The preparations for a trial may take weeks or even months before the courts are ready to take your case. It is a lengthy process because the North Carolina justice system has to handle hundreds of cases daily, and there is always a long waiting list. It may take days before it is finally your turn to appear in court.
Bail in North Carolina
If you or your loved one find themselves in jail, the courts may choose to place bail. The amount of bail varies depending on numerous factors, including the severity of the crime and the likelihood of the accused to appear for trial.
Generally, someone with a minor crime or is considered a “low flight risk”, and will likely not try to escape prosecution, can post bail right away. Other times, they will need to wait for a bail hearing, which will determine if the accused is eligible for bail in the first place. The courts will determine the amount between 48 hours to five days after your arrest.
Your bail is a type of monetary agreement that will assure the courts that you will appear for trial. Paying your bail either yourself or with the help of a Raleigh bail bondsman, for example, will allow you to get out of jail.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
You are probably wondering why bail exists in the first place.
Bail exists because it is one of the most fundamental rights of the American citizen: that you are innocent until proven guilty.
Not everyone who is arrested for a crime is guilty – it is unfair to spend all of your time in jail for a crime you did not commit, especially if the date of your trial is still weeks or months, or even years away. Jail can be extremely distressing and results in the loss of many of your freedoms – you will not be able to be with your family, and will miss out on many personal events.
Spending time in jail can also place you under tremendous financial strain. You will not be able to go to work and earn your salary, and you may even entirely lose your job.
Your Options for Bail Payments
Some states do not allow you to post your bail yourself, but in Raleigh, North Carolina, you are free to do so if you can afford it. If you plan on paying bail by yourself, it is simply a matter of depositing the money.
Unfortunately, there will be times when the bail is too high for you to afford. In these cases, you may want to consider hiring the services of a bondsman in Raleigh, NC.
Bail bonds are very much like taking out a loan, but not quite — your bondsman will charge a certain percentage of the bond, with the agreement that you will appear for trial. Most of the time, the bail is refunded to the bondsman, and he earns his income from the service fee.
Though you will not receive a refund from the bondsman’s services, the advantage of this is that you will not have to pay the full amount of your bail. It can be a worthwhile investment for the cost of your freedom.
Paying your bail will allow you to return to your normal life until it is time for your trial.