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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Sponsors: Rep. Jennings
Document Path: l:\council\bills\ms\7244ahb07.doc
Introduced in the House on April 11, 2007
Introduced in the Senate on May 29, 2007
Last Amended on April 9, 2008
Currently residing in conference committee
Summary: Bench Warrants
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4/11/2007 House Introduced and read first time HJ-12 4/11/2007 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-12 5/23/2007 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary HJ-37 5/24/2007 House Amended HJ-38 5/24/2007 House Read second time HJ-41 5/24/2007 House Unanimous consent for third reading on next legislative day HJ-41 5/24/2007 Scrivener's error corrected 5/25/2007 House Read third time and sent to Senate 5/29/2007 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-10 5/29/2007 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-10 6/1/2007 Senate Referred to Subcommittee: Hutto (ch), Jackson, Knotts, Bryant 4/2/2008 Senate Committee report: Favorable Judiciary SJ-9 4/9/2008 Senate Amended SJ-93 4/9/2008 Senate Read second time SJ-93 4/10/2008 Senate Read third time and returned to House with amendments SJ-27 4/17/2008 House Non-concurrence in Senate amendment HJ-82 6/3/2008 Senate Senate insists upon amendment and conference committee appointed Knotts, Hutto, and Bryant SJ-17 6/4/2008 House Conference committee appointed Reps. GM Smith, Herbkersman, and Rutherford HJ-1
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 9, 2008
S. Printed 4/9/08--S.
Read the first time May 29, 2007.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 17-15-90 SO AS TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN THE PERSON HAS BEEN RELEASED ON BOND; TO AMEND SECTION 38-53-50, RELATING TO SURETY RELIEVED ON BOND AND SURRENDER OF A DEFENDANT, SO AS TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES WHEN A BENCH WARRANT MAY BE ISSUED FOR ARREST OF A DEFENDANT AND TO PROVIDE THAT NONPAYMENT OF FEES ALONE DOES NOT WARRANT IMMEDIATE INCARCERATION OF THE DEFENDANT; AND TO AMEND SECTION 38-53-70, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF A BENCH WARRANT AND THE REMISSION OF JUDGMENT, SO AS TO INCREASE THE PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE THE BOND IS FORFEITED FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR FROM THIRTY TO NINETY DAYS FROM THE ISSUANCE OF THE BENCH WARRANT AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE BENCH WARRANT MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP BY THE SURETY WITHIN SEVEN DAYS OF ISSUANCE.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 15, Title 17 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 17-15-90. A person released pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15, Title 17 who wilfully fails to appear before the court as required must:
(1) if he was released in connection with a charge for a felony or while awaiting sentencing after conviction, be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both; or
(2) if he was released in connection with a charge for a misdemeanor for which the maximum possible sentence was at least one year, be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both."
SECTION 2. Section 38-53-50 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 38-53-50. (A) A surety desiring to be relieved on a bond for
"good cause " or the nonpayment of fees shall file with the clerk of court a motion to be relieved on the bond. A copy of the motion must be served upon the defendant, his attorney, and the solicitor's office. The court then shall then schedule a hearing to determine if the surety should be relieved on the bond and advise notify all parties of the hearing date. At the time of the filing of the motion, a fee of twenty dollars must be paid to the clerk of court to be retained by the clerk for use in the operation of the clerk's office. The fee will cover the cost of copies of the motion required by the surety.
(B) If the circumstances warrant immediate incarceration of the defendant to prevent imminent violation of
any one of the specific terms of the bail bond, or if the defendant has violated any one of the specific terms of the bond, the surety may take the defendant to the appropriate detention facility for holding until the court orders that the surety be relieved. The surety, within three business days following recommitment, must immediately file with the detention facility and the court an affidavit clocked in with the clerk of court on a form provided by the Division of Court Administration stating the facts to support the surrender of the defendant for good cause or the nonpayment of fees. Nonpayment of fees alone is not sufficient cause to warrant immediate incarceration of the defendant. When the defendant and the affidavit are presented at the appropriate detention facility, the facility shall take custody of the defendant. When the affidavit is filed with the court, the surety must also shall file a motion to be relieved on the bond pursuant to subsection (A). A surety who surrenders a defendant and files an affidavit which does not show good cause or the nonpayment of fees is subject to penalties imposed for perjury as provided for in Article 1, Chapter 9 of , Title 16.
