Bail Bonds Articles

Pretrial Integrity Act

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics.

North Carolina recently passed the Pretrial Integrity Act, effective this month, October 2023. Since the act was only signed into law this past July, you may be unfamiliar with the ruling and all it entails. Primarily, this bill directly affects the bail bonds process, but the new ruling will ultimately reform how our justice system handles criminal cases. The new bill, while it aims to make pretrial detention fairer and more effective, comes with its set of challenges and differing views from law enforcement officials. The Off the Hook team is dedicated to keeping our clients informed about bail reform and emerging laws, so let’s dive into everything you need to know about this ruling. Is it fair? Is it not? We’ll let you be the judge.

What is the Pretrial Integrity Act?

This initiative changes how bail eligibility is determined for each defendant. It transfers the authority to establish the terms and conditions for release from a local magistrate to a district or superior court judge. The goal of this reform is to prevent violent or dangerous offenders from being released on bail shortly after arrest. This new ruling will apply to defendants charged with a serious felony crime such as:
-First-degree murder
-Second-degree murder
-Kidnapping
-Rape
-First-degree forcible sexual offense
-Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill
Essentially, the act encourages the judge to take a longer deliberation period before setting bail. They are given a comprehensive list of the defendant’s background, prior arrests, and current charge details to more effectively determine the bail amount for each case (or if release should even be an option.)

Click here for a complete description of the act.

How did the system work before the Act?

Prior to the Pretrial Integrity Act, North Carolina magistrates were responsible for setting bond amounts for arrested individuals. To do so, they would take a few factors into account:

-The severity of the criminal charge
-The defendant’s danger to society
-The defendant’s likeliness to flee the area

However, there were no set parameters on bond amounts for a specific crime. This means that bail and release conditions were solely based on the discretion of the magistrate.

The advantage of using a magistrate for bail proceedings is they have 24/7 availability. A magistrate can assign bail at any time, any day of the week. District and Superior Court judges, on the contrary, have Monday through Friday business hours and limited availability. Therefore, this change in authority will create longer holding times for defendants.

What events motivated this new ruling?

Police Chiefs and District Attorneys throughout the state have publicly supported the new bill after suspects charged with serious crimes were given low bonds. For instance, a Fort Mill EMS worker, charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old in the back of an ambulance, was given a bond of $15,000 and bonded out less than an hour after his arrest. The concern among officials is that expedited releases for violent charges may set a poor example and encourage future crimes.

Pretrial Integrity Act 1

What are the concerns with the new ruling?

As stated before, the main concern of this act is the extended detention period for offenders. After an individual is arrested, the District or Superior Court judge has a 48-hour window to assign bail. If no judge is available during this time (such as on a weekend, holidays, evening, etc…), then a magistrate will be allowed to take the case and set a bond. Essentially, people charged with certain felonies (listed above) will likely have a 2-3 day holding period, instead of an expedited release. Officials who are against the act insist that jails do not have the capacity to hold more inmates. Additionally, there’s worry that the new ruling will strain the legal system. Having a judge assign bail will increase the number of court appearances which multiples the need for lawyers, defense counsels, court clerks, and prosecutors to be present at these hearings. This trickle-down effect will create additional costs and expenses for local counties and municipal courts.

Key Takeaways

Overall, the Pretrial Integrity Act represents a step forward in the reform of North Carolina’s criminal justice system and has the potential to make the system fairer and more effective for everyone involved. But, like most rulings and reforms, challenges can arise. Regardless of how this new law plays out, our Off the Hook team is always here to help you or a loved one in holding. Together, we’ll navigate this new bail process, one step at a time.

If you or your loved one has recently been arrested, expert support is only a phone call away.

At Off the Hook Bail Bonds, we know your time is valuable and our mission is to get you out of a holding cell and back to the comfort of your own home. Our skilled bond agents are on call 24/7, working tirelessly to provide our clients with the best possible support during this difficult time. From flexible payment options to expert guidance and service, Off The Hook Bail Bonds can be a truly invaluable resource for you or your loved ones. Get out of jail and back to your life – call us today for help!

