BOND MOTION LAWYERS

 

If you’re in need of a lawyer, you’ve come to the right place. Bond Motions in Guilford County operate on the basis of policies set in the 18th Judicial District. But to understand Bond Motions, we need to first discuss how Bonds work though a series of questions.

How do Bonds work?
The 8th Amendment of the US Constitution and Article I, Section 27 of the North Carolina General Statues both state that “excessive bail shall not be required.” This is extremely important, because this leads to the question of what is excessive bail?

The Primary Purpose of a Bond, or Conditions of Pretrial Release are to REASONABLY ASSURE:
I. The Defendant will Appear as required (NOT A FLIGHT RISK)
II. The Safety of the Community (The Defendant does not pose a Danger)

Therefore, an Excessive Bond would be a Bond that does not fit the Crime Charged, while looking at factors to Reasonably Assure the Defendant will Appear in Court and the Safety of the Community if the Defendant were to be Released.

For a Bond in North Carolina, NCGS 15A-534(a) requires one of the following conditions of pre-trial release be set in each case:

1. Release the Defendant on a Written Promise to Appear;
2. Release the Defendant on an Unsecured Bond;
3. Place the Defendant on a Custody Release to a person or organization which has agreed to supervise the Defendant;
4. Require the Execution of a Secured Bond also known as an Appearance Bond, by cash deposit of the full amount of the bond, by a mortgage, or by solvent surety. This is where a Bondsman typically comes into play.

The Judicial Official setting Bond may ONLY go with Option 4 above, if the Judicial Official finds that the other three conditions of pretrial release:
a) Will Not Reasonably Assure the Appearance of the Defendant;
b) Will Pose a Danger of Injury to Someone Else;
c) Will likely result in the Destruction of Evidence, Perjury, or Intimidation of Witnesses;
**If the Official Enters a SECURED BOND, the Magistrate or Judge must state their reasons for doing so IN WRITING.**

Why Won’t they give me a Bond?
The Primary Purpose of a Bond, or Conditions of Pretrial Release are to REASONABLY ASSURE:
I. The Defendant will Appear as required (NOT A FLIGHT RISK)
II. The Safety of the Community (The Defendant does not pose a Danger)

There is a Rebuttable Presumption against setting a bond, because No Condition will Reasonably Assure the Judge that a Defendant is Not a Flight Risk, and Not a Danger and

    No Bond Will Be Set when:

1. Drug Trafficking – if Reasonable Cause if found to exist that the Defendant committed a Trafficking a Controlled Substance Offense; and the Defendant was Previously Convicted of an Class A through E Felony or Trafficking Offense and LESS THAN 5 Years has elapsed since the Date of Conviction or since being Released fro Prison;

2. Gang Activity – Reasonable Cause if found that Defendant Committed a Crime for the Benefit of a Criminal Street Gang while on Pre-Trial Release for another offense AND Defendant has a previous conviction for a Gang Related Crime and Not More than Five Years has Elapsed since;

3. Firearms – Reasonable Cause exists to believe that the Defendant Committed a Felony or Class A1 Misdemeanor involving a FIREARM; the new Firearm Offense was committed while the Defendant was on Pretrial Release for a A1 Misdemeanor or Felony involving a FIREARM – OR – the Defendant was Convicted of a Firearm Charge and LESS THAN 5 Years has Elapsed since the Date of Conviction or their Release from Prison;

4. Methamphetamine – The State has Clear and Convincing Evidence that the Defendant was arrested for a METH-related offense which there is Reasonable Cause to know that the chemical will be used to Manufacture Methamphetamine – AND – The Defendant has a Pattern of Regular Illegal Use of Methamphetamine.

If a Magistrate makes any of the above findings, then no BOND will be set.