(C) If the defendant is incarcerated by the surety or a law enforcement agency as a result of a bench warrant, the surety shall file an affidavit with the court stating that the defendant is incarcerated in the appropriate detention facility as a result of the bench warrant as well as the violation of the specific term or terms of the bail bond stated in the bench warrant. Once the affidavit pursuant to the provisions of this subsection has been filed, the surety is relieved of all liability on the bail bond by the court.
(D) After the surety has been relieved by order of the court, a new undertaking must be filed with the appropriate court in order to secure the
re-release subsequent release of the defendant. The undertaking must contain the same conditions included in the original bond unless the conditions have been changed by the court."
SECTION 3. Section 38-53-70 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 329 of 2002, is further amended to read:
"Section 38-53-70. If a defendant fails to appear at a court proceeding to which he has been summoned, the court
must shall issue a bench warrant for the defendant. The court shall make available for pickup by the surety or the representative of the surety who executed the bond on their behalf, a true copy of the bench warrant within seven days of its issuance at the clerk of court's office. If the surety fails to surrender the defendant or place a hold on the defendant's release from incarceration, commitment, or institutionalization within thirty ninety days of the issuance of the bench warrant, the bond shall be is forfeited. At any time before execution is issued on a judgment of forfeiture against a defendant or his surety, the court may direct that the judgment be remitted in whole or in part, upon conditions as the court may impose, if it appears that justice requires the remission of part or all of the judgment. In making a determination as to remission of the judgment, the court shall consider the costs to the State or any a county or municipality resulting from the necessity to continue or terminate the defendant's trial and the efforts of law enforcement officers or agencies to locate the defendant. The court, in its discretion, may permit the surety to pay the estreatment in installments for a period of up to six months; however, the surety must shall pay a handling fee to the court in an amount equal to four percent of the value of the bond. If at any time during the period in which installments are to be paid the defendant is surrendered to the appropriate detention facility and the surety complies with the re-commitment procedures, the surety is relieved of any further liability."
SECTION 4. Section 22-5-110 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 22-5-110. (A) Magistrates shall cause to be arrested all persons found within their counties charged with any offense and persons who after committing any offense within the county escape out of it, examine into treasons, felonies, grand larcenies, high crimes and misdemeanors, commit or bind over for trial those who appear to be guilty of crimes or offenses not within their jurisdiction and punish those guilty of such offenses within their jurisdiction.
(B) Notwithstanding another provision of law, a person charged with any misdemeanor offense requiring a warrant signed by non-law enforcement personnel to ensure the arrest of a person must be given a courtesy summons."
SECTION 5. Section 17-15-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 17-15-30. (A) In determining conditions of release that will reasonably assure appearance, or if release would constitute an unreasonable danger to any other person or the community, the court may, on the basis of available information, consider the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the accused's family ties, employment, financial resources, character and mental condition, the length of his residence in the community, his record of convictions, and his record of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at other court proceedings.
(B) The court shall consider:
(1) the accused's criminal record, if any, including, but not limited to, any charges pending against the accused at the time release is requested;
The court shall consider, if available, all incident reports generated as a result of the offense charged, if available; and
(3) whether the accused is not lawfully present in the United States in violation of the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act or another federal law relating to illegal immigration and poses a substantial flight risk due to this status.
(C) If a person has previously been released on bail pending trial and during his release is charged with a violent offense as defined by Section 16-1-60, and the court finds that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required or the safety of any other person and the community, then the court shall deny release of the person pending trial."
SECTION 6. Section 22-5-510 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 22-5-510. (A) Magistrates may admit to bail a person charged with an offense, the punishment of which is not death or imprisonment for life; provided, however, with respect to violent offenses as defined by the General Assembly pursuant to Section 15, Article I of the Constitution of South Carolina, magistrates may deny bail giving due weight to the evidence and to the nature and circumstances of the event, including, but not limited to, any charges pending against the person requesting bail. 'Violent offenses' as used in this section means the offenses contained in Section 16-1-60. If a person under lawful arrest on a charge not bailable is brought before a magistrate, the magistrate shall commit the person to jail. If the offense charged is bailable, the magistrate shall take recognizance with sufficient surety, if it is offered, in default whereof the person must be incarcerated.
(B) A person charged with a bailable offense must have a bond hearing within twenty-four hours of his arrest and must be released within a reasonable time, not to exceed four hours, after the bond is delivered to the incarcerating facility."
SECTION 7. The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded thereon, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.
SECTION 8. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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