Bail Bond Alternatives

Posted by & filed under Bond Services.

As professional bail bondsmen, we’ve encountered a few bond “naysayers” over our many years in the business. To clients with no prior arrest or bail experience, hiring a jail bonding company to get a loved one out of jail may raise questions or concerns – should I get a bail bond? Are they expensive, or do they have hidden fees? What are my other options aside from a bail bond, and are these options effective?

If you’re debating whether a bail bond is right for your situation, our expert agents are happy to chat with you and clear up any gray areas about the process. We want our clients to feel heard, understood, and confident in their decision to work with the Off The Hook team. In an effort to do so, let’s review the possible methods that can be used to release your loved one from holding and see how they compare to our bail bonding services:

Personal Recognizance

Known as a “promise to appear,” personal recognizance allows a defendant to be released from jail without having to pay bail. While not paying bail may seem like the most ideal option, this type of release is granted on a case-by-case basis. The extent of the crime and the defendant’s likeliness to flee determines whether the judge will allow them to be released on recognizance. However, if the magistrate assigns a bail amount to your case, this option is unavailable, and our bail bonding services will likely be needed.

Pretrial Release Programs

Pretrial release programs offer defendants a bail-free release from jail, however, the conditions of this option are far more rigid. In these programs, the individual is usually supervised by probation officers and may be subjected to drug testing or other forms of monitoring. To be released on a pretrial program, a defendant is required to follow one of these conditions (which are assigned by the judge):

  1. They sign a written agreement to appear on their scheduled court dates.
  2. They are placed under the supervision of a person or organization.
  3. They sign an unsecured appearance bond, meaning the defendant agrees to pay a bail amount if they miss their court appearance or engage in further illegal activity.
  4. They sign a secured appearance bond and pay an amount in cash or collateral to be released.

Similar to personal recognizance, an individual only qualifies for a pretrial release program if the judge allows it. Otherwise, this option is unavailable and bail financing may be needed.

Bail Bond Alternatives (2)

Home Confinement

Defendants who are considered high-risk may be released from jail (without bail) under home confinement. This option restricts a defendant to their home and does not allow them to move beyond their property lines. Home confinement may involve the use of an ankle monitor or another tracking device, and defendants are subject to regular check-ins with a probation officer.

Electronic Monitoring

Electronic monitoring, also known as GPS monitoring, allows a defendant to be released from jail on the condition they wear a tracking device while awaiting trial. Similar to personal recognizances and pretrial programs, the judge may allow for a defendant to be released with daily monitoring if the charges are minimal, and the defendant is considered “low risk.” However, because this method is based on the extent of the crime, the defendant’s prior background, and their likeliness to flee, there’s no guarantee electronic monitoring will be a viable option for getting your loved one out of jail.

Surety Bond (by Insurance Company)

A surety bond resembles a bail bond, except it’s issued by an insurance company instead of a bond agent. The defendant or a co-signer pays a premium to the insurance company, which then issues a bond to guarantee the defendant’s release. However, while Off The Hook charges a flat rate (15% fee) for our services, insurance bond premiums are dictated by several factors (such as credit score and financial history), therefore making this type of bond a more costly alternative.

Cash Bail

For cash bail to be an option, the defendant or a family member must be able to pay the full amount of bail out of pocket. Depending on the charges, the total bail amount can be a costly expense, spanning upwards to $1000 or more. The defendant may not have the finances to pay the full amount, and in that event, their only options are remaining behind bars or getting help from a bail bonding company. Even if you can pay the bail in full, we still recommend using our services since we offer flexible payment plans and expedited releases from jail.

At Off the Hook Bail Bonding, we know your time is valuable and our mission is to get you out of a holding cell and back to your home as fast as possible. While alternatives to bail bonds may be available, we offer more than just a release from jail. Our skilled bond agents are on call 24/7, working tirelessly to provide you with the best possible support during this difficult time. From flexible payment options to expert guidance and service, Off The Hook Bail Bonds can be a truly invaluable resource for you or your loved ones. Get out of jail and back to your life – call us today for assistance!

Blog GPS Monitoring

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics, Bond Services.

