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Domestic Violence Bond

Anyone charged with Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV) or Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature (DVHAN) is entitled to having a bond set soon after arrest. Bond setting is typically conducted by a Magistrate Judge at a Bond Court, usually situated either inside or in close proximity to the jail. Bond Court is typically held every day of the week, including weekends or holidays.

The right to have a bond set in CDV cases is established by Article I § 15 of the S.C. State Constitution and by S.C. Code § 17-15-10. At the initial bond setting the Magistrate is most particularly concerned with whether or not the defendant presents a risk of flight and whether they present a danger or threat to the community. The alleged victim will be provided with notice of the bond setting and may attend. If so the Judge will usually inquire if they feel the Defendant presents a danger to them.

CDV Bonds may be either personal recognizance (meaning the Defendant signs themselves out) or a cash bond. If a cash bond is set the Defendant or their family can post that amount with the Court or hire a bail bondsman. If the Defendant or their family owns real estate with no liens there is also a procedure to use the value of the property to satisfy a cash bond. If a cash bond is required by the Court it may be forfeited if the Defendant fails to appear at their Court date or if they violate other Bond conditions.

In addition to setting a bond amount a South Carolina Bond Court also has the authority to impose other restrictions. The most common for a CDV case is that the Defendant is to have no contact with the alleged victim. This can be imposed even in situations where the alleged victim specifically advises the Court that they do not feel that the Defendant is a threat and they wish to have continued contact. If "no contact" or other bond provisions are violated this can result in separate contempt charges which can be punished by up to 30 days or more imprisonment in the jail. There are no exceptions in a standard no contact order for situations involving a shared residence.

If bond is set at an unreasonably high level, or denied altogether, a defendant has a right to request that their bond be reconsidered by a Circuit Court judge. If unreasonable conditions are imposed, such as a "no contact" order for a spouse or roommate, a motion to modify this portion of the bond can be made to either the Court that your case is assigned to. It is important that if you are seeking relief from a high bond or from a "no contact order that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin making the arrangements to get your case back to Court.

In Lexington County CDV Bonds are set at the Lexington County Bond Court located at 521 Gibson Road, Lexington, South Carolina 29072. In Richland County CDV Bonds are set at the Richland County Bond Court located at 201 John Mark Dial Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29209. Bond Court is open to the general public.

If you would like to discuss setting or modifying a CDV bond please contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, at (803) 359-3301.

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