Only a District or Superior Court Judge may set a BOND and order Conditions of Pre-trial Release in these situations if they have found that there is a REASONABLE ASSURANCE that Defendant does not Pose an Unreasonable Risk of Harm to the Community.
What Type of Bond would they give me?
1. Written Promise to Appear – Defendant is released upon signing on a Written Promise to Appear in Court. A Written Promise is Recommended for Defendants who:
a) Are of Sound Mind (know what’s going on);
b) Strong ties to the State of North Carolina (Resident of NC, Family Lives in NC);
c) The Charge is a Misdemeanor;
d) Defendant is NOT A FLIGHT RISK; AND
e) Defendant is NOT A DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY.

2. Unsecured Bond – Defendant is Released upon the execution of an Unsecured Appearance Bond in the Amount Specified – Defendant will not be held. An Unsecured Bond is Recommended when Defendant is of Sound Mind and even if Danger to the Community is Unknown. Typically Unsecured Bonds are given in cases where a person is charged with a Non-Violent Misdemeanor Offense and has NO PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY.

3. Custody Release to Someone or an Organization – A Custody Release is where someone has agreed to Supervise the Defendant and be Responsible for the Defendant upon Release. A Custody Release is recommended when:
a) The Defendant is a MINOR;
b) Legally in the Custody of Another;
c) Not Mentally Sound or Under the Influence of an Impairing Substance;
d) Ill or Sick;
e) For some reason is need of Care and Supervision
**The Supervising Person or Organization must AGREE to ALL CONDITIONS of Pre-Trial Release before the Defendant is Released into their Custody.**

4. Secured Bond – Requires the Execution of an Appearance Bond in a SPECIFIED AMOUNT secured by either Cash Deposit of the FULL AMOUNT of the Bond, by a Mortgage, or by at least one Solvent Surety.
a) A Cash Deposit Bond is where the full amount of the bond is paid in order to Bond Someone Out.
b) A Bail Bond signed by:
1. A Bail Agent, OR
2. A Professional Bondsman
**A Bail Bond is Considered the Same as Cash Deposit – this does not apply in Child Support cases, when this is only met by Actual Deposit.**
c) Charges that Cannot Result in Incarceration – A Written Promise to Appear, an Unsecured Bond or a Custody Release should be used with charges that cannot result in Incarceration if Convicted. Secured Bonds with these cases should only be used after the Defendant has Failed to Appear or Absconded Supervision while on Probation.

What is a Bail Bond or a Bail Bondsman?
A Bail Bond is Defined as an undertaking by a Defendant to Appear in Court as required upon penalty of forfeiting bail to the State in a stated amount and may be:
1. An Appearance Bond Secured by a Mortgage; OR
2. An Appearance Bond Secured by at least One Solvent Surety

Accommodation Bondsman – falls under Surety – “A natural person who has reach the age of 18 Years and is a bona fide resident of this State and who, aside from love and affection and release of the person concerned, receives no consideration for action as surety and who endorses the bail bond after providing:
a) Satisfactory Evidence of Ownership, Value and Marketability
b) Real or Personal Property (Home or Personal Items)
c) To the Extent Necessary to Reasonably Satisfy the Official Taking Bond that said Property will be Sufficient to Cover the Full Principal Sum of the Bond
d) If the Conditions of the Bond violated, the Real or Personal Property put up will be surrendered.
**No Requirement that an Accommodation Bondsman provide a Mortgage – may provide other property**
For an Accommodation Bondsman, the Magistrate should require a person who desires to be an Accommodation Bondsman to show their ability to Cover the Full Amount of the Bond for which they are a Surety for. Such Documentation Must Be:
1. In Writing;
2. Under Oath or Affirmation; AND
3. Documentation must be Current when Presented to the Magistrate.
Presentation a Financial Statement must also be current – within 30 days of the date – to Reasonably Satisfy the Magistrate that the Accommodation Bondsman has a Net Worth to Cover the Bond.
The Magistrate may also require Certified Copies of:
1. Deeds and Deeds of Trust Pertaining to Any Real Property (Homes)
2. Titles to Personal Property required by Law to be Titled (Cars, Planes, Boats)
3. Bills of Sale and UCC Financing and Termination or Release Statements pertaining to Non-Titled Personal Property (Jewelry, Furniture, Electronics)
4. Most recent accounting statements pertaining to stocks, bonds or other securities
The Order that a Magistrate Looks at Property – Magistrate is looking at Net Worth – Fair Market Value minus any Encumbrances
1. Personal Property – if insufficient then to
2. Real Property
If the Magistrate is Satisfied of the Accommodation Bondsman’s net worth, the Magistrate may accept their signature as a Surety.
If the Magistrate is Not Satisfied, the Magistrate may require a Pledge of Personal Property or a Mortgage from a Surety.