Whether it’s a court-ordered requirement or needed just for peace of mind, GPS monitoring services are valuable tools for clients and bondsmen alike. At Off the Hook Bail Bonds, we offer state-of-the-art GPS equipment that helps ensure a seamless bond experience for our clients and their families. Navigating an arrest and court case is a high-stress situation, and, as a result, the chance to flee and start anew can be rather enticing. GPS monitoring helps alleviate these temptations and encourages your loved one to stay, build a defense strategy, and resolve their legal charges effectively.

If this is your first time needing GPS monitoring services, you may be unfamiliar with the equipment’s functions, uses, and benefits. At Off the Hook, we’re here to offer clarity on this service so you can decide if it’s the right tool for your situation.

What is GPS monitoring?

The defendant wears a device (commonly, a tamper-proof ankle monitor) that tracks their location as they await their court date. This equipment uses satellite technology to keep tabs on the defendant’s movements during their day-to-day. If the defendant attempts to remove the ankle monitor or steps outside of their designated location/parameters, the device will send an alert. GPS monitoring helps ensure the individual is following their bail guidelines and attending all scheduled court dates.

Blog GPS Monitoring (1)

Who is required to wear one?

In certain instances, wearing a GPS tracking device is required for a defendant to be released from holding. This mandate is determined by the judge who assigns their bail amount and terms. However, even if GPS monitoring is not required, we recommend taking advantage of this service as it can be a valuable resource for defendants and their families.

When do they wear one and for how long?

The duration of time a defendant needs to wear the GPS device varies by the crime, court, and case. Generally, the case must be fully resolved, and their sentence given, before the individual can remove their tracker.

Where is the defendant allowed to go while wearing the device?

The parameters for a defendant’s GPS device depend on the specifics of their case and bail release terms. In some instances, the defendant is placed under house arrest and unable to leave their residence. In other cases, the defendant may be allowed to return to work, attend doctor appointments, and participate in religious services while wearing the monitoring device.

Why do we use GPS Monitoring equipment?

If the equipment is court-ordered, our GPS monitoring service is necessary to get you or a loved one out from behind bars. However, if the equipment is not required, there are still several benefits to using GPS tracking for bail bonds. These include:

  • Peace of mind for defendants and their families
  • Reduced chances for flight risks or skipping bail
  • Convenient and user-friendly
  • Offers security to bondsmen and clients
  • Can be used for any type of bail bond, not just cash bonds
  • Allows for more personalized conditions of release

Being arrested and charged for a crime, regardless of the offense, is a difficult situation for anyone to manage on their own – that’s why our team is on call and here to help! We’ll get your loved one released from jail ASAP and ensure they have a seamless and secure experience through our GPS services. Speak with an agent today to learn more.

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested, expert support is only a phone call away!

At Off the Hook Bail Bonding, we know your time is valuable and our mission is to get you out of a holding cell and back to your home as fast as possible. We offer a variety of services, such as GPS monitoring and skip tracing, to help our clients have a successful bail experience from start to finish. Our skilled bond agents are on call 24/7, working tirelessly to provide you with the best possible support during this difficult time. From flexible payment options to expert guidance and service, Off the Hook Bail Bonds can be a truly invaluable resource for you or your loved ones. Get out of jail and back to your life – call us today for assistance!

Blog #6 Skipping Bail (2) (002)

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics, Bond Services.

After you’ve been detained by police and released on bail, the stress and life challenges that result from your arrest can feel too overwhelming to bear. The idea of packing up your belongings and riding off into the sunset may seem quite alluring. But failure to appear in court (a.k.a. “skipping bail”) carries serious consequences. A bail bond functions as a monetary guarantee that the defendant will follow their release guidelines and attend their scheduled court dates. When a defendant violates the terms of this agreement, the freedom and flexibility granted by the bail bond go out the window. If you or a loved one skip bail, the events that follow can lead to additional penalties, charges, and jail time.

First, the defendant’s surety bond is revoked by law, meaning the bail agreement between the individual and their bondsman is considered no longer valid. The court seizes all monetary payments that were made to the bond agency in order to cover the original bail amount. This includes any collateral the defendant put down as part of their bail agreement.

