Bail process in Raleigh
Whether you’ve been arrested by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, the Raleigh Police Department or another agency, there’s a good chance you’ll end up at the Wake County Detention Center. As soon as the booking process is completed, you will be allowed to call for assistance to be released from jail, if it’s necessary. At that point, you can contact a friend or family member or call a bail bond company directly. Wake County has a schedule that court officials use to quickly set bonds, speeding up the process of getting released from jail. However, when the crime is more serious, a bond hearing usually is required, which will delay the process of posting bail.
Types of jail release in Raleigh.
- Written promise to appear. What is referred to as a personal recognizance release in many states is known as a written promise to appear in North Carolina. No bail is paid or even set. The defendant signs an agreement promising to show up for all court hearings. This release option is reserved for less serious crimes and defendants with virtually no criminal history.
- Unsecured bond. This option is similar to a written promise to appear – the defendant does not have to pay any money to be released from jail. However, bail is set and that money must be paid if the defendant violates any bail conditions.
- Secured bond. The decision of whether a secured bond – opposed to a written promise to appear or an unsecured bond – is necessary, is made by a magistrate. If the defendant does not have the cash to pay, a bail bond agent can be hired. The agent will post the entire amount of the bail and take no more than 15 percent of that amount from the defendant. That money is not refundable. A friend or relative – known as a co-signer – can pay some or all of the premium payment to a bail bond agent.
- Cash only bond. When the court chooses this option, the goal is often to provide a greater incentive for the defendant to show up for all court hearings. Cash bonds paid to the court are returned, minus court fees, as long as all bail conditions have been followed.
Requirements for co-signers
While some specific requirements vary from company to company, co-signers generally must be at least 21 years old and many companies require co-signers to be at least 25. In addition, a co-signer must have least one year at the same job. Collateral is commonly required to cover the amount of the bail beyond the premium paid to the agent, which is often 15 percent.
Bond costs and options
Coming up with the money to post bail often requires the help of a friend or relative – known as a co-signer. A defendant can decide to post the entire amount of bail in cash; however, that is money that won’t be available to hire an attorney or for other needs related to the case. The benefit of cash bail is that the premium required by a bail bond agent – set at no more than 15 percent in North Carolina – is saved.