How Does Bail and Bond Work?
If you’ve been charged with one of the offenses listed below, AND the alleged victim is your ex, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent of your child, or someone you live with like a spouse, the charge will most likely be categorized as domestic violence.
That’s important, because that can affect whether you can post bond, get bailed out, and/or may be subject to a hold pursuant. N.C.G.S. § 15A-534.1 addresses “bail and pretrial release” for Domestic Violence charges in North Carolina.
The criminal charges subject to special consideration by the courts may include felony or misdemeanor charges such as:
- Simple Assault
- Assault on a Female
- Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury
- Communicating Threats
- Harassing Phone Calls
- Criminal Trespass
- Injury to Real Property
- Injury to Personal Property
- Assault by Strangulation
- Child Abuse
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
It’s important to know if your charge is considered domestic violence because the arrest and pre-trial release process is different from non-domestic violence charges. The biggest difference is that your conditions of pre-trial release, often referred to as bond or bail, may prevent you from getting out of jail for a couple of days.Who Sets Pre-Trial Release and Bond in NC?
In most non-domestic violence cases, your conditions of pre-trial release will be set by a magistrate when you are arrested and taken to jail. In those cases, you may be released on a written promise to appear, an unsecured bond, or a secured bond.
The first two types of bonds don’t require you to pay any money to get out. The third type, a secured bond, requires you pay money to get out. You can pay out of pocket or use a bondsman to post the secured bond amount.
However, in domestic violence cases, the laws of North Carolina require pre-trial release conditions to be set by a district court judge. This means a magistrate cannot set your bond when you get to the jail.
Unless you can see a district court judge the day you are arrested, you ARE NOT getting released. Instead, you will have to wait until you are taken to court and appear in front of a district court judge.What is the “48 Hour Hold?”
So how long will this process take?
Typically, pre-trial release conditions for domestic violence charges must be set within 48 hours. If a district court judge is not available to set a bond within 48 hours, a magistrate may be permitted to set pre-trial release conditions on domestic violence charges.
In doing so, a magistrate would set the conditions pursuant to the provisions of N.C.G.S § 15A-534, which governs the procedure for determining conditions of pre-trial release.
Although Raleigh is one of the larger cities in North Carolina, with numerous magistrates, district court judges and courtrooms at its disposal in the Wake County judicial system, there are still scenarios where setting pre-trial release conditions for domestic violence cases can be delayed.
The most common scenario would happen if you are arrested on a Friday night or over the weekend. If that happens, you’re probably going to be stuck sitting in jail until Monday. District court judges don’t hold court over the weekend, so there won’t be a judge available to set your bond conditions until Monday.Conditions of Release – Terms of Bond / Bail Out
In DV cases, judges typically include a series of other conditions that you must follow if you are released from custody. Just like other standard conditions of release when you bond out, violating one of these conditions can land you right back in the slammer.
Some of these conditions include the following:
- Stay away from the alleged victim; including their home, school, and work
- Not assault, threaten, harass, molest, or wound the alleged victim
- Not remove, damage, or injure specified property
- Not consume alcohol (you could be required to wear a monitoring device)
- No contact with the alleged victim, including phone calls, email, text, letter, third person contact or any other form of communication
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence offense, or think you may be charged, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Fanney Law Office. Don’t wait until you’re stuck in jail. Let attorneys John Fanney and Kevin Long fight to get you fair bail. Call now (919) 617-7009