Bail Bonds Articles

Types of Bail Bonds (Blog #2)

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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.

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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)

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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. 

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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

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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!

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With the over crowed jail population of many states being the target of certain human rights groups such as the ACLU, Arnold Foundation, and NAACP. These groups have set their sites on the bail bonding industry by saying that they “prey on those who can’t afford bail.” Some states have or will be going to a form of Bail Reform such as New Jersey, Alaska, parts of New Mexico, Texas, in a few months New York, in 2020 California is going to vote on it. Of the mentioned states, Alaska and Texas have since reversed their failed bail reform policy with other states considering doing the same.

As a current bail agent for twenty two years I have seen a lot over the years. I know many of you reading this will think I am biased on my stance on bail reform and to a point you are correct because I know our value to the public, but hear me out.

Can we both agree that a person is usually arrested when there is enough suspicion or evidence that a person has done something against our current laws? When this person is arrested they go before a judge/magistrate to determine the severity of the crime, risk to the community, and the risk of returning to court for trial. A judge is going to set a bond dollar amount that can be secured or unsecured at the discretion of the judge. At this point some of you are saying that there shouldn’t be a dollar amount attached to someones release but everyone has to be treated equally and how can you do that if some get out for free and some have to pay a bond? Some of you would say to let them all out for free because they haven’t been convicted of anything yet. Well our system will NEVER be completely fair for all but letting everyone out without some form of accountability is unacceptable. When a person is facing having to pay a bond they can pay the whole bond themselves and get it all back when they complete court or they can hire a bail bondsman and pay a percentage of the bond. When you hire a bondsman he or she is now being held accountable for that defendant to appear in court for all court dates until there is a final judgment on that person’s case. Do you know that some cases are continued for up to three years! During this period of time many things can happen and often these people relocate. Who is going to go find them in order for them to have their day in court? The police that originally arrested the person are restricted to their respective county or state and can’t cross those lines with the power to arrest BUT bail bondmen can. Do you know who pays the bill for state and local law enforcement, the taxpayers do! Do you know who pays for bail bondsmen to travel to all these different places to find and bring back these defendants to stand trial? It was paid by the people that posted bail originally and not the tax payers. Do you want to pay the bill for people to get out of jail that you don’t even know? When people subscribe to the Bail Reform idea that is exactly what you are doing. It has been proven in other states like Alaska and Texas that tried bail reform and returned to using secured bail bonds.

Half of the people let out for ‘Free” failed to appear in court

In the end someone has to pay the bill to to get things done. Im not saying that there can’t be some changes to the way things are done but I am saying the value of a bail bondsman far out weighs going to a system that allows everyone out of jail without any accountability. This debate is similar to the issue of healthcare in our country, should the government pay for it or should each individual cover the cost? We all know when the government picks up the bill its not really free! When considering whether or not to go to bail reform consider the victims of these cases, the community that they will be released into. You can’t always think with your heart when it comes to being fair to everyone involved in a situation with the law.

Toy Drive

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This is the time of year when children need toys the most! On December 21st Off The Hook Bail Bonding will be hosting our first Toy Drive through the group “Those Behind The Badge.”  Donations can be wrapped or unwrapped toys and cash is also acceptable with all proceeds going to the local foster children of the Bair Foundation of Wilmington, NC.

Come out and show your support on December 21, starting at 9:00am and going until atleast 5:00.  There will be New Hanover and Wilmington Police officers here to greet you and thank you for your donation!

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After being on Princess Street for the past four and a half years we have decided to move two blocks away down to 106 Water St. Unit#103 Wilmington, North Carolina directly in front of the USS North Carolina Battleship. We will still offer the fastest bail bonding services to the New Hanover County Courthouse and the jail located at 3950 Juvenile Center Rd Castle Hayne, NC. Since we have moved to this new location we will be able to provide a NEW bail bonding service that we will disclose at a later dat. Thank you Wilmington for allowing us to be the premiere bail bonding company for the second year in a row!

Knife pocket

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A lot of the concern these days is turned toward carrying guns and the right to bear arms. The fact is that in North Carolina you are more likely to run into a person carrying a knife rather than a gun. So what kind of knives are legal and how should they be carried on a person? According to North Carolina State Law a Conceal Weapon is defined in the following statute

§ 14-269. Carrying concealed weapons
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his person any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slung shot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shurikin, stun gun, or other deadly weapon of like kind, except when the person is on the person’s own premises.

