Bail bonds help to assure a person’s appearance in court. A person who has been arrested for an offense and placed under a “secured bond” may be released from custody by putting up the full amount of the bond in cash, with the signature of a person who has enough property to cover the amount of the bond, or by a bail agent. Bail agents charge a non-refundable fee of up to 15 percent of the amount of the bond. Upon signing the bond, the bail agent becomes responsible for the defendant’s appearance in court and liable for the full amount of the bond. If the defendant appears in court as required and the case is disposed, the bond is void. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail agent must return the defendant to the court within 150 days or pay the full amount of the bond. This provides a strong financial incentive for the bail agent to do his or her job.If a bail agent is forced to forfeit on a bond, the bond amount is paid directly to North Carolina’s free public school system.
Bail agents have certain expansive rights, but they are not above the law. They may use “reasonable force” to apprehend the principal including breaking and entering the residence to take custody, and even overcoming a third party with force (See State v. Mathis)
They may act in some ways like law enforcement, but they are not given all the power of a law enforcement agent. They cannot, for example, carry a gun onto school property, and apparently, they cannot “speed”. (See State v. McGee)
Bail agents enjoy rights just like any other private citizen. Bail agents may carry firearms as protection but are held to the same requirements as other private citizens, including training and certification for firearms.
If a person does not show up in court, bail agents will hunt for the person who they have bailed out, and bring him back to court.
A bail agent does not HAVE to post bail for anyone- if the agent considers someone to be too high a risk, they can refuse to act as their surety.
Recent NC law regarding double bond for defendants who commit new crimes while out on pre-trial release can be found Here
K C’s 24/7 Bail Bond