Bond Hearings in Florida
If your friend or loved one has been arrested and cannot bond out of jail, I can help you obtain a bond. To assist you in understanding the bond process, you need to know:
- What exactly is "Bond"
- The Basic Principles of Bond
- How a Bond Hearing is Scheduled
- How a Reasonable Bond is Determined
Fortunately, the law requires judges to set bond hearings quickly and impose reasonable conditions of release.
Hire me and I will move quickly to schedule a bond hearing and ask for a lower bond or more convenient conditions of release.
What is Bond?
In Florida, the legal term Pretrial Release is synonymous with the words bail and bond.
Technically though, bail or bond is just the monetary amount that must be posted before a person can be released from jail pending trial.
However, even if you post the monetary amount (bond) you may also have to agree to other conditions before the jail will actually release you. Collectively, these conditions (including the bond amount) are known as Pretrial Release.
You are arrested for Domestic Violence Battery. A judge would normally set bond at $1,000, but also order that you be outfitted with and wear a GPS ankle monitor, have no contact with the "victim," not drink alcohol, and not return to the common residence.
So the judge granted you Pretrial Release, but only if you comply with the following conditions:
- Post a $1,000 bond,
- Wear a GPS ankle monitor,
- Not contact the victim,
- Not drink alcohol, and
- Not return to your home.
The Basic Principles of Bond
You have a right to bail, unless you are charged with a capital crime (i.e. carries a penalty life imprisonment or death) or you are facing a violation of probation.
In Florida, non-monetary conditions of release are supposed to be imposed if possible, but judges almost always require that a monetary bond be posted. In setting the bail amount, the judge must be convinced that you will appear in court when required and generally makes this determination by weighing your ties to the community versus the likelihood you would flee if released.
If the court finds your charge is not a serious crime, or that you will appear in court when required, or that you have a responsible person in the community who will guarantee your appearance in court, the judge has the option of releasing you without bail. This is called release on your own recognizance (ROR).
If the Judge imposes bail in an amount you cannot afford, I can file a motion to reduce your bail. However, you do not have a right to multiple bond hearings unless there are significant changes in circumstances, so it is important that we provide a strong showing of your ties to the community and your willingness to appear at all scheduled court dates during the first bond hearing.
How a Bond Hearing is Scheduled
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 is no simple task. First a Motion to Set Bond must be prepared and filed with the Clerk of the Court. Then the bond motion must be scheduled in front of the correct judge. And determining the correct judge can be difficult depending on whether charges have formally been filed, whether the case is a misdemeanor, felony, or violation of probation charge.
Finally, once the correct judge has been identified, it is necessary to coordinate hearing time with the clerk of the court, the judge, the judge's assistant, and the prosecutor.
How a Reasonable Bond is Determined
Once a bond hearing is scheduled, the judge will consider how long you have lived in the area, whether you have family in the area, whether you are working, whether you have been allowed out on bail before and appeared in court when required, and whether you have a criminal record.
Additionally, the court can consider any of the following information in determining reasonable conditions of release:
- 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.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Central Florida or the Greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.