BAIL BONDS – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
RELY ON OUR BAIL BONDING COMPANY
SERVING BERKELEY COUNTY, DORCHESTER COUNTY & CHARLESTON, SC
What is a bail bond?
How do bail bonds work?
A bail bond is a contract between the defendant, a bail bondsman, and the State of South Carolina. A bail bondsman will front the money on behalf of the defendant, in order to get them out of jail. By paying the bond an agreement is made stating the defendant will attend their court dates. If the defendant does not make their court date, the bail bondsman must pay the full amount of the bond.
When is bail set?
When someone is arrested, their name and personal information are entered into the police system, their picture and fingerprints are taken, and their personal belongings are held in impound. They are then given a sobriety test, allowed to make one phone call, and then locked in a cell.
Without bail, the person who has been arrested must remain in jail until the hearing. In order to help people prepare for court and to keep jails free, courts post a bail amount. A bail hearing is usually scheduled within 48 hours of arrest where a judge will determine how much bail will be.
What affects the bail amount?
Crimes such as petty theft will result in a lower bail amount than a crime such as grand larceny or more violent crimes – these offenses are more likely to have a higher bail amount. If someone has an extensive criminal history, it is quite likely the bail amount will be increased.
Significant differences exist in costs of bail bonds depending on the charge being a misdemeanor vs a felony – felony charges can be 5 to 10 times higher due to the potential flight risk from a possible long-term sentence. The judge can also deny bail, meaning remaining in jail until sentencing.
When can bail be posted?
Many petty crimes and already have a set bail amount, and in this case, bail is able to be posted immediately after being processed. In other cases, bail cannot be posted until after the bail hearing. The advantage of having to remain in jail until a bail hearing is that an attorney can be hired to help argue for a reduced bail amount.