Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 40: Criminal Procedure

Chapter 11: Bail

Part 1: Admission to Bail

TCA 40-11-118: Execution and deposit -- Bail set no higher than necessary -- Factors considered -- Bonds and sureties. -- [Amended effective January 1, 2011. See the Compilers Notes.]

(a) Any defendant for whom bail has been set may execute the bail bond and deposit with the clerk of the court before which the proceeding is pending a sum of money in cash equal to the amount of the bail. Upon depositing this sum, the defendant shall be released from custody subject to the conditions of the bail bond. Bail shall be set as low as the court determines is necessary to reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required.

(b) In determining the amount of bail necessary to reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant while at the same time protecting the safety of the public, the magistrate shall consider the following:

(1) The defendant's length of residence in the community;

(2) The defendant's employment status and history and financial condition;

(3) The defendant's family ties and relationships;

(4) The defendant's reputation, character and mental condition;

(5) The defendant's prior criminal record, record of appearance at court proceedings, record of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings;

(6) The nature of the offense and the apparent probability of conviction and the likely sentence;

(7) The defendant's prior criminal record and the likelihood that because of that record the defendant will pose a risk of danger to the community;

(8) The identity of responsible members of the community who will vouch for the defendant's reliability; however, no member of the community may vouch for more than two (2) defendants at any time while charges are still pending or a forfeiture is outstanding; and

(9) Any other factors indicating the defendant's ties to the community or bearing on the risk of the defendant's willful failure to appear.

(c) (1) Whenever a court's judgment includes the requirement that the defendant pay a fine or cost, the court may require that the payment of the fine or cost be secured by surety bond or other appropriate undertaking if such defendant has a history of past due fines and costs. A parent, guardian or other responsible party may be permitted to act as surety in order to guarantee the payment of the fine or cost.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, unless the surety executes a bond or agreement which specifically makes the surety liable for the fine, cost, or restitution, no surety shall be held liable for the fine, cost or restitution without the surety's consent.

(d) (1) When the court is determining the amount and conditions of bail to be imposed upon a defendant, the court shall consider the use of special conditions for the defendant, including, but not limited to, the conditions set out in subdivision (d)(2), if the defendant is charged with a violation of SC 39-13-106, SC 39-13-213(a)(2), SC 39-13-218 or SC 55-10-401, and the defendant has one (1) or more prior convictions for a violation of SC 39-13-106, SC 39-13-213(a)(2), SC 39-13-218 or SC 55-10-401.

(2) The special conditions the court shall consider pursuant to subdivision (d)(1) are:

(A) The use of ignition interlock devices;

(B) The use of transdermal monitoring devices or other alternative alcohol monitoring devices;

(C) The use of electronic monitoring with random alcohol or drug testing; or

(D) Pretrial residency in an in-patient alcohol or drug rehabilitation center.

(3) As used in this subsection (d), "court" includes any person authorized by SC 40-11-106 to take bail.

(e) After an inquiry pursuant to SC 40-7-123 into the citizenship status of a defendant who is arrested for causing a traffic accident resulting in either the death or serious bodily injury, as defined in SC 55-50-502, of another while driving without a valid driver license and evidence of financial responsibility as required by SC 55-12-139, if it is determined that the defendant is not lawfully present in the United States, when determining the amount of bail, the defendant may be deemed a risk of flight.

History: Acts 1978, ch. 506, SC 18; 1982, ch. 620, SC 1; T.C.A., SC 40-1218; Acts 1992, ch. 946, SC 1; 1996, ch. 851, SC 1; 2010, ch. 867, SC 1; 2011, ch. 487, SCSC 1, 2; 2012, ch. 1011, SC 1.