If you’ve been arrested n North Carolina, you aren’t alone. There are plenty of people in the state that have had to deal with a night in jail, but sometimes the arrest itself is relatively simple to deal with. Handling the bail in North Carolina can be tough, though.
From 1992 and 2006 the average bail amount has risen $30,000. On top of finding a way to pay, you also have to find a way make court appearances.
If you’re new to dealing with bail bonds in North Carolina, we can help. If you or a loved one ever gets arrested in North Carolina there are 5 key things you need to know.
Bail Amounts in North Carolina Aren’t Automatically Set
Some people assume that their bail amount is predetermined as soon as the officer reads Miranda Rights, but that isn’t true. In some cases, it can take up to 48 hours for a bail amount to be determined. If you or a loved one has been arrested, be patient and be prepared to wait a bit.
It’s also important to mention that bail is affected by three key factors. The severity and type of crime are important, but so are the defendant’s arrest record, and if they’re able to appear in court for the trial.
You May Not Have To Pay Bail
Have you or a loved one just been arrested for the first time? Is the offense relatively minor? If so we have good news, you may not even need to post bail.
In certain cases, some jurisdictions may not find it necessary to assign bail to a defendant. You may be able to get out of jail by signing a form stating that you promise to show up on your day of court.
There Are Different Kinds of Bail Bonds in North Carolina
Sometimes handling bail bonds in North Carolina isn’t as simple as writing a check. There are different kinds of bonds you could have to pay if you want to get out of jail.
There are cash bonds which are the ones most people think of when they hear the word bond. You pay a set amount and as long as you show up to your court date you’ll get some of that money back (excluding court fees).
Property bonds are usually reserved for very high bail amounts and other special cases. The property must be located in North Carolina and the equity must be equal or greater to the bail amount.
Surety bonds are for people that can’t afford the bond amount in total and need help to pay. In certain cases, more than one person can co-sign, and this can be a simple way to post bond when you need time to pay off the cost.
Bond Cosigners Are Like Loan Cosigners
If you can’t afford bail and have someone co-sign for you, you’re making a financial agreement. Some people make the mistake of assuming that bond cosigners simply means that you’ll help make sure that the defendant gets out of jail, but it goes beyond that.
If the person you cosign for doesn’t pay or refuses to attend their own trial, you’ll be held liable. If the bond is high the cosigner could even potentially lose collateral like property to pay for the bond. This is why it’s important to only sign bonds for people you can trust, you don’t want to be caught holding the bill at the end.
Bail Isn’t a Get Out of Jail Free Card
So you’ve posted bail and now you’re a free man. Now that you’ve paid bail you may feel like you’re invincible, but you need to be on your best behavior.
If you commit another crime while you’re out on bail you could find yourself in even worse trouble than before. It’s important to stay out of trouble when you’re on bail to avoid making your situation worse.