The FBI estimates that there were approximately 37 thousand crimes in the state of North Carolina reported in 2016, or an average of almost 4 crimes per one thousand residents.
Every single arrest that comes from a reported crime and leads to jail time in North Carolina goes through the system and ultimately experiences the bail bond process. The bail process can feel intimidating and scary at first, but any person arrested in North Carolina should know they are not alone.
Find out the formula used to get out of a North Carolina prison with bail bonds.
What Is Bail?
Bail is the term used to describe the conditions that a defendant or accused individual is under so that they are released from jail. It is often confused with money matters.
Many people think that bail is simply an amount someone pays to get out of jail. But the bail bond formula is more complex than that.
There is no set time of the process to get bail, and you can get bail at almost any stage of the process in the criminal justice system. You can get bail as soon as you are arrested, or even after a conviction and you are awaiting sentencing in some cases.
It’s important to understand what happens once arrested. Once arrested, you go to a facility for booking.
This will include the mug shot and fingerprint processing of the individual, as well as any health checkups officials may require. At this point, charges are filed.
In some cases, a release occurs at this stage. Individuals are released with bail and told when to appear in court, or they must wait until their bail hearing.
Once an individual reaches the bail hearing stage, it is a judge that determines when the individual will get out of jail, and under what conditions. That set of conditions is the bail.
But a bail bond would be an amount an individual puts up in order to secure the bail, or function as a surety for the bail.
What Is a Bail Bond?
Under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, a judge can not set any amount of bail that they choose. Although North Carolina judges do have some latitude here, there is a set formula known as a bail schedule that determines the bail amount.
But the accused doesn’t always have to pay the entire bail amount. This is where bail bonds come in.
A bail bond is a percentage of the amount of bail funds requested. That percentage is generally anywhere between 10 and 15 percent.
So if a bail amount was set at $1,000, then the amount paid would only be $150. But at the same time, the bond at this time is a form of collateral that the accused puts up as a surety that they will pay the entire amount if they do not comply with bail conditions.
When a judge grants bail, what they are essentially saying is, we believe you that you intend to appear in court at the next date. But if the accused does not appear, they will lose that $150, and also will owe the remainder of the bail amount.
Winning a bail hearing for an accused will mean they are released from jail or prison. There are a number of ways to ensure you win your bail hearing.
How to Win a Bail Hearing
To be eligible to even make a bail bond, you need to have your bail hearing requests granted. What North Carolina judges are looking for are flight risks, your establishment in the community, any previous criminal history, public safety, and the seriousness of the crime.
Most North Carolina prosecutors put public safety as factor one when making arguments at a bail hearing. So even if you have no criminal history, have a wonderful presence in the community, and aren’t a flight risk, if the district attorney believes you are a hazard to public safety, you could have a problem at a bail hearing.
But it is your right to have a bail hearing. That said, you may see a higher bail amount if you aren’t squeaky clean on the factors used to determine release from prison.
In order to win at your bail hearing, have your ducks in order. Some things you won’t be able to control at that time such as criminal history or nature of the offense in question.
Although it is not your criminal trial or official day in court yet, you can argue mitigating factors that make the offense seem less serious. Having a stable job, a stable network in the community, and being a contributing member of society will help your case.
Most judges view an individual’s strong ties to the community and a stable job as factors that will reduce their flight risks. Family obligations help your bail bond hearing as well.
In most cases, it will help you to get bail, and get lower ends of bail amounts.
You’ll also have to agree to all of the bail conditions to get bail.
How Bail Bonds Work
Once you’ve won your hearing or bail at the police station, release occurs after the bail bond payment. A payment is usually made to a clerk who will notify the law enforcement officials in question. Release follows this notification.
This could take hours. Having someone help with your bail bond process could decrease the time involved here.
Types of Bail Bonds
A cash bond is one form of bail payment. This is usually determined by the court or bail schedule and is often a percentage of the entire bail amount.
There are also forms of unsecured bonds or secured bonds. An unsecured bond is simply a legal document signed where you promise to appear and are released on your own recognizance. Sometimes this is known as a signature bond.
A secured bond is one where the individual putting up the bail agrees to give collateral such as their house or their car to secure a bond amount. If the accused does not repay the bail bond, the lender then has the right to take the collateral, and even sell the home if they can’t collect.
Using a Bail Bond Agent
A bail bond is also known as a surety bond in some cases. In this case, a bail bond agent represents the accused and puts up a bond for the accused in question. You will pay the agent a fee, and the agent will function as your surety.
That means they are telling the court they are responsible for making sure you get to court next time. Bail bonds are easy and convenient ways to get out of North Carolina prison, and you won’t necessarily have to put up your house to do so.
You’ll pay a portion of the money to the agent, and they help you get out of jail. It is as simple as that.
Bounty hunters do not exist in North Carolina. So you are not opening yourself up to the potential of a new legal can of worms using bail bonds agents.
If you want to get out of prison in North Carolina, bail bonds agents that are familiar with the system are excellent tools to do so.
Trust the Experts
Statistics on North Carolina crime suggest that the crime rates in North Carolina are slowing down. Even 2018 crime rates were lower than 2016 when it came to violent crimes.
But crimes do still happen. And whether it’s a first time or not, it is always a fearful experience for the accused.
But it’s easy to get out of North Carolina prisons when you use bail bonds. Trust the experts and consult a North Carolina bail bond agent that goes the extra mile if you find yourself in this position.