Next, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest. This warrant is submitted to a federal database, notifying officers nationwide to be on the lookout. Crossing state lines or borders will not allow you to hide. Once you’re located by either law enforcement, skip tracers, or bounty hunters, you’ll be taken into police custody and held until your trial.

Blog #6 Skipping Bail (002)

In addition to being arrested, skipping bail may result in additional financial penalties and criminal charges. If you attempted to leave the area, these consequences will be magnified.

Finally, skipping bail gravely impacts the outcome of your case. Failure to appear in court suggests to the judge or jury that you have something to hide, that you’re fleeing out of guilt. They will be far less likely to show leniency, your tarnished reputation will create holes in your defense, and your chances for an unfavorable verdict increase.

If you or a loved one has skipped bail (whether intentionally or by accident), take action as soon as possible. It’s crucial to keep an open line of communication with everyone involved in your case, so if you’ve missed a past appointment or are unable to attend an upcoming court date, contact your lawyer and our bail agents immediately. Skipping bail creates an emotionally and financially taxing predicament for you, your family, and all others connected to the bond agreement. Rather than flee, encourage yourself or a loved one to diligently handle the legal dilemma and seek justice. Good people can find themselves in bad situations, but they always have time to make things right.

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested, expert support is only a phone call away!

At Off the Hook Bail Bonding, we know your time is valuable and our mission is to get you out of a holding cell and back to your home as fast as possible. Our skilled bond agents work tirelessly to provide our clients with the best possible support during this difficult time. From flexible payment options to expert guidance and service, Off the Hook Bail Bonds can be a truly invaluable resource for you or your loved ones. Get out of jail and back to your life – call us today for help!

Blog #5 Misconceptions

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics, Bond Services.

Bail bonds are a valuable yet frequently misunderstood aspect of the criminal justice system. Without first-hand experience in the bail bonding process, a person can easily be unfamiliar with how they function, who has access to them, and their overall purpose. Let’s explore the seven most common misconceptions that surround the bail bond industry and provide clarity on the important role a bond plays in the arrest and release process. By debunking these myths, we’ll highlight the benefits of using a bail bonding company, resolve any confusion, and help our clients make an informed decision should the need for our Off the Hook services arise.

Myth 1: Bail bonds can only be used for serious crimes.

As long as a bail amount is set by the judge, the nature of the crime does not dictate whether a bond can be used. Instead, bail bonds can be applied to a variety of offenses, from minor traffic violations to high-level felonies.

Myth 2: Bail bonds are too expensive and not a feasible option.

Not only are bonds far more affordable than paying the full amount of bail upfront, but they also allow for a quicker release. Although bail agents charge a non-refundable fee (usually 10-15% of the total bail amount), their flexible payment options, expedited defendant release, and expert guidance throughout the process are well worth the minor service charge.

Myth 3: Bail bonds are not reliable or secure.

Bail bonds are highly reliable for two reasons: they are regulated by the state, and bondsmen adhere to strict guidelines to ensure they provide safe and consistent service to their clients.

Blog #5 Misconceptions (2)

Myth 4: Bail bonds are non-confidential and can be shared publicly.

Bail bonds are confidential by nature. Any information shared between the bondsman and their client is protected by law, and bail bonds are not disclosed on public records.

Myth 5: Bail bonds are only for people who can’t post the full amount of bail.

A professional jail bonding company provides far more than just a check for bail. They offer quicker releases and expert guidance throughout the bail process. Any client, regardless of their financial means, can benefit from the help of a skilled bond agent.

Myth 6: Bondsmen only accept cash payments.

At Off the Hook Bail Bonding, understanding our clients’ situations and means is a top priority. As such, we offer a variety of flexible services and easy-to-meet payment options, including pay-by-phone and online bond applications. We are not limited to cash payments, and we accept all major credit card companies.

Myth 7: Bail can only be paid at the jail where the client is being held.

Our bond agents can help you from anywhere within the large network of North Carolina counties we serve. One call to our bondsmen, and we can get the process started immediately. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year, ready to serve our clients wherever and whenever.

