Vero Beach Bond Reduction Attorney
According to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.131 those who are arrested and taken to jail, with few exceptions, are entitled release pending trial on “reasonable conditions.” For most, “reasonable conditions” include the posting of a monetary bail. Monetary bail is a sum of money that the court holds as a form of deposit. If the defendant fails to appear in court as directed, the Judge presiding over the case can take the deposit, and issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest for “failure to appear.”
The amount of the bail can be determined either by the arresting officer, or by a Judge during the defendant’s “first appearance hearing.” During a first appearance hearing, the Judge is tasked with considering all available relevant factors to determine the appropriate bail amount. The Judge’s goal is to set the bail at an amount that will assure the defendant’s appearance in court as the case progresses.
In determining the bail amount, the Judge may consider any facts the court considers relevant including:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense charged
- The weight of the evidence against the defendant
- The defendant’s family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, need for substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment, and mental condition
- The defendant’s past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings
- The nature and probability of danger that the defendant’s release poses to the community
- The source of funds used to post bail
- Whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding
- Whether the defendant is on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of a sentence
At first appearance, defendants are typically ill equipped to articulate the type of information that a Judge may find compelling in setting a low monetary bail amount. Furthermore, defendants are often warned that anything they say during their first appearance can be used against them as their case progresses. For these reasons, defendants without attorneys often provide very little testimony, and their bail amount ends up higher than it may have otherwise been if the Judge had the opportunity to consider the type of information discussed above. In these situations, it may be possible to have the bail reduced through the filing of a Motion for Bail Reduction or a Motion for Bond Reduction.
If you are seeking legal representation for a loved one in custody, a criminal defense attorney can evaluate the case and determine if a bail reduction is possible. Call Jesse H. Larsen for a consultation.