NO BOND in Domestic Violence charges

What is a 50B in NCCommunicating threats, assault, stalking, and other felony charges in North Carolina, if categorized as domestic violence, are clearly serious.  If arrested, the terms and conditions of release may result in no way to immediately bond out, at least for a couple of days.

That’s because, under the NC Criminal Laws, crimes of domestic violence require pre-trial release and bail be determined by a district court judge.  Unlike many other legal matters, including many if not most felony charges, a magistrate is not authorized to set bond or otherwise address the conditions of release for DV cases.

Even with no prior record, you may find youself in jail for a period of time until a judge is available.  That’s tough. The statute is written such that, unless the particular jursidiction can fast-track DV court appearances, people sit in jail with no way to get out for a substantial period of time- Bill Powers, Criminal Defense Lawyer Charlotte NC 

While defense lawyers may refer to them as a “magistrate judge,” they do not possess the same statutory authority as superior court and district court judges.  By statute, the judicial official must be a judge and only a judge.  See N.C.G.S. 15A-534.1 click here.

Given larger jurisdictions like Charlotte (Mecklenburg County – 26th Judicial District) normally have at least one administrative court Monday – Friday, some people arrested Friday evening for DV charges in Charlotte may have an initial appearance as early as Monday morning.

In Charlotte, many DV cases are handled in Courtroom 4130 on what is referred to by Defense Lawyers, Judges, and Prosecutors the “C Docket.”  If you have specific questions about a “no bond” situation in Charlotte, Monroe, Gastonia, or one of the surrounding districts, call criminal defense attorney Bill Powers for a free consultation:  704-342-4357.

The Powers Law Firm PA, as able, regularly responds to after-hour inquiries, weekend, holiday, and emergency calls from friends and family regarding domestic violence charges.   You may also reach the attorneys at our law office by email at

How long does a Judge have to set a Bond or Pre-Trial Release?

Generally speaking, bail conditions for domestic violence charges, for both felony or misdemeanor charges, must be set within 48 hours.  Thereafter, if a judge has not set a bond or is otherwise unavailable within 48 hours, a magistrate is directed to follow the conditions for setting a release on domestic violence charges.

That law is in addition to the standard provisions within N.C.G.S. 15A-534, which sets forth the NC procedures for determining pre-trial release for criminal charges in North Carolina.

The practical effect of the law is that if you’re arrested on the weekend, you’re likely going to be sitting in jail until Monday morning or when a judge is available to review a formal criminal history report, which is also mandated under the statute.  The Court may not unreasonably delay the proceedings, waiting for the report.

The “48-hour rule” begins at the time of the arrest for domestic violence charges (together with the other covered provisions under the law), and also applies to matters involving alleged violations of 50B Domestic Violence Protective Orders, domestic criminal trespass, spouses, former spouses, dating relationships, and people who live together “as married.”

As such, while North Carolina does not recognize Common Law Marriage for the purposes of divorce proceedings, the Crimes of Domestic Violence bond statute is broadly written to include such domestic relationships.

Conditions for Release in Domestic Violence Charges

In addition to mandating review by a duly authorized judge, the statute authorizes the court (the Judge) to place special terms and conditions for release, in addition to even a secured bond, such as:

  • Stay away from the alleged victim or complainant
    • Work, school, home, business
  • Do not assault, threaten, harass, wound, or molest the alleged victim
  • Do not injure, damage, or remove items from property that is identified specifically
  • Limit and/or authorize child visitation at places and times under another existing order
  • Do not drink alcohol
    • Proof of abstinence may be mandated via a SCRAM device
      • Secured
      • Continuous
      • Remote
      • Alcohol
      • Monitoring

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer – Bill Powers

We offer a FREE CONSULTATION if you or a loved one faces allegations of criminal charges.  Everything you tell us is confidential.  If you have questions about Bond, Bail, Conditions of Release, and DV charges, call Bill Powers now.


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