In truth, bail bonds are an affordable option and vital resource for defendants being held behind bars. They are a secure solution that can be used in a variety of situations, and the feasible and flexible aspects of a bond allow for a quicker and cost-effective release from jail. While every arrest brings its own unique set of challenges, researching and staying up to date on the bail process (just as you’re doing right now) will help you decide the best course of action for you or your loved one and navigate the process with confidence.

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested, expert support is only a phone call away!

At Off the Hook Bail Bonding, we know your time is valuable and our mission is to get you out of a holding cell and back to your own home as fast as possible. Our skilled bond agents work tirelessly to provide our clients with the best possible support during this difficult time. From flexible payment options to expert guidance and service, Off the Hook bail bonds can be a truly invaluable resource for you or your loved ones. Get out of jail and back to your life – call us today for help!

Skip Tracing 4 (1)

Posted by & filed under Bond Services.

One of the many services we offer at Off the Hook Bail Bonds is skip tracing. If you’ve never had to navigate the bail bonding process, you may be unfamiliar with this term and how bondsmen apply it to their cases. Skip tracing services are used to locate a defendant who’s “skipped bail,” meaning they failed to appear in court, or they violated the terms of their release agreement. A vital part of business, skip tracing services provide bondsmen and co-signers alike a valuable resource for tracking unresponsive or missing defendants.

How does skip tracing work?

The first step to locating a “skipper” is by verifying their personal information on file. Incorrect contact information, such as a home address and phone number, is often the primary reason for an unresponsive defendant. However, if the contact information is verified to be accurate and the defendant is still unlocatable, a bondsman may hire a professional skip tracer to locate the missing party. Professional skip tracers have access to databases and additional resources that help them locate individuals who are trying to stay off the radar. The tracer will comb through public records (such as address history, tax records, employment history, etc…) in an effort to gather any form of information on the individual.

Blog #4 Skip Tracing (1)

If public records do not provide enough data to locate the individual, the tracer will then reach out to family members and friends of the defendant. It’s common for a defendant who skips bail to inform a close, personal connection of their plans and whereabouts. With ethical, persuasive techniques, the skip tracer may encourage their friends and family to reveal any information they may have on the defendant’s current location.

If the skip tracing services are unable to pinpoint the defendant, a bail bondsman may use surveillance techniques. This could involve staking out the individual’s last known address or following them discreetly to track their daily movement and whereabouts.

Ultimately, the goal of skip tracing is to locate the defendant, return them to court, and hold them accountable for their actions. Bail bondsmen play a crucial role in this process. Our agents at Off the Hook use their expertise, intel, and professional connections to ensure all parties involved with the bond follow the terms of agreement. We find that by offering skip tracing services, we provide a layer of reassurance to our clients – knowing that Off the Hook will use all available resources to create a positive bail bond experience. To learn more about skip tracing or any of the other services we offer, visit our bond services page or call today to chat with one of our experts.

The Pros of Using a Bail Bond Agent (Blog #3)

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics.

When a loved one is arrested, the experience can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone involved. At Off the Hook Bail Bonds, we believe the ideal place to prepare for trial is at home, rather than a holding cell. However, the defendant release process can be arduous, time-consuming, and costly. If you or someone you love has been detained by police, a bail bondsman is a valuable resource for getting out of jail quickly and effectively. There are several benefits to using a bail bond agent:

Faster release from jail – Bail bondsmen, like our skilled agents at Off the Hook, are experts in their field. They’ve fostered business relationships with law enforcement and judicial members who manage the bond process. Because of their insider knowledge and professional connections, bond agents can expedite defendant release by knowing who to contact and what to avoid.

Payment plans and options Courts require the bond to be paid in full prior to the defendant’s release. Bail bond agents offer flexible payment plans that allow the defendant or cosigner to pay off the bond over a period of time. Bail bondsmen consider the needs of their clients and develop an installment plan that fits their monthly budget. At Off the Hook, we offer flexible payment options, such as pay by phone and online bond applications, and we accept all major credit cards.

