BOND HEARINGS – DO YOU NEED A LAWYER
Do you really need to have a lawyer? Hi, my name’s Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, South Carolina. And today we’re talking about bond hearings.
Bond Hearing within 24-48 hours
Following your arrest, you’ll go in front of a Magistrate Judge within about 24 to 48 hours after you’ve been incarcerated. A Magistrate Judge is the first court appearance you’re going to have following your arrest, so the appearance is important. A Magistrate Judge has the authority to set or deny bond in most charges, except for charges that are punishable by death or have a life imprisonment potential sentence. In those cases, a circuit court judge will have to determine whether a bond is going to be set or not, and the earliest that that’s going to occur is within 30 days after your arrest, but typically longer than that.
Types of Bonds
So what does a magistrate judge do? A Magistrate Judge has the authority to set the bond and the type of bond that you get and also how much money is going to be required for you to be released from jail and any terms and conditions to comply with that bond.
There are a couple of things that you need to remember when it comes to bond hearings. First and foremost is that it is a court appearance and that means that anything you say can and will be used against you by the state. So it’s important to remain silent when it comes to discussing facts, when it comes to discussing your guilt or innocence or anything associated with the case. If a judge asks you about where you work, where you live, things like that, yes, that’s fine to answer, but don’t discuss anything else apart from those factors. The second thing to remember is that a Magistrate Judge is not there to determine your guilt or innocence. The only purpose at a bond hearing is to determine whether they’re going to set a bond and if they do, the type and the amount that’s going to be required as a condition on that bond.
What’s Important at a Bond Hearing?
So what does a Magistrate Judge look at when they decide whether they’re going to set a bond or not in your case? There are a number of factors that come into play that a court considers. One is what’s called danger to the community. Second is risk of flight. Third is your criminal history. The judge will also have a copy of the police report and they’ll be able to review that before the bond hearing to have a brief idea of the facts outlining charge. They will look at whether you are a member of a gang and they’ll also need to determine whether you’re a legal resident in the country or not. Some of the other factors that may come up in your bond hearing are things as your ties to the community.
That typically means, do you have any family that live in the area? Do you have any children? Have you lived in the area? And if you have, how long have you lived here for? Do you work here? What type of work do you do and how long have you been employed? All these factors are important when it comes to considering whether you’re a flight risk or not. If a judge does decide to set a bond, it’s typically one of three types of bonds.
First is what’s called a personal recognizance bond, and this type of bond means that a cash amount will be set, but you don’t need to put any money to be released from jail. And so following that bond hearing, you you will be released from jail typically within one to four hours after the bond hearing.
The second type of bond is what’s called a surety bond, and in that type of a bond, a bondsman will be required to go on the bond and some sort of payment will be required to the bondsman to be able to get yourself out of jail.
The third one is what’s called a cash bond, and in this scenario, you’ll have to deposit a certain amount of money with the clerk of court before you can be released from jail.
Why You Need a Lawyer
During the bond hearing, there’s typically going to be two sides there in the courtroom. There’ll be someone from the state, typically either law enforcement and a prosecutor, sometimes both. If a victim is involved and has been notified and they show up, they will be heard by the court and then of course you will be able to be heard or have someone speak on your behalf such as an attorney or family members. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s important to have an attorney represent you so you don’t have to give any details in the court and you can have someone to represent you in front of that judge, and they can put your best case forward as to why you should get a bond and how much it should be set for.
Good defense attorneys know that it’s important to be involved in bond hearings and to be involved in as early as possible. Because there’s typically only a short timeframe between the time of your arrest and before you go in front of a Magistrate, an attorney needs to get involved as quickly as possible to learn as much as possible about you and what’s going on in the case. So if you have been charged with a crime and would like to talk to me about a bond hearing, please give me a call at (843) 530-7813. I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.