneys will talk about how you’re not a danger to the community and have not been charged with a violent crime. If you had been charged with a violent crime, you would need certain safeguards that will give the judge comfort that you’re not going to commit a crime if released.
They’re also going to consider the nature of the charge that you’re accused of. If you’re charged with a DUI, for example, the bond will be much less expensive than if you’ve been charged with a crime such as trafficking cocaine, or being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon. There are many factors that judges look into when setting bonds, but experienced criminal defense attorneys should be able to articulate certain things that would give the judge comfort in letting you out on a bond as inexpensively as possible.
If you’ve been accused of committing a crime
You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact me at Bailey Law Firm. I’m Tyler Bailey. I represent individuals who’ve been accused of committing crimes all throughout South Carolina. Visit my website, baileylawfirmsc.com. You can reach us over the phone anytime at (803) 395-0783. Take care.