Florida's Anti-Murder Act
Florida's Anti-Murder Act limits a judge's ability to grant bond in felony violation of probation cases if the probationer is on probation for a Sexually Motivated Offense or qualifies as a Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern.
Sexually Motivated Offenses
Probationers who are on probation for a sexually motivated offense such as Sexual Battery, Lewd and Lascivious Offenses, or Sex Crimes Against Children are ineligible for bond prior to a violation of probation hearing unless the presiding judge conducts a “Danger Hearing” and determines the probationer is not a danger to the public.
The hearing held to determine whether a probationer poses a danger to the community is referred to as a Danger Hearing.
During the Danger Hearing, a judge can consider the following factors in determining whether the person can be granted bond:
- The nature and circumstances of the violation and any new offenses charged;
- Past and present conduct, including convictions of crimes;
- Any record of arrests without conviction for crimes involving violence or sexual crimes;
- Any other evidence of allegations of unlawful sexual conduct or the use of violence by the offender or probationer;
- Family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, and mental condition;
- History and conduct during the supervision from which the violation arose and other periods of supervision, including disciplinary records of previous incarcerations;
- The likelihood of re-engaging in a criminal course of conduct;
- The weight of the evidence supporting the probation violation; and
- Any other facts the court considers relevant.
Importantly, even if a judge determines that a probationer is not a danger to the community, the judge can still deny bail.
Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern
A Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern (VFOSC) is not allowed to be released on bond unless the alleged violation is solely for failure to pay court imposed financial obligations; otherwise the probationer must wait in jail until their violation of probation hearing and is not entitled to a bond under any circumstances.
Definition of Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern
A Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern is defined as any person who is on:
- Felony probation or community control related to the commission of a qualifying offense;
- Felony probation or community control for any offense and has previously been convicted of a qualifying offense;
- Felony probation or community control for any offense and is found to have violated by committing a qualifying offense;
- Felony probation or community control and has previously been found by a court to be a habitual violent felony offender;
- Felony probation or community control and has previously been found by a court to be a three-time violent felony offender; or
- Felony probation or community control and has previously been found by a court to be a sexual predator.
A “qualifying offense” for purposes of the Anti-Murder Act is a previous conviction or commission of any of the following offenses:
- Abuse of a Dead Human Body
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery or Attempted Aggravated Battery
- Aggravated Stalking
- Aircraft Piracy
- Arson or Attempted Arson
- Burglary of a Dwelling or Attempted Burglary of a Dwelling
- Computer Pornography
- Transmission of Child Pornography
- Selling or Buying of Minors
- Kidnapping or Attempted Kidnapping
- False Imprisonment of a Child under Age of 13
- Luring or Enticing a Child
- Lewd and Lascivious Offenses
- Poisoning Food or Water
- Robbery or Attempted Robbery
- Sexual Battery or Attempted Sexual Battery
- Sexual Performance by a Child or Attempted Sexual Performance by a Child
- Unlawful Throwing, Placing, or Discharging of a Destructive Device or Bomb