When a family member or friend is arrested, it can be an incredibly frustrating and stressful experience trying to find out where they are being held, where the bond hearing is going to be, and how to help them get out of jail.

The criminal defense attorneys at Templeton, Mims, & Ward can help you to find your loved one, determine when and where their bond hearing will be held, and help to get them released by attending their bond hearing, filing a motion to set bond, or filing a Motion to Reconsider Bond.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How bond hearings work in SC,
  • The possible outcomes of a bond hearing in SC,
  • The types of bail that are possible in SC, and
  • Why bail might be denied in SC.

Getting Out of Jail in SC

Although every person who is charged with a crime in SC is entitled to a bond hearing, not every person is entitled to bond.

Whenever possible, it is important that you retain an attorney before your bond hearing because:

  • Your bond attorney will know what to say to the court – and what not to say. Your bond hearing is not your trial, and the bond judge only needs to hear evidence or testimony that is related to the factors they must consider when deciding whether to grant bond and how much.
  • If bond is denied at your first bond hearing, you may be required to wait six months or until your attorney can prove that there has been a change in circumstances before you can ask the court again.
  • Your efforts to retain an attorney early in the case can affect the court’s decision as to whether to grant bond and the type of bond that is granted – one of the court’s concerns is whether you will show up for your court dates, and the court knows that your attorney will help to ensure you are notified and you do not miss court.

Important SC Bond Questions: Where do I go? How long does it take? Can I get it reduced?

My Family Member was Arrested – Where is the Bond Hearing?

The location of the bond hearing will depend on where the person was arrested and which law enforcement agency made the arrest. For example:

  • If you are arrested outside of city limits, your bond hearing will be in the magistrate court. This is often done in a small courtroom at the county jail, but, in some cases, it could happen at another magistrate court location.
  • If you are arrested within city limits, your bond hearing will usually be held at the municipal court for the city in which you were arrested. You may be held at a city detention facility until after the bond hearing, and then transferred to the county jail.

You may be able to locate an inmate by searching the county jail’s website or calling the sheriff’s office in the county where the person was arrested:

Charleston County

Dorchester County

Berkeley County

How Long Does It Take to Get Out on Bond in SC?

In most cases, bond hearings are held the same day or the morning after an arrest. Bond hearings must be held within 48 hours of an arrest unless the person is charged with an offense that carries a potential penalty of up to life in prison (murder, for example).

Burglary first degree charges are an exception to this rule. Although first-degree burglary is punishable by life in prison, magistrates are authorized to hold a bond hearing within 48 hours of the arrest.

If bond is denied at the initial bond hearing, in most cases, you must wait another six months or until there is a change in circumstances before you can ask the court to set a bond.

If your attorney must file a motion to set bond in General Sessions Court, or a motion to reconsider a denial of bond, it could take weeks or even months before a hearing is scheduled – and the hearing may not be scheduled at all unless you have an attorney who files the motion on your behalf.

Can I Get a Bond Reduction in SC?

If you cannot pay the bond amount or if your bond was denied, we can file a Motion to Reconsider Bond, but we will need to prove that there has been a change in circumstances or that six months has passed.

Bond Hearings in SC – Types of Bond

There are four types of bond that are available in SC – whether you are granted bond and the type of bond that the court orders are determined by factors that the court must consider when setting bond, including:

  • The nature of the charges and the circumstances of your arrest,
  • Whether you are employed,
  • Your family ties and other connections to the community,
  • Whether you are a flight risk, and
  • Whether you are a danger to the community.

For some types of minor charges, bond cannot be denied and cannot exceed the maximum fine allowable by law. In many cases, the bond court will impose bond conditions like a no-contact order for an alleged victim or a requirement that you wear an ankle monitor when you are released.

Personal Recognizance Bond (PR Bond)

If you are granted a PR bond, the court agrees to release you in exchange for your promise to return and appear at all court dates. You will not have to pay money to the court or hire a bondsman, but, if you do not appear in court, then you will have to pay the bond amount (and possibly remain in jail).

Surety Bond

If you are granted a surety bond, you must hire a bondsman or post property with the clerk of court to secure your release. The bondsman will charge you a non-refundable fee to get you out of jail.

Cash Bond

If you are given a cash bond, you must post the full amount of bond with the clerk of court, and it will be returned (minus administrative fees) at the conclusion of your case.

10% Bond

If you are given a 10% bond, you must post 10% of the full bond amount with the clerk of court, and it will be returned (minus administrative fees) at the conclusion of your case.

Questions About Getting Out on Bond in SC?

If your loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime in SC, contact the bail-bond lawyers at Templeton, Mims, & Ward at 843-285-5090 or by sending us an email through our website to set up a consultation to find out how we can help.

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Let’s discuss the details of your case and see if we can help.