Did you know that more than 10 million arrests are made in the United States each year? The majority of arrests include non-serious offenses such as drug abuse violations.
Being in jail means that you have limited access to the resources you need to argue your case. In most cases, if the police arrest someone, the first thing the individual will want to do is post bail so they can get out of jail quickly.
But what happens if you fail to show up in court after a bail bonds agent posts your bail? What is a bail enforcement agent? How does bail work in North Carolina?
If you are looking for answers to these questions, then you have come to the right place. Continue reading for everything you need to know about bail bond agents in North Carolina.
How Does Bail Work?
If the police have arrested you, the first thing your attorney will do is to set up bail so that you don’t have to spend time in jail before your hearing. Bail is a certain amount of money that the court asks from you as collateral so they can be sure that you’ll be back for your court hearing. This amount varies case by case depending on your previous criminal history and your risk of flight.
Options for Paying Bail
Once bail has been set, you have to come up with the funds to pay for it. You can either:
- pay for your bail amount out of your own pocket
- contact a bail bond agent.
A bail bond agent will be able to cover the cost of your bail for a fee.
The fee a bail bonds agent charges are about 15% in North Carolina. This is a maximum fee amount set out by the state.
If you don’t have a previous criminal history, or your bail amount is low, then you may be able to get a bail bonds agent to pay your bail for a lower fee. This depends on many different circumstances and is up to each bail bond agent.
If you don’t have the money to pay the 15% fee, you may be able to negotiate payment terms with the bail bond agent, depending on your situation. This may include putting up your home or car as collateral.
What Happens When You Fail to Show Up at Court?
If you are out on bail and fail to show up at your court hearing, then the bail bond agency will bring in a bail enforcement agent into the loop. Why is this the case? This is because bail bond agents are putting up their own money as bail.
If you don’t show up, then the bail bond agent loses the money they have given to the court for your bail. Essentially, the bail bond agent signs an agreement with the court that says that they are responsible for you attending the court hearing. If you don’t show up, then the bail bond agent can lose a lot of money.
What Is a Bail Enforcement Agent and Their Role?
The role of a bail enforcement agent is to find and return the defendant back to court. The bail bonds agent hires bail enforcement agents to look for those people who have violated their bail agreement by failing to show up in court. In return, the bail enforcement agent gets a fee for their service.
Requirements of a Bail Enforcement Agent
A bail enforcement agent is not law enforcement. Remember that the requirements for a bail enforcement agent vary depending on the state. While in some states bail enforcement agents do not need a license, they must be licensed In North Carolina.
A bail enforcement agent must be a resident of North Carolina for at least 6 months before applying for a license. They must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a high school or equivalent diploma
- Have no outstanding bail bonds against them
- Have a valid driver’s license or identification card
Anyone who has been convicted of a felony cannot qualify for a license. Also, any law enforcement officers including sheriffs, judicial officials, attorneys, parole officers, or probation officers, and their spouses may not apply for bail bonds license.
One of the requirements to apply for a bail enforcement agent license is to register and complete the pre-licensing course. It’s a two-day class offered by the North Carolina Bail Agents Association. This course is designed to ensure that anyone applying to be a bail bonds agent understands their roles, responsibilities as well as the law to be able to do their jobs well.
Once they complete the course and pass a practice test, they can apply for a license electronically. The fee for a new license application is about $311 plus a $51.50 examination fee.
After receiving the electronic application, the North Carolina Licensing Office will conduct a background investigation to make sure the applicant meets the eligibility requirements.
Once the electronic application has been approved, the applicant must take a state exam. If an applicant fails, then they must wait one year before retaking the exam.
After all of this, the applicant will finally receive their bail bonding license. Applicants that receive their initial license will be required to work under a supervising agent for a year.
Request a Free Consultation With a Licensed Bail Agent
In this article, you learned all about what is a bail enforcement agent. You now know what is the importance of a bail enforcement agent and what their role is. You also know that bail agents need to be licensed in North Carolina, including an understanding of what is needed for a bail enforcement agent to get a license in North Carolina.
Are you looking for bail bond services in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina? Look no further and contact us for a free consultation with a licensed bail agent. We have a combined 40 years of experience to help you with bail bond needs.