Pre-Trial Release in North Carolina
Pre-trial release – One of the hot topics in today’s environment is the fact that across the country, thousands of people that have not been convicted of a crime are sitting in jail. In the past, we have talked about the bail bond process and specifically bond hearings, and how they work. That, however, was just one of the topics regarding pre-trial release.
In this blog we will attempt to shed some light on pre-trial release, to give a better understanding of the process. This is for informational purposes only and would be a very poor substitute for the advice of a criminal defense attorney.
What is pre-trial release?
Pre-trial release in general is exactly what it sounds like. It allows a defendant that has been accused of a crime to await his trial date without being detained in jail.
Pre-trial services is a government agency that helps the North Carolina Courts make decisions with regard to release and detention decisions. They also provide for monitoring and drug testing of the accused while they await trial. Pre-trial services has the authority to recommend to the court that someone who was once in their custody be arrested.
Pre-trial services custody
A defendant can be released to the custody of pre-trial services instead of having to pay a bond or having to remain jail. This means that person will be allowed to go work and live in their home as usual, but they would have to adhere to at least some of the following conditions:
- Checking in periodically with an employee of pre-trial services
- Taking and passing periodic drug tests
- Adhering to electronic monitoring
- Not being charged with a new crime
Pre-Trial Release Eligibility
Not everyone who is charged with a crime will be eligible to be released prior to their charges being dealt with. Capital offenses usually require the defendant to remained detained until his case is resolved. Also, some drug trafficking charges make it extremely difficult for a defendant to secure his pretrial release.
Pre-Trial Release Conditions
Rarely is it the case that someone in pre-trial release doesn’t have at least some conditions to adhere to. North Carolina General Statute 15a-534, sets out information regarding eligibility. Examples of common conditions are:
- Staying away from a certain premise (usually the scene of the crime)
- Staying away from a certain person (usually the alleged victim)
- Making all necessary court appearances
Victim’s rights with regard to Pre-trial release
Pre-trial determination can be very circumstance specific, and in North Carolina there are special consideration for crimes regarding domestic violence that are outlined in North Carolina General Statute 15a-534.1.
Criminal charges come with a lot to consider, and the aid of a criminal defense attorney can make a huge difference. If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina, charged with a crime in South Carolina, or charged with a federal crime, contact us.