What are Possible Conditions of Pretrial Release?

1. House Arrest with Electronic Monitoring – in Greensboro and High Point (Guilford County) this form of Pretrial release is done by the Greensboro and High Point Police Departments, and the Defendant must be screened and accepted in advance by these programs.
2. Fingerprints or DNA – if required, and such sample has not been taken or the Defendant has refused to provide it, then the giving of a Fingerprint or DNA Sample Must be a Condition of Pretrial Release. This is pursuant to the North Carolina General Statutes.
3. Restrictions on Travel;
4. Restrictions on Conduct;
5. Restrictions on Associations and Residences;
6. Abstaining from Controlled Substances or Alcohol with Verification by a Monitoring Device.

How does a Magistrate Determine what my Bond will be?

A Magistrate looks at several factors when determining Bond:
1. Nature of the Offense Charged;
2. The Strength of the Evidence against the Defendant;
3. Defendant’s Community Ties (Family), Employment, Financial Resources, Character & Mental Stability
4. Intoxication of Defendant – would release endanger the Defendant?
5. How long the Defendant has resided in Greensboro or High Point (Guilford County)?
6. The Defendant’s Criminal History – Record of Convictions
7. How many Failure to Appears has the Defendant had? Other issues with regard to the Defendant perhaps being a Flight Risk.
8. Would release endanger someone else or something else, would it cause a risk for evidence to be destroyed, would witnesses be intimidated as a result of the Defendant’s Release?

If I turn myself in, what will my bond be?

The Bond Amount Depends on the Alleged Crime. Below is a list of Estimated Bond Amounts:
1. Local Ordinance (Infraction) – Written Promise to Appear
2. Class 3 Misdemeanor – Written Promise to Appear
3. Class 2 Misdemeanor – $0 – $500 Secured Bond
4. Class 1 Misdemeanor – $0 – $1,000 Secured Bond
5. Class A1 Misdemeanor – $0 – $2,000 Secured Bond
6. Driving While Impaired – $0 – $5,000 Secured Bond
7. Class I Felony – $0 – $2,500 Secured Bond
8. Class H Felony – $0 – $10,000 Secured Bond
9. Class G Felony – $1,000 – $15,000 Secured Bond
10. Class F Felony – $2,500 – $25,000 Secured Bond
11. Class E Felony – $5,000 – $50,000 Secured Bond
12. Class D Felony – $10,000 – $250,000 Secured Bond
13. Class C Felony – $15,000 – $250,000 Secured Bond
14. Class B2 Felony – $25,000 – $500,000 Secured Bond
15. Class B1 Felony – $50,000 – $1,000,000 Secured Bond
16. Class A Felony – No Bond Unless Set by Judge
17. Habitual DWI – $5,000 – $50,000 Secured Bond
18. North Carolina Probation Violation – Appropriate Amount when looking at Offense and Violations
19. Fugitive Warrant – Appropriate Amount when looking at Offense
20. Governor’s Warrant – No Bond
21. Interstate Compact – No Bond
22. Parole Warrant – No Bond

Drug Trafficking Estimated Secured Bond Amounts
1. Class H Drug Trafficking – $5,000 – $25,000 Secured Bond
2. Class G Drug Trafficking – $25,000 – $100,000 Secured Bond
3. Class F Drug Trafficking – $25,000 – $200,000 Secured Bond
4. Class E Drug Trafficking – $50,000 – $200,000 Secured Bond
5. Class D Drug Trafficking – $200,000 – $500,000 Secured Bond
6. Class C Drug Trafficking – $200,000 – $1,000,000 Secured Bond

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