After an arrest, it’s normal to have questions about bond and getting out of jail. Most jurisdictions in North Carolina now have release policies regarding standard, preferred practices involving both felony and misdemeanor charges.
While there are some common themes and protocols regarding bail, as set forth in under the NC bond laws, the specifics of each case are different.
Policies concerning bail and pre-trial release in NC
“If you have a loved-one or friend in jail, give us a ring. We are more than willing to explain the legal options regarding bail and bond.”
– Bill Powers, Defense Attorney
Settings conditions of release is generally intended for three purposes: 1. The safety of the community from further harm or crimes; 2. The safety of the person facing criminal charges; and, 3. To confirm appearance in court.
Jail is not intended to be a punishment. It is not the same thing as prison. There are additional rights and legal protections afforded to people accused of crimes as opposed to those serving prison time after being found guilty or pleading guilty.
There is the Presumption of Innocence afforded those in jail awaiting trial. You may have heard that referred to as Innocent Until Proven Guilty, obviously assuming the State can meet its burden of proof.
As such, the bond laws in North Carolina reflect that presumption. Both Magistrates and Judges, considering terms and conditions of release, including the type and amount of a bond, take into account whether you’re likely to commit future crimes, whether you’re a danger to yourself or others, and finally, whether you will return to court to face the charges if released from jail.
Bail and bond do not apply with a Criminal Summons, as those do not result in an arrest and being taken into custody.
Sample Pre Teiql Release and Bail Policies in North Carolina:
§ 15A-535 requires the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, in consultation with the Senior District Court Judge to devise policies and recommendations concerning bail and terms of release from jail.How to get a Bond Hearing – Initial Appearance after Arrest
To be clear, there are both statutory and constitutional rights regarding pre-trial release. It’s a mistake to assume bond is guaranteed in every instance.
Similarly, even with very high bond amounts for serious felony charges like murder, manslaughter, drug charges, and sex crimes, there may be options for pre-trial release and/or to address the conditions of release set by a Magistrate or Judge.
Some hearings regarding secured bonds are set automatically. In fact, except for very few exceptions, there are rights to a hearing.
The NC criminal laws require there must be conditions for pretrial release or at least that those terms are considered and reviewed by a proper judicial official.
Some notable exceptions relate to allegations of Domestic Violence, First Degree Murder charges, and certain crimes involving gang activity. There are also special rules for DWI charges in NC, sex crimes involving children, communicable diseases, and threats of mass violence.
Prior to even a bond hearing, anyone arrested is entitled to an Initial Appearance. Under the NC Criminal Procedure Act in Chapter 15A-511, law enforcement must take the accused to appear before a Magistrate without unreasonable delay.
Thereafter, if the person under arrest has not been released from jail, a first appearance must be held within 96 hours (4 days) before a District Court Judge or at the 1st regular session of Court (District Court) in the county, whichever first occurs.Are There Reasons to let a Loved One Stay in Jail? Should I Post Bond?
While that may seem a bit harsh, the answer is, “Yes.” Sometimes, in addition to practical financial considerations of making a bond, when letting a son, daughter, significant other or spouse stay in jail, is a necessity.
“There are times when someone may be on a downward spiral. Jail may indeed be the only way to keep a loved one from drinking or overdosing. It’s a very real and very unfortunate occurrence.”
– Bill Powers, Criminal Lawyer
That does not mean jail is necessarily the best treatment facility out there. It may provide a Time Out of sorts, where formalized treatment (and possibly bed space) can be worked out and arranged through insurance.
Making a point, while understandable, is of limited value. To be clear, there can be very good reasons to keep someone in jail. At the same time, it’s important to understand such approach may result in resentment and fractures in a relationship.Criminal Defense Lawyer – Bill Powers
We help people facing criminal charges in the Charlotte-Metro region, including in Mecklenburg County, Gastonia, Iredell, Union/Monroe, Rowan, and Stanly County.
We also provide legal assistance throughout North Carolina for DWI charges and very serious felonies including wrongful death, manslaughter, death by vehicle, murder, and manslaughter charges.
Legal consultations for criminal charges at the Powers Law Firm are always free of charge. That is not the case for Family Law matters such as separation and divorce, where hourly rates and a consultation fee apply.