You’ve gotten the phone call from your brother who is at the Spartanburg County jail, begging for you to get him out. What will it take?
The law is a lot like life: the right answer is, “it all depends.” There are several types of bail bonds. And bond is only part of bail, which orders the release of the accused before trial. The bail order usually sets other conditions for how the accused person must conduct his life before trial. A violation of any term can result in re-arrest and staying in jail until the case is over. Violating bail also means the State can get the money on the bond.
Common Types of Bail Bonds in South Carolina:
- Personal Recognizance (PR Bond). This is usually given for very minor offenses. It requires no money be paid to get out. The judge will allow a release on personal recognizance only if it’s clear that the accused person presents no danger to the general public and that he/she will appear for trial.
If the judge determines a PR bond isn’t appropriate, then money must be paid to get the accused out of jail. There are a few different ways the money can be ordered to be paid:
- Cash Bond. The full amount of the bond is deposited with the clerk of court. Whoever put the money up can get it back at the end of the case, as long as the accused does not violate the bail order.
- Cash Percentage of Bond. Ten percent of the bond is deposited with the clerk of court. A $50,000 bond requires a $5,000 deposit. If the accused violates bail, the State can get the rest by seizing his property up to the full amount. If the accused follows the bail conditions and shows up for trial, the deposit will be refunded at the end of the case.
- Surety Bond. By far the most popular option, this requires a bail bondsman to pay if the accused violates bail. The bail bondsman gets a non-refundable fee, usually 10 percent of the bond amount. If the bond amount is $50,000, the bail bondsman’s fee will probably be $5,000.
It’s Not All About the Money: Typical Conditions of Bail Bond Orders
All bail orders usually contain some or all of the following conditions:
- No leaving the state without court permission
- Good behavior
- No contact with alleged victims
- No contact with co-defendants
- Notifying the court of address change
It Can Always Get Worse: Less Common Bail Bond Terms
These terms are much harsher than the ones above. At Holland & Usry, we do all we can to prevent these terms from being ordered because they can be so expensive that they prevent release:
- Home detention with GPS monitoring. Judges usually use this for the most serious charges. This can be very expensive; depending on the level of monitoring ordered, it costs from around $180 a month to about $400 a month. It allows travel only to home, work, school, doctor and lawyer appointments, and church.
- Alcohol monitoring. This is sometimes ordered for repeat DUI offenses or serious alcohol-related offenses. It’s also a very costly requirement, at about $300 a month.
Judges set bail based on several factors. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will know how to address them in front of a judge to get the best bail order possible.
At Holland & Usry, when we get involved with a client who’s in jail, our goal for bail is to get our client out quickly at the lowest bond amount (if any), without unreasonable terms that make it too hard to avoid re-arrest. If you or a loved one are even being investigated for an alleged crime, call us right now to see if we can get involved immediately. We will work to help you get out of jail as soon as possible if authorities are planning to charge you with a crime. You can reach us toll free at 888-230-1841 to schedule a free, confidential meeting. We serve Spartanburg, Gaffney, Cherokee County and beyond.