Florida Pre-Trial Release, Bail and Bail Bond Hearings — We Will Fight For Your Loved Ones’ Immediate Release! Call us now. (407) 408-0494
The Modarres Law Firm is available for you at a moment’s notice to argue for manageable bail bond amounts to get you or your friends/family released from jail. In Florida, the term “Pretrial Release” is used interchangeably with “bail” and “bond.” This is the amount of money that must be paid/posted before a person is released from jail pending trial, to ensure their appearance in court. Pretrial Release terms may include other non-monetary conditions, or the judge may choose to release the accused on their own recognizance in certain circumstances.
Once a person is arrested they are typically entitled to a bond. Usually a bond is set in accordance with a local bond schedule, although bonds can be higher or lower than the amounts stated on the schedule. There are some cases, such as a capital case or when there is a felony punishable by life and the proof is evident and the presumption great, that a bond is not set and the defendant may not be entitled to a bond.
In Florida, a defendant is entitled to appear in front of a judge within 24 hours of his or her arrest. This is called a First Appearance or Initial Appearance. The primary purpose of the First Appearance is for the Judge to determine whether there is enough information in the arrest affidavit as to establish probable cause against the defendant. It is at this time that the Judge will also affirm the bond set at the time of the defendant’s booking, or lower it or raise it. A defendant has a right to request a reasonable bond or that his/her bond be lowered at the time of the First Appearance. Many attorney’s, for some reason, avoid seeking a bond at First Appearance. At The Modarres Law Firm, we appear at many First Appearances seeking a bond or a bond reduction on behalf of our clients. If we are retained early enough, which is typically after the arrest but prior to the First Appearance the next day, we can prepare a Motion to Set Bond or a Motion to Reduce Bond, and the Court is supposed consider a bond at that point. Some judges are reluctant to do so at a First Appearance, as the prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office is often not prepared to argue a bond motion at that time, because of the lack of information they have available to them on such quick notice. We maintain that our client’s rights are paramount over a State Attorney’s lack of preparedness and that since the law permits bond hearings at this time, we have every right to proceed.
In Florida, the legal term Pretrial Release is synonymous with the word bond. Typically a monetary amount for a bond is set by the Judge that must be posted before a person can be released from jail while waiting for trial. Often times Pretrial Release includes additional special additional conditions of a bond that the Court orders. These could include areas such as no contact provisions, limited contact provisions, counseling or therapy, electronic monitoring, no use of alcohol, or a host of other restrictions which bear a reasonable relationship to the offense.
If a reasonable bond is not set at the time of First Appearance, a defendant has the right to request a Bond Hearing so that a bond may be set or the existing bond lowered. There are also opportunities to have terms of an existing bond changed by having your attorney file a Motion to Modify Conditions of Bond or Pre Trial release. At the hearing, the Judge will determine whether your bond should be lowered or if reasonable conditions can be imposed to permit a defendant to be pretrial released. These are conditions that you must comply with in order for the judge to grant you release from jail.
At a bond hearing a judge will determine whether the:
- Bond should be lowered, or
- Conditions of release should be modified.
Scheduling a bond hearing requires that the hearing must be scheduled before the correct judge. The Judge assigned for First Appearance is rarely the same Judge that will be assigned for the entirety of the case. In addition, different Judges have different rules and policies for setting a bond hearing. Some simply allow you to call their Judicial Assistant and schedule a hearing at the first available date. Others require you to file a motion, copy the State and then allow the State a certain number of days to respond. If the State opposes the bond you request, some Judges will allow you to then set the matter for a hearing and others will then make a decision without the benefit of a hearing, but solely based on the written motion. If the motion is denied or ordered in an amount not acceptable, then a defendant’s attorney can call and schedule a hearing for review and reconsideration. It is for these reasons, among others, that an experienced, knowledgeable and appropriately aggressive criminal defense attorney be brought on to handle your bond needs.
When a Bond Hearing Attorney from our Firm requests a Judge to lower the bond, the Judge will consider the following information, which we will need to be prepared and knowledgeable to address:
- The nature of the crimes
- The amount of evidence
- Community ties, including:
- Local Family Members
- Length of Residence
- Employment History
- Financial Resources, and
- Mental Condition
- Past and Present Criminal History, including:
- Any Criminal Convictions
- Past Failures to Appear, and
- Previous Flight from Prosecution
- The Source of Funds to post Bail
- Whether a Danger to the Community or victim exists, etc.
Once a bond is set, the defendant can post the full amount of the cash bond with the jail depository or instead, utilize the services of a Bail Bond Company. If a cash bond is posted, the full amount will be returned to the defendant so long as all court dates are met by the defendant. If a Bail Bond Company is used, then the company guarantees the bond to the court and becomes responsible for the defendant’s appearances in court. For this, the Bail Bond Company usually charges a 10% fee from the defendant. It is more for federal cases, however not all federal courts allow the use of bail bond companies. However, if the defendant skips or fails to appear in Court, the bail bond company will seek to capture the defendant and have the defendant pay 100% for the loss of the bond which resulted from the defendant’s nonappearance in Court.
The most important considerations for the court in determining bond in a bond hearing are:
• Will this person appear in court on his/her scheduled trial date?
• Does this person pose a threat to others in the community?
• The nature of the crime(s)
• Employment history, familial relationships in the community, mental condition, financial resources, and other ties to the community.
• Criminal history
Call us today so that we can file a Florida Motion to Set Reasonable Bond for you or your loved ones. We will fight for you/your family’s immediate release! Call us now. (407) 408-0494.
Copyright © 2013 The Modarres Law Firm – Orlando Florida Defense Lawyers – Central Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys – All rights reserved. Orlando Criminal Lawyer Disclaimer: The civil rights, criminal, criminal defense or other legal defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Our criminal defense law firm serves the following communities, among others: Orlando, Pine Hills, Apopka, East Orlando, West Orlando, Conway, Bay Hill, Doctor Phillips, Belle Isle, Pine Castle, Oviedo, Ocoee, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Maitland, Eatonville, Winter Garden, Southeast Orlando, Southwest Orlando, Casselberry, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Apopka, Sanford, Seminole County, Orange County, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Midway, UCF, University Park, Thornton Park, Baldwin Park, Colonial Drive, Orange Avenue, Robinson Street, S Orange Avenue, Downtown Orlando, Alafaya Trail, University Blvd, Curry Ford, Lake Underhill, Goldenrod Road, Dean Road, Chickasaw Trail, Pershing, Semoran Blvd, Lake Margaret, Conway.
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