A new law is in place in North Carolina. The Pretrial Integrity Act went into effect on October 1, 2023. The bill was initially introduced as House 813 and was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on July 1, 2023. The law is designed to allow judges the ability to make decisions regarding setting bonds for defendants. Proponents of the bill wanted legislation in place to ensure that dangerous criminals would be kept in jail pending their trials.
Bond in Criminal Cases
The legal process allows defendants to go before a magistrate soon after their arrest. The magistrate typically sets bonds for the defendants in criminal cases. Typically, the amount of bail and whether bail is even allowed at all was automatically based on factors such as the severity of the crime and whether the defendant is a flight risk. In some cases, repeat offenders were back out on the streets after posting a minimal amount of money.
What is the Pretrial Integrity Act?
The Pretrial Integrity Act provides for more accountability and creates stricter bail options in criminal cases. The new law gives judges rather than magistrates the ability to set bail and they will have more decision-making abilities to determine bail. The judge now has more leeway in deciding whether to allow defendants out of jail while they await trial. The law is designed to keep dangerous offenders off the streets while their cases are pending. Judges are able to use their discretion when they determine bail for those charged with violent crimes, such as rape, assault, and murder, among others.
Can I Still Get Out of Jail on Bail?
Bail is still an option for most defendants. In some cases, if you have had previous convictions or you are accused of a violent crime, the judge may decide to set bail at a very high amount or deny it altogether. Sometimes your attorney may be able to help advocate for a lower bail. In some cases, you may be able to show that you should be allowed to be out of jail while your case proceeds. The ultimate decision will be up to the judge, so every case is different and has a unique set of circumstances. Your attorney will review your case and discuss the likely options with you.
Defending Criminal Charges
Criminal charges, whether misdemeanors or felonies, are serious. If you are found guilty you could suffer not only the legal consequences such as jail time, fines, and probation, but also will face personal ramifications. You could be denied employment, have problems getting an apartment, and might even be prevented from attending college. You will want to partner with a criminal defense attorney who will strongly advocate for your innocence and resolve the matter with as few consequences as possible.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (704) 370-2828 to seek the best criminal defense possible.
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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