North Carolina statute defines a pocket knife as a small knife, made to carry in a pocket or purse, which has its cutting edge and point entirely enclosed by the handle, and that may not be opened by a throwing, explosive, or spring action.

When we get a call for a bail bond that involves a charge of a concealed weapon, most of the time is has to do with a knife of some sort. You should check with your local sheriffs department to find out what their interpretation is of the law on carrying spring assisted bladed knives since the statute does not clearly define the use of these knives.

revenge porn

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These days everyone is on some type of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. With the ability to post your thoughts along with photos of just about anything, is this okay? Well in North Carolina the fist person to find out that it is NOT okay to post nude photos of a person online without their consent was a twenty year old girl from Apex, NC on April 1, 2016. This young lady was arrested and charged with the new law called “Disclosure of Private Parts” and she had to post a bail amount of $3000 with a bail bondsman.The General Assembly passed legislation back in the summer of 2016 making such postings a Class H felony and allowing victims to sue perpetrators for damages. The complete wording of the new law that went into effect on December 1, 2016, makes it a Class H felony for anyone to post explicit photos or videos of a person without their consent, with the intent to harass, extort, or intimidate the victim. The law also addresses punishment for minors, making this crime a Class 1 misdemeanor for anyone under the age of 18.
While many people are thankful for legislators taking action to protect victims of revenge porn, some legal professionals have suggested that criminalizing revenge porn restrains the First Amendment right to free speech because laws that address revenge porn are “too broad,” i.e. the laws surround too many events not related to revenge porn.
While revenge porn laws typically will not affect First Amendment rights because these laws will deal mostly with civil action, there are still many questions as to if this law is too broad. Are these postings more than just a joke or momentary lapse in good judgment. A photo or video on the internet can last a lifetime for the victim and can have devastating consequences when applying for a job, maintaining a relationship, or simply being out in a public place. Maybe North Carolina’s new “revenge porn” law will persuade people to “think before they post” to avoid criminal and civil consequences. In the moment of posting this malicious content it may seem like revenge but when someone gets arrested and they need to be bonded out, its not worth it!


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Misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated has five levels. Level I is the most serious and Level V the least.
Level V
Punishable by a fine up to $200 and a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours and a maximum of 60 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spend 24 hours in jail, perform 24 hours of community service or not operate a vehicle for 30 days.
Level IV
Punishable by a fine up to $500 and a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and a maximum of 120 days. A judge may suspend the sentence but after the driver has completed 48 hours in jail, and performed 48 hours of community service or not operate a vehicle for 60 days.
Level III
Punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours and a maximum of six months. A judge can suspend the sentence only after a driver has spent at least 72 hours in jail, completed 72 hours of community service or hasn’t operated a vehicle for atleast 90 days.
Level II
Punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and a minimum jail sentence of seven days and a maximum of one year. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.
Level I
Punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.
Level I and II drivers are usually repeat offenders, persons whose license has been revoked, impaired drivers, impaired drivers who were driving with young children in the car and impaired drivers who hurt someone in a wreck. Impaired drivers must complete a substance abuse assessment and comply with any recommended treatment as a condition for having their drivers license restored at the end of the revocation period.
Felony DWI
As for Habitual DWI offenders, these are drivers that have had three prior DWI convictions within the past seven years, a DWI becomes a more severe felony. But more importantly, the Habitual DWI statute now states that a minimum active jail term of one year this is a sentence that CANNOT be suspended. Offenders must also go through a substance abuse program while in jail or as a condition of parole.


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What is a Transfer Bond? When a friend or family member travels to another state and ends up in jail for whatever reason this can be a big problem. Most bail bonding companies do not like to post bail bonds for people that are not local. When a person is arrested in another state they are looked at as a flight risk in fear that they will not return for court. This is when you will need to contact your local bail bondsman and request a transfer bond.

How does a Transfer Bond work? Once you contact your local bail bondsman he or she will contact their surety company to find a bail agent close to the county in the state where your loved one is in jail at. Since there are more people involed there may be additional costs but this is usually a flat fee for posting the bond by the out of state bail agent.

How do I start the process? If you need this service call our office or use our “Quick Bail Request” and someone will be glad to walk you through the process which can be done online even from a Smartphone!