Interviewer: At what point do people usually start looking for an attorney and at what point do they start talking to you?

Freddy: The point that they start looking for an attorney is after they’ve been arrested. Most people do not know that they’re going to be arrested for something ahead of time unless they’ve done something really wrong and happened to get away to their home and know that the police are looking for them. Otherwise, they get arrested and after they get arrested, at the instant they get arrested, they are told they have the right to an attorney. They’re told that in something called Miranda rights.

So, they tell you, “You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney,” that collection of rights called Miranda rights. Usually, at that point, most people want to talk to an attorney and while they’re sitting in the jail cell, waiting to be bonded out or waiting on bail, that’s when they start thinking, “I need to call somebody about this to help me.”

Going Before a Judge to Hear the Charges Against You

Interviewer:When someone’s in jail, before they’re just let out on bail, they have to go see a judge. Right? They have to appear before a judge to at least hear what they’ve been accused of and why they’ve been arrested?

Freddy: That’s correct. That’s done. The judge brings the charges. The judge has the charges at the bench. The officer is standing there and the officer hands paperwork to the judge and says, “Judge, we have this particular person who has been charged with this crime,” and at that point, that person stands there and can decide what they want to tell the judge about bail.

Will You Be Eligible for Bail?

Now, when it comes to bail, there are only two considerations and that is whether or not that person is a flight risk, meaning, will they run away after they get bail? Will they never see them again? Do they live out of state? Do they live far away? Do they have a bad criminal history and have a record of running?

That’s called a flight risk and the other is whether or not they’re a danger to the community; that is, is their crime so bad that they created a danger to the community. Are they out there raping people, for example? Are they out there shooting people? Was it a crime where they used a gun or knife or dangerous weapon? Do they have an emotional crime or crime of passion against an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend?

If they’re a flight risk or danger to the community, the bail is higher or the bail is denied. If they’re not a flight risk or danger to the community in, for example, the DUI case or something of that nature, where they’ve just been a danger in terms of driving, maybe, at that particular point, then they can just receive the standard bail and they can make the bail and get released until it’s time for court.

Bail and Special Stipulations of Bail

Interviewer:All right. So, the act of releasing someone when they’ve been arrested, is that called release conditions, of which bail is one of them?

Freddy: No. Not in our state. Not in South Carolina. They just call it bail, or getting a bond, where someone will get bonded out and they call the terms of bail special stipulations of bail, meaning that as a requirement of being able to get bailed out, they have abide by certain instructions. These instructions could be they have to pay a certain amount of money or they can’t have any contact with the victim. Where that would come in to play, most often, is with a CDV case where a husband and a wife or two parties who were boyfriend and girlfriend were involved in the situation that created the arrest.

The person, who gets charged with CDV, or criminal domestic violence, is called a defendant. That criminal domestic violence defendant, that person, is required, usually as a special stipulation or special condition of bail or bond to not have any contact with the other person until that case is heard in court.

By Freddy Woods