The Pros of Using a Bail Bond Agent (Blog #3) (2)

Respectful and reliable client service – Banks, law enforcement, court officials, and family members may treat a defendant with judgment or contempt and refuse a request for help. However, Off the Hook Bail Bond agents know that good people can end up in precarious situations, and we listen through a posture of respect and understanding. Our mission is to get our clients out of jail and back to their lives as fast as possible, and we do so by offering high-quality service and reliable solutions.

Working as a team > handling the situation alone – The bail bond system is slow-moving and complex. Mistakes and missteps can lead to added complications and jail time. Bail bond agents, however, are expert guides to the process and use their knowledge and experience to usher your case through the system efficiently.

Get out of jail and get back to your life – Using a bail bondsmen agency leverages your position in a legal dilemma. A release from jail provides you extra time, comfort, and flexibility to build a robust defense strategy and await your upcoming trial.

While using a bail bondsman may not be the first thought that comes to mind when you receive a call from the county jail, their guidance and expertise can be invaluable tools. Aside from releasing a defendant from jail, Off the Hook agents offer assurance and peace of mind – relief in knowing your loved one is safe at home, able to continue working, care for their family, and prepare for trial. If you or someone you know has found themselves in a legal bind, Off the Hook is here to serve you quickly, respectfully, and effectively. Call us today for help!

Types of Bail Bonds (Blog #2)

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics.

At Off The Hook Bail Bonding, we believe a bondsman’s job does not stop once the defendant is released. We’re here to help guide you through the twists and turns of our legal system, offering answers and assistance to anyone trying to navigate the bail bond process. Our mission is to get you out of holding and back to the comfort of your own home as fast as possible. To do that, Off The Hook agents have an astute knowledge of all kinds of bond situations and can accommodate both misdemeanor and felony bonds. While our expert team is on call and ready to help 24/7, we believe that keeping our clients informed on the bail process (procedures, terminology, etc..) allows us to improve our methodology and our quality of service. In this article, we’ll review the different categories of bail bonds that exist in our modern day.

First, what is a bail bond? How many kinds are there, and what are the specifics of each one?

A bail bond is a refundable deposit that allows a defendant to be released from jail until their court date. Bail bonds serve as monetary guarantees that the released defendant will remain in the area and appear in court on their scheduled days and times.

There are two categories of bonds:

Unsecured bond – The magistrate sets an amount for the bond; however, the defendant is not required to pay it to be released. Instead, the bail amount functions as a monetary judgment that is entered against the defendant if they break the conditions of their release. For example, if a defendant who was released on an unsecured bond is arrested for not appearing in court, then they are required to pay the full amount of the bond and an additional, higher bond to be released from jail a second time.

Secured bond – This is the most common type of bond. Once set by the judge, the defendant can only be released from jail by paying the full amount of bail in cash, through a bonding company (like Off the Hook), or by using their property as collateral.

Types of Bail Bonds Blog 2 1

Within the secured category, there are four main types of bonds:

Own Recognizance – the court trusts the defendant to remain in the area and appear in court, so no dollar amount is assigned as bail. The defendant signs a written agreement to be released.

Cash Bonds – the defendant or a cosigner pays the full amount of bail. Most courts accept cash, cashier’s checks, and credit cards as forms of payment.

Property Bonds – a piece of property (of equal or greater value) is used as collateral for the bail. The court places a lien on the property until all court dates are met.

Surety Bonds – a bail bonds company covers the full bail amount. The defendant is charged a percentage of the bail in fees to the agency.

Outside of the main four, the less common types of bonds are:

A citation bond – this bond is similar to a ticket or citation.

An immigration bond – this bond applies when the defendant is arrested by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

A federal bond – this bond is paid through a federal court.

Navigating through a legal dilemma and the bail process can be an overwhelming experience, but our team of bond experts is here to provide guidance, advice, and support every step of the way. If you or someone you care about is in trouble, don’t delay. Speak with one of our skilled agents and get back to your home and life today!

The Arrest and Bail Process (Blog #1) (1)

Posted by & filed under Bail Topics.

