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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Things you need to know/ Alternatives to jail


Do I have to come to court? Can my attorney appear for me in Mecklenburg County?

North Carolina requires those accused of crimes to appear in court in most cases. Exceptions for this include a wide variety of traffic tickets. Listed below is a link to the page which describes exactly what offenses an attorney can appear for you.


How do I make bond or bail in Mecklenburg County?

After a person is arrested, they are taken before a magistrate for an initial appearance. The magistrate will set terms for release. Terms of release can include a stay away order from the crime area or the alleged victim, or the imposition of a condition, such as no driving. The terms of release will differ in every case. Some people will be released simply upon their promise to appear at the next court date. Most are released on secured or unsecured bond. Those arrested of serious offenses, like homicide, will be held without bond, meaning they cannot be released from custody.

bond or bail in Mecklenburg CountyOnce bond is set, the entire bond can be posted with the court. If friend and family cannot post the entire bond, then they   can contact a bond company for assistance. The bond company will provide information concerning how much bond will need to be posted . Many factors determine this, including what crime the person was arrested for, whether they have a local address, whether they have failed to appear for a court appearance before, and whether they have committed any crimes in the past.  



Do I get my bond money back?
Under most circumstances, if the bond was posted directly to the court without the assistance of a bond company, the money would be returned at the conclusion of the case if all appearances were timely made. If the bond was posted through a bond company, the contract with the bond company would need to be reviewed.


Do I have to go to jail? Is there alternative to jail?

There are alternatives to jail. A skilled attorney can present an argument to the court requesting that any jail sentence be served on weekends.  A judge can also suspend a jail sentence; when a person is sentenced to 15 days in jail, an attorney can request the judge suspend the sentence, meaning the person will not have to serve any jail time as long as the person does not violate the terms of probation or commit a new crime. An attorney can also file motions or orally request to a judge that community service be completed in lieu of jail.


What is Drug Court or DWI Court in Mecklenburg County? Will I stay out of jail?
Drug and DWI Court are programs offered to some who have pled guilty to drug offenses and driving while intoxicated offenses. After sentencing a referral is given to the defendant to be evaluated by probation. Probation and other members of a therapeutic team determine how much of the jail sentence is actually served. Participants should be prepared to undergo a very intensive treatment program. The programs maintains very good results with a low recidivism rate for those who ‘graduate’ from the program.


What is work release? Will I get out of jail immediately?
Work release is a program in Mecklenburg County where a person can serve the remainder of their jail sentence in a residential facility in Charlotte. They live at the center, and receive counseling while being employed. Here is a the  link to the program which describes it further.


How long do I have to wait to file for an expungement? How many expungements can I file?
Depends. Expungement laws are very particular depending on the persons age and other factors. It is best to contact an attorney if you need information on filing an expungement.


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