Sometimes a defendant is injured prior to or during arrest. When the injury is serious, the defendant may need to go directly to the hospital. May a judicial official, such as a magistrate, come to the hospital to conduct the defendant’s initial appearance? A federal magistrate judge did just that for Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, and I’m told that some North Carolina magistrates have occasionally done the same.
I spent much of the afternoon teaching magistrates, and one of the topics we covered was the immediate license revocation that often is ordered upon a person’s arrest for impaired driving.
This question in the title of this post came up in a recent class. The specific context involved a domestic violence defendant who was in jail waiting for a judge to set conditions of release pursuant to the 48 hour rule established in G.S. 15A-534.1. But a similar issue arises whenever a magistrate sets conditions of release for a defendant who is unable to make bond and so remains in pretrial detention. An example of a common condition is that the defendant not contact the alleged victim.