If you’ve never faced criminal charges and had to navigate through the U.S. legal system, you’re likely unfamiliar with the arrest and bail process. Maybe you feel it’s an elusive topic – something that crosses your mind while you’re watching the news, but you won’t have to confront it in your normal day-to-day. While we genuinely hope that you never find yourself in a holding cell, life can be unpredictable, and adversity strikes when you least expect it. At Off the Hook Bail Bonds, we understand that good people can fall into bad situations. We are always here to help and never here to judge. For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that you or a loved one has been detained by police. Here’s everything you would need to know about how the process unfolds.

First, you got arrested, uh oh! You found yourself in police custody after one of two scenarios: 

  1. You were caught in the act of committing a crime (or under reasonable suspicion of committing a crime) and are arrested at the scene immediately. 
  2. After further investigating a crime, the police identify you as the offender, and a judge issues a warrant for your arrest.

Regardless of the scenario, the arrest and booking process that follows is fairly similar. A police officer will handcuff you and pat you down to ensure you’re not carrying a weapon. They will remind you of your Miranda Rights and your legal ability to remain silent during questioning (these rights are crucial). You’ll then be transported to the police station where the officers will conduct further searches and claim your possessions. The station will provide you with a document that lists all of the personal possessions they claim. You’ll use this form to retrieve your items upon release; however, certain possessions may be withheld indefinitely if they are marked as evidence of the crime. Additionally, the jail may require you to change out of your clothes and wear a specific uniform. 

The Arrest and Bail Process Blog 1 1

Following the search and claim of possessions, you’ll be fingerprinted and have a mugshot taken for police records. Depending on the crime, you may have your cheek swabbed for DNA analysis. The booking process usually takes several hours to complete. During this time, you’ll be placed in a holding cell and given access to make one phone call to a friend, family member, or attorney. Finally, the police may conduct an interrogation, where they will reiterate your Miranda Rights and ask questions which you can choose not to answer. 

Within 48 hours of your arrest (this timeframe is subject to change depending on the situation), you’ll be taken before a judge or magistrate who will determine the severity of your crime, bail amount, and any additional conditions for your release. The judge will also determine the type of bail. There are four primary categories: own recognizance, cash bonds, property bonds, and surety bonds. Surety bail is an Off the Hook bondsman’s domain – the defendant is unable to pay the full amount out-of-pocket and requires a bondsmen agency to cover the cost while they pay an agreed-upon percentage in fees. Once the bail is paid and written agreements are signed, you’re released! You can take a breath for a moment, but what comes next? First, you’ll need to return to your current residence, stay in the area, and make arrangements to appear in court on all scheduled dates. Depending on the conditions of your release, you may be required to wear a GPS monitoring device.   

Between the period of release to court appearance, you can either employ your own lawyer or receive a court-appointed attorney (per your sixth amendment right to counsel). You can also choose to represent yourself if desired. During this time, you and your attorney will develop a defense strategy to prove innocence or lessen legal culpability. Thanks to one of our skilled bond agents, you’ll be able to prepare this strategy in the comfort of your own home rather than a holding cell. 

Finally, your court date arrives, and a trial by a judge or jury will investigate the crime and charges. The duration of the trial is dependent on a variety of conditions, but eventually, it will conclude when the judge or jury determines the status of your innocence and, if applicable, assigns a sentence for the charges.

Whether it’s you or someone you love, the arrest, bail, and criminal defense process can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. That’s why our skilled agents at Off The Hook are here to help you get out of jail and back to your life as fast as possible. 24/7, 365 days a year, we’re on call and ready to assist you with high-quality, reliable service. Call us today to learn more!

Toy Drive

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

As we get ready for the busy holiday season let’s take a moment to help out our local children that won’t be as fortunate without your help, THOSE BEHIND THE BADGE has teamed up with Off The Hook Bail Bonds to sponsor our second annual Christmas Toy Drive for the local children of The Bair Foundation of Wilmington, NC. We will be accepting unwrapped toys, gift cards, and cash donations

So come by our office downtown Wilmington November 22nd 106 N. Water St. #103 Wilmington, NC 28401 (9:30am-5:00pm) and help make the difference in a child’s Christmas!

Thank you!