A judicial official must impose at least one of the conditions set out in N.C.G.S. 15A-534. These include (1) a written promise to appear, (2) a custody release, (3) an unsecured bond, (4) a secured bond (backed by a cash deposit in the full amount, a mortgage, or at least one solvent surety), and (5) house arrest with electronic monitoring. Multiple conditions may be imposed. A defendant who is required to provide fingerprints or a DNA sample and has not, will be required to provide such prior to release.
As a general rule, all defendants are entitled to conditions of release. The exceptions to this general rule are essential to understand the complexities of a defendant’s rights and restrictions after arrest.
No right to pretrial release exists for fugitives facing death or life imprisonment, or fugitives under a Governor’s warrant. Similarly, there is no right to release for defendants facing criminal charges who were involuntarily committed, charged with a violation of a health control measure, military deserters, parole or postrelease supervision violators, and probation violators with pending felony charges or convictions requiring sex offender registration, or those charged with a capital offense. Pretrial release conditions may be denied for methamphetamine offenses, drug trafficking offenses, and gang offenses.
Special attention should be given to a few specific charges, that will be explored in part two of this post.