Arm Yourself with Information: How the Bail Process in NC Works

Jail System

Jail SystemUnless you have dealt with the court system in North Carolina, chances are, you have learned everything you know about bail from movies and television. But there’s quite a bit more to the process than a judge banging his gavel and yelling, “Bail is set at $100,000!”

Read on to brush up on your knowledge about bail and bail bonds in North Carolina — so the next time you or a loved one is arrested, you know what to do.

The Bail Process

Arrested individuals are first taken to the police. A police officer then collects information about the accused, including name, physical appearance, address, and the alleged crime. The police also conducts a background check, takes fingerprints and mug shots, and seizes the suspect’s personal property.

Finally, the police puts the accused in a jail cell, and have them stay there until the suspect posts bail. For less serious crimes, the accused may post bail immediately, but for more serious crimes, the accused may need to wait for a bail hearing where a judge will decide whether the accused may post bail, as well as the amount of bail.

Bail Explained

Bail is an agreement between the defendant and the court. By signing the bail, the defendant agrees to post a certain dollar amount, and promises to return to the scheduled court date.

Signing a bail also releases a defendant in exchange of bail bonds until all the proceedings and trials are done. If the accused doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain and misses a court date, the bail bond will be immediately forfeited, and a warrant will be issued for arrest. If the accused shows up, they will likely get the money back at the end of the trial (depending on the bail type) — even if convicted.

How the Bail WorksHow the Court Determines the Amount of Bail Bond

So how much should the bail amount be? It depends on a number of different factors. These include the nature of the crime, the person’s criminal record, and their likelihood of appearing in court, or their likelihood to leave or flee the area to avoid trial.

In North Carolina, there are pre-set bail amounts that depend on the alleged crime, but these factors may increase or increase the amount. For instance, if this was a first offense, and the accused is employed and has a family in the area, the judge may choose to reduce the bail amount.

How to Pay for the Bail — If You Can’t Afford It

If the amount set is more than you or a loved one can afford, you can refuse to pay. The problem is you will need to stay in jail until the court date. This period may vary from days to months — depending on the locality and court system.

Your best option is to apply for a bail bond as soon as possible with the help of a bail bondsman in Raleigh, NC for example. When looking for an agent, however, make sure to choose one you can trust.

Reputation is the key. Your bail agent should be experienced and reliable with a good local reputation. In most cases, experienced, highly reputed agents know the timesaving techniques required to secure the fastest release. Make sure the agent offers flexible payment plans as well, as paying them the entire set fee at once can be a struggle.

To the average person, the whole bail process sounds simple enough, but there is much more to it than meets the eye. Hopefully, this article has helped you dig deep on the subject matter — so if anything were ever to happen to you or someone you love, you know what your options are.

Get Legal Representation

Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Law BookFacing criminal charges can be a draining moment. This is because you are either looking at hefty charges or going to prison. Hiring an experienced criminal lawyer in Houston would, therefore, be essential. Although it is not a must to hire a defense lawyer, it is almost impossible to represent yourself in a trial in the best way possible.

Defense lawyers are trained and experienced in this field such that they are aware of what is required in the case process. Defense lawyers perform a wide range of tasks from filing the case, calling witnesses, appearing in the court on behalf of the client and other duties that a layman may not be aware of.

Seek early legal representation

In some cases, the accused delay looking for legal counsel. Instead, they rush to hire a lawyer when charges have already been made. Seeking legal representation before any formal charges have been made is a great idea since your lawyer can seek for a dismissal before trial. But even after charges have been formalized hiring an experienced attorney is also crucial for a positive outcome of the case.

What if you committed the crime?

Ethically, defense lawyers are required to represent all their clients, whether guilty or innocent. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove that the defendant did the criminal act. Unless the prosecutor provides enough evidence, the defendant remains legally innocent. However, if the lawyer is aware that you committed the crime, he cannot lie to the judge, rather he will use tactics to show that the prosecutors fail to prove his or her claims. In fact, the defense lawyer may never know whether the client is guilty or not. The lawyer zealously represents the client for the best possible outcome.

Although a case process can be draining both financially and emotionally, hiring an experienced lawyer can significantly make the process easier. Besides, going through a case process without a legal counsel may cause more harm than good.

An Overview of the 5 Objectives of the Criminal Justice System

The Right Timing

Criminal Law in HoustonEvery second all over the world, crimes are committed against persons, property, or even against statutes themselves. It is a wonder why people commit crimes despite knowledge of the existence of criminal laws that can provide punishment for wrongdoing. Is this a symptom of a bigger problem that is a reflection of the inadequacies of the criminal justice system?

Maybe you are also wondering what the purpose of criminal law is if every moment there is someone who is violating the rights of others. While the defendant can always seek help from a criminal lawyer, this is not a guaranteed escape plan from penalties and consequences. There are essentially five purposes or objectives of criminal law. David A. Nachtigall and other criminal lawyers from Houston share more information below:

Retribution

Families of victims of crimes often seek some form of retribution for the wrongdoing done to them. This is perhaps one of the more evident reasons for the existence of the criminal justice system. People who commit crimes should also be punished for their crimes although not necessarily in the same manner inflicted on the victim of the crime.

Deterrence

Judgments made regarding crimes can act as deterrent to future criminal acts both by the defendant and by the general public. The punishments or penalties imposed during the sentencing can serve as discouragement to those in the general public not to make the same mistake or commit similar crimes. For the defendant, the sentencing is supposed to deter him from committing criminal acts in the future.

Incapacitation

For the general population, an individual convicted of a crime must not be allowed to mingle with the rest of society without any guarantees that the person will not do the same crime again. In incapacitation, the goal of criminal law is to effectively protect the public from the criminal acts of the defendant. In some societies, this is carried out in the form of a death sentence or banishment. In most societies, however, it can mean life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Rehabilitation

One of the often forgotten objectives of the criminal justice system, rehabilitation aims to transform the offender into becoming a valuable member of the general population once he serves his time in prison. Here, they are taught skills that will render them useful in general society.

Restoration

In some forms of crimes, the offender may be ordered to restore or repair any damages inflicted on the victim. The purpose is to restore the status or position of the victim to his pre-crime state.

These are the five objectives of the criminal justice system. While they may seem light at first glance, they nonetheless serve their purpose.