Bail refers to the release from custody of an accused before trial. The South Carolina Constitution guarantees that all persons accused of a crime are entitled to bail pending trial, except in capital cases or offenses punishable by life imprisonment. The Constitution also provides that excessive bail cannot be charged. No judge can set bail at a figure higher than an amount reasonably calculated to insure the presence of the accused at trial. See Stack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1, 72 S.Ct. 1, 96 L.Ed.3 (1961).
If the court determines, in its discretion, that a personal recognizance bond will not reasonably assure the appearance of the accused, or that an unreasonable danger to the community will result, a surety bond may be required. Additionally, conditions and restrictions on this bond can be set by the judge. A surety is indebted to the state in the amount of the bond if the accused fails to appear at any court proceeding or otherwise violates the terms of the bond. A surety bond may be executed, using Bond Form II, in several different ways: