The term “pretrial release” isn’t exactly something that comes up in everyday conversation.
A light dinner party topic it may not be, but it certainly is an important concept to understand. Although most people won’t be arrested in their lives, others unfortunately will.
What is pretrial release and is your loved one eligible? Click here to learn what it means when a judge allows pretrial release.
What Is Pretrial Release?
As we’ve said, the term “pretrial release” may be unfamiliar to you.
No one expects to be arrested but the reality is that it could happen to anyone at any time. Because of this, it’s essential to do your research on this topic.
A pretrial release allows defendants to go home while their case pends. In most cases, the release begins with a bond.
What Is a Bond?
A Bond is a contract in which a defendant pays forward a set amount of money to get out of jail.
This amount depends on a few factors. The severity of the charges, circumstances surrounding the arrest, and the state in which the arrest took place are a few of these factors.
The three main kinds of bonds are personal recognizance (PR bond), cash, and surety.
A defendant agrees to appear in court at a later stage as part of a PR bond. Anyone with a traffic citation has a PR bond. This means they’re not required to pay any funds but have promised to appear in traffic court.
Cash bonds involve a defendant posting the entire sum of the bond in cash. While some jurisdictions accept credit card payments, many still only operate on cash or check.
A surety bond is where another person or entity makes the bond payment on your behalf. Judges will determine which type of bond to grant the defendant.
Types of Pretrial Release
In many circumstances, a judge will rule that the defendant cannot go home between the time of arrest and trial. In federal court, most defendants aren’t released.
Pretrial release isn’t granted in state court to those with serious charges. Although, in most state cases, judges will allow pretrial release under specific circumstances.
The Release Order lists these conditions given to the defendant. If they meet these conditions, they’ll go free. And if not, they’ll remain incarcerated.
In many cases, a district court judge will review the conditions at a later bond reduction hearing. Judges may also review these release conditions if there’s a motion for revocation by the prosecutor.
A very common release condition is bond. In the case of an unsecured pretrial bond, the defendant will only be responsible for paying the amount if they fail to appear in court.
The defendant forfeits money to the state if they fail to appear in court. If the defendant does appear, the amount is returned to them after completion of the case.
In many cases, a defendant doesn’t have enough money to secure release. In these cases, they’re able to pay a bondsman a percentage of the bond.
Usually, they’ll charge 15% but this could be somewhat lower for very high bonds.
The court gains the balance of the money as a pledge. However, if the defendant doesn’t appear for court, it’s possible that the bondsman must pay the entire face value of the bond to the court.
If this happens, the bondsman must attempt to locate the defendant and surrender him/her to the authorities.
Pretrial Release Programs
Each state has a different set of rules for pretrial release. Beyond this, pretrial release programs also vary within states by county.
Some pretrial release programs place heavy emphasis on the general conditions of pretrial release signature bond. This is to ensure these objectives are reached by the defendant.
There are various pretrial objectives in question. From enduring the safety of the victim and protecting a community from crime to ensuring the appearance of the defendant in court.
The nature of the offense delegates the general bond conditions. For example, an order to install an ignition interlock will follow a DWI charge.
For assault offenses, the conditions follow accordingly. For example, there is to be no contact with the victim. Another condition could be that the defendant cannot travel to certain areas.
Other pretrial release programs are even more intensive. Defendants complain that they’re made to feel as though they’re already convicted, although they’re yet to be found guilty.
Submitting to regular drug testing, weekly reporting, DNA samples, and even counseling may be conditions for some.
Despite frustration with the rigid rules and requirements, in most cases, defendants are still very eager to get out on pretrial release.
Do Your Research
For this reason, it’s critical that a defendant understands the release conditions before they request a pretrial release.
Along with this, defendants should take into account their specific situation and their goals. If prison time is inevitable, it may be beneficial for them to sit it out in jail. Instead of requesting pretrial release.
While their case is pending, they may benefit in the long run by waiting in jail, as this time will count as credit toward their total sentence.
Jail credit isn’t granted when the defendant is out on pretrial release.
What’s the Process?
After a person is arrested, they’re taken to Wake County jail.
All country jails in North Carolina will follow this process. When at the Raleigh County jail, police officers will record all details of the arrest and the alleged offense. Specifics are recorded, bail posted and your release will follow.
Unfortunately, the action of an arrest is pretty scary and unsettling. The last thing you need is to added stress about how to pay your bail bond. For this reason, companies can reduce your distress by securing your bail bond on your behalf.
The reality is that you need the support of a trusted provider of bail bonds. A good company won’t discriminate based on the charges filed against you.
They’ll simply support and guide the process of you getting home quicker.
Where to Go From Here?
Now you understand more about pretrial release and bail bonds. Unfortunately, being familiar with the terminology doesn’t mean you know how to navigate the system.
In most cases, you’ll require support in order to secure temporary freedom. You deserve the most experienced support system you can access. Experience in the bail bonds industry is a must, in order to reach your goal of going home and getting ready.
The reality is that it’s not until you or your loved one ends up in this situation that you really have to think along these lines. Please contact us for more information about pretrial release and bail bonds.
We focus on your unique situation because we know that no two cases are alike. You deserve personalized treatment and support.