Did you know that over 700,000 Americans are incarcerated in a city or county jail on a daily basis? In addition, nearly 11 million are admitted to jails each year.
While admission is surprisingly common, the fact is that jailed citizens have options at their disposal to secure their release. One of those options is to post bail.
If you are interested in becoming a bail bondsman in North Carolina, a firm understanding of the law is a must. Read on for the ultimate guide to NC bail bondsman laws.
What Is the Purpose of NC Bail Bondsman Laws?
The primary intent is to create a financial incentive for defendants to appear in court. If a defendant posts a secured bond, they pay the entire amount set by a judge. After appearing in court, the defendant is then entitled to a refund.
The process is slightly different when posting bond through a bail agent. A bail agent pays a large portion of the bond amount to secure the defendant’s release. When this happens, they are taking responsibility that this person appears in court.
If the defendant fails to show up, the bail agent has to pay the full bond amount. For this reason, bail agents may be required to track down defendants that skip out on court.
What is the Cost?
One of the first things an inmate asks about is the cost of posting bail. Bail agents typically charge up to 15 percent of the amount set by the judge.
It is important to remember that this fee is non-refundable. Many people who are incapable of posting the full bond amount elect to utilize a bond agent.
What Happens When a Defendant Skips Out on Court?
The bail agent is required to bring the defendant to court. If this does not happen, the clock starts ticking for the bail agent to assume financial responsibility for the full bond amount.
Typically, the window to return a defendant to court is 150 days. Statistics show that people attempt to skip out on bail far too often.
A common question asked is can a bail bondsman arrest you? The answer is yes.
In fact, roughly 10 percent of defendants attempt to jump bail. The good news, however, is that bail agents are able to arrest or obtain the surrender of 98 percent of the runners.
What Role Does the Judge Play?
First, the judge decides whether the defendant is eligible for bail. If he or she is eligible, the next step is to set the bail amount.
The judge considers a few different criteria before he sets bail. He or she weighs the likelihood that the defendant attempts to flee. In other cases, the judge considers public safety in granting bail.
Wrapping It Up
The bail bonds process was designed to reinforce the principle, “innocent until proven guilty.” Utilizing a bail agent is an effective way for cash-strapped defendants to secure their release.
It is critical, however, that the defendant appears at their scheduled court date. Otherwise, the bail agent has the ability to arrest and return you to jail. If you are interested in learning more about NC bail bondsman laws, please contact us today.