What is the Pretrial Integrity Act?


1-1-1024x1024What is the Pretrial Integrity Act?

After you are arrested, you will go before a judge. When you are in court, you will learn the charges against you, and the judge will typically set bond. Bond means that the defendant will be allowed to stay out of jail but must appear in court for their upcoming case or will forfeit the bail they provided. There are also often some conditions for remaining out of jail. Recently, the Pretrial Integrity Act went into effect, which changes how bond is set for some types of criminal charges.


Pretrial Integrity Act

The Pretrial Integrity Act was enacted in October 2023 to change the procedures for setting pretrial release. The legislation pertains specifically to some types of felonies and capital offenses, as well as to defendants with prior pending, unrelated charges or more than one pending DWI charge. The new bond law is a way to ensure public safety while also continuing to maintain justice standards. The impact of the new legislation could mean that a person arrested and accused of a crime could face a longer detention period before bond is set.


Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What are the long-term effects of being convicted of a crime?”


Judges Must Set Pretrial Release Conditions

The new law requires judges to set pretrial release conditions. In the past, magistrates were responsible for setting bond in most circumstances.mallet-wood-hammer-tool-2275946-scaled Magistrates are available 24 hours of the day, while judges work during set hours, which are usually regular business hours, Monday through Friday. The change means that a judge has the responsibility to review and consider the conditions of bond and release. The judge will be able to evaluate on a case-by-case basis, determining under what conditions a person can be released based on a variety of factors.


An Accused May Be Detained Longer

One of the potential issues that could occur with the new law is that a detained person might have to wait a long time to get released. When, in the past, the magistrate might set bond rather quickly, a person must now wait for a judge to make the determination. If a person is arrested, for example, on a Friday evening, they could end up having to wait until the judge is in court the following Monday. However, it is important to note that after a 48-hour hold, if a judge is not available, a magistrate may set bond and pretrial conditions. The magistrate must adhere to the policies set forth in their local jurisdiction.

The purpose of the new legislation is to require a more thorough review of a person’s criminal background before setting bond and pretrial conditions. However, the law could cause potential problems for those who are detained. A person accused of a serious crime, potentially including DWI charges, could face a longer time in jail to wait for their bond to be set. This might result in hardships for the accused and their family.


If you are facing criminal charges, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (704) 370-2828 to speak to our legal team.




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.



North Carolina’s new Pretrial Integrity Act – North Carolina Criminal Law (unc.edu)

Chapter 15A (ncleg.net)


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