Many people overlook how traumatic going to jail can be. Imagine getting arrested and eventually placed in a cell.
Now, think about how much worse your situation would become if the judge decides you should be held without bond. The level of uncertainty in a situation like this would be overwhelming for most people.
If you’re looking to help an arrested loved one get out on bond, it’s essential to understand the laws regarding this scenario. So, how long can you be held without bond? Let’s explore the answer below.
How Long Can You Be Held Without Bond?
In North Carolina, individuals charged with misdemeanor or felony domestic violence can be held without bond for 48 hours. The same is true for people who violate protection orders or are charged with domestic criminal trespassing.
If a judge does not become available during those 48 hours, a magistrate will assess their situation instead. There are numerous crimes for which the accused can be held without bond until after the completion of their trial.
First-degree murder is one of the most common. When someone in North Carolina is charged with a capital offense, judges don’t have to grant conditions for pretrial release. However, someone who is gang-affiliated or involved in drug trafficking might also be held without bond.
In some cases, individuals who are deemed to be a flight risk can be denied pretrial release. Immigrants can also sometimes be held without bond until their trial.
What to Do
If your loved one is being held without bond, your first course of action is to get in touch with an attorney. They have the tools and resources to help you navigate this situation. Working with a reputable lawyer provides insight into your potential options.
They can also determine if the individual is being wrongfully held. For instance, let’s assume someone with no criminal history went to jail for driving while intoxicated. They didn’t injure anybody or cause property damage.
Regardless, the judge decides to keep them in jail until their trial. This likely infringes upon the rights of the accused, and your attorney can help resolve this injustice.
Finding a Bondsman
Getting a bond set is only half the battle. You’ll then need to figure out how to pay it. High bonds can be well out of many people’s budgets.
Working with a bondsman can help you afford the bond and ensure your loved one gets released from jail. When searching for a bondsman to work with, look at their past reputation.
There should be no shortage of clients who have stellar feedback to give. Check to see if they’re properly licensed.
Contrary to what many people believe, becoming a bondsman requires licensing and coursework. Never work with someone who doesn’t have the proper credentials. Before moving forward, make sure they have a physical office.
This is a sign they’re part of a legitimate business instead of someone attempting to scam others. Bailing someone out of jail is often a stressful process, and shady individuals pose as legitimate bondsmen. If they attempt to meet you in a public place instead of bringing you to their office, this is a red flag you can’t ignore.
It’s also worth examining the facility before entering. If the building seems run-down or suspicious, don’t be afraid to search elsewhere.
The bondsman should be fully transparent about how the process works. Ideally, they’ll walk you through what you can expect and convey every nuance.
Under no circumstances should you work with someone who charges more than the court-ordered bond amount. Disreputable bondsmen sometimes claim that paying an extra fee can get the charges dropped for your loved one. This is untrue and likely indicates the bondsman isn’t a certified professional.
Appearing in Court
It’s essential your loved one appears in court after getting bailed out of jail. This is part of the terms and conditions of working with a bondsman.
It’s also legally mandated. Failure to reappear comes with major consequences, such as prison time and costly fines.
A judge might also rule your bond forfeited. This leaves the bondsman financially liable for all of the money your bond was worth. Let’s assume your bond was set at $100,000.
You could pay a bondsman a small percentage of this, and they would put forth the money for your bail. As long as you reappear in court, they would get their money back but keep your fee.
This is how bondsmen make money. If you don’t show up in court, they won’t get their $100,000 back until you do.
Dealing with Denied Bond
In some scenarios, the situation is entirely out of your hands. If the judge doesn’t set a bond, there’s no opportunity for you to bail a loved one out of jail.
This is sometimes true even after hiring an attorney. Scenarios like these require a great deal of patience. It may be months before your loved one’s trial commences.
What you can do in the meantime is work with an attorney to gather evidence. There are likely numerous opportunities for you to help exonerate them.
It’s also important for you to remain emotionally supportive. People waiting in jail can easily become depressed or angry.
Go out of your way to visit them, write letters, and even add money to their commissary account. This will help them remain mentally stable until their trial moves forward.
Take Action ASAP
If the judge rules that a loved one is to be held without bond, it’s best to get in touch with a professional as soon as possible. They have the necessary experience to help you hit the ground running. Keep the answer to “How long can you be held without bond” in mind so you know what to expect.
Amistad Bail & Immigration Bonds strives to deliver fast, professional service to those in need. We’ve served the industry for over a decade and aim to always exceed expectations. We can discuss possible solutions for your situation when you request a free consultation.