In an effort to protect residents and others who find themselves in court and in need of the help of a bail bond company, South Dakota has a number of regulations and limitations in place. For example, a state law makes it illegal for a specified group of people to “directly or indirectly receive any benefits from the execution of any bond.” These prohibited individuals include jailers, police officers, the committing magistrate, magistrate court judges, sheriff’s, deputy sheriffs and constables.
If you are arrested in South Dakota, here are 5 things you should know about posting bail:
1. 3 Ways to Get Out of Jail
Personal recognizance – This type of bond is the option most sought after by defendants because it allows a release from jail without paying any money. Generally, only defendants accused of non-violent crimes with no prior criminal history who also have ties to community are granted a PR release.
Cash bond – If a defendant has the money to pay for the entire amount of bail, or can get the money from a co-signor, this is generally the quickest way to be released from jail. It is usually only chosen with misdemeanors and small bail amounts, and those offenses normally have preset bail schedules. Whoever puts up the cash bond gets the money back if the defendant shows up for all scheduled court appearances, minus only court costs and fees.
Surety bond – A bail bond company can assist a defendant who is unable to pay the entire amount in cash. With a surety bond, the defendant signs a contract agreeing to show up in court in exchange for a payment of usually 10 percent of the bail amount to the bail agent. The bail bond agent then guarantees the entire amount of the bail in what is essentially an insurance agreement. The bail bond company pays no more money as long as the defendant doesn’t violate any bail conditions. A co-signor can help or pay the entire 10 percent, but is legally liable if the defendant jumps bail.
2. How to Get Bail
Bail is pre-determined for many of the most common misdemeanor offenses. A defendant can begin arrangements to post that bail as soon as he or she is processed into the jail facility – a process that can take a couple of hours or so. If a bail bond agent is involved, preparing and filing the bond can take another hour or several hours – depending on the size and how busy the local jail or county detention facility is.
3. What Will Bail Cost
If a surety bond is involved, most agencies charge 10 percent in South Dakota, along with generally minor fees. That charge is called the bail premium and is the cost of doing business with a bail bond company. With a cash bond, virtually all of the money is returned to the defendant or co-signor, with the exception of court fees and costs.
4. How Long Will I Stay in Jail
Depending on the situation, it can take only a few hours to be released on bond. That’s usually when the offense involved is a misdemeanor and the defendant is not judged to pose any danger to the community or unlikely to show up in court. For a more serious crime, a bail hearing must first be held. Defendants arrested at night and on the weekend may not get released on bail until at least the next day. The bail process can take longer if a defendant is unable to afford the amount set by the magistrate and requests a bond reduction hearing. And for the most serious crimes, and other felonies involving violence, a judge may decide that the defendant should be held in jail without bail.
5. What if I Miss a Court Appearance?
The court will begin the forfeiture process, although a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to argue on a defendant’s behalf and have that decision set aside. Otherwise, a warrant for failure to appear is issued. That is a separate crime – a Class 6 felony in South Dakota – punishable by up to 2 years in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. When a bail forfeiture is ordered, the defendant or co-signor – or both – will be responsible to repay the entire amount of the bail to the bail bond company. Any collateral that was put up to guarantee bail can be seized and sold by the bail bond company.
The information contained above is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice you should visit an attorney.