Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Am I allowed to videotape an interaction with police? Can they make me stop filming?”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) has announced drastic changes to its electronic monitoring program in the city amid concerns that people released from jail before trial pose a serious public safety risk.
The policy changes were announced by CMPD Chief Kerr Putney last week, according to the Charlotte Observer. The most prominent change would be to prevent murder suspects in Charlotte from getting ankle bracelets should a judge decide to release them on bail before trial.
Apart from excluding those arrested on homicide charges from its electronic monitoring program, the CMPD is also considering the same policy for those charged with armed robbery in the city of Charlotte.
In other words, it will be up to local judges to either release a murder suspect from jail before trial, knowing that the suspect will not be under electronic monitoring to track their location or keep the suspect in jail.
Regardless of whether you were arrested on homicide charges or are a suspect in an armed robbery case, a Charlotte criminal defense attorney may help you get your case dismissed or reduce the sentence.
Charlotte’s Murder Suspects Excluded from the Electronic Monitoring System
The policy change in the CMPD comes after public safety advocates, including Putney, have pushed for greater accountability in the court system, criticizing judges for releasing defendants with homicide, gun, and armed robbery charges simply because there would be an ankle bracelet to track their location.
Under the policy change, those charged with murder in the city of Charlotte will not be accepted on electronic monitoring, which tracks a defendant’s locations via a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet.
Public safety advocates hope that the policy change would encourage local judges to keep dangerous suspects in jail before trial and prevent potentially violent offenders from walking free.
Charlotte Police Statistics on GPS-Equipped Ankle Bracelets
According to statistics on the CMPD’s website, the department currently monitors nearly 470 people who are wearing an ankle bracelet while awaiting trial. Of these, more than 30 were charged with murder while the other over 130 have been charged with armed robbery. Approximately 100 people on the electronic monitoring program have committed another crime while wearing the ankle bracelet as part of their pretrial release.
Also, statistics show that nearly 130 people in Charlotte have cut the ankle bracelet off so far this year. Of those people, 18 have still not been located. The department is considering excluding other types of crimes from being eligible for electronic monitoring such as armed robbery, sexual assault, and rape.
Four Types of Bail in Charlotte and North Carolina
Generally, there are four different types of bail in North Carolina. Contrary to popular belief, not all types of bonds require the payment of money.
- Written promise to appear. In minor cases, a written obligation to attend future hearings will suffice to release a suspect from jail.
- Unsecured bond. You do not have to pay the unsecured bond unless you fail to appear at a court hearing or are arrested again. In the latter scenario, you would need to pay the money judgment on top of a higher bond to be released from jail.
- Secured bond. This is the most common type of bail in North Carolina that requires the defendant to pay a specified amount of bail in cash through a bonding company or via collateral such as real estate.
- Cash bond. In some situations, the defendant can pay the amount of the bond in cash.
Contact a Charlotte criminal defense attorney to explore your options if you were arrested in the city of Charlotte or other parts of North Carolina. Our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, can help protect your freedom. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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