Pursuant to the Florida and U.S. constitutions you have the right to a reasonable bail bond before conviction.
What is Bail?
Bail refers to the amount of cash or equivalent currency that the person who has been arrested will give to the court, to ensure that he or she will appear in court and will not flee the jurisdiction once he or she is released. The bail bond is usually required for pre-trial release and must be within a reasonable amount.
What is the purpose of bail?
The purpose is to allow the arrested person to retain his or her freedom until he or she is convicted of the crime. If the accused appears to all the hearing that the court has scheduled, the court will refund the bail. If the accused fails to appear the court keeps the bail and then issues a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
During your first hearing also known as first appearance, after 48 hours of the arrest the court has the obligation to determine if the arrest affidavit supports finding reasonable probable cause. If the court does not find probable cause for the arrest, the judge must order that the defendant be release on his or her own recognizance. If probable cause is found then the Judge will set a reasonable bail bond. The defendant will be released from jail once the defendant pays the bail bond that the judge determined at the hearing.
When will I be given bail?
Normally you will be given a bail amount after you have been arrested and processed, unless you have already been charged with serious crime or a non-bondable offense.
When the defendant has been denied bail the state must demonstrate that there is great quantity of evidence against the accused and that more and likely there is a possibility that the accused will be convicted of the alleged crime. If you are accused of a offense that is classified as a “non-bondable offense” your legal counselor may request what is called a bond hearing. A bond hearing is similar to a mini-trial where the state has the burden of proving that the defendant has committed the crime and the presumption of guilt is immense. Bail can also be denied if you are currently on probation and have committed a new crime, or have previously been arrested for committing a felony.
How much bail will I post?
The amount of how much bond will be posted will be determined by the charged that the defendant is being held against with. If the defendant cannot afford the bond that has been posted, the defendant’s attorney may request bail reduction. The lawyer must then present certain factors to the Judge to consider a purpose of why bail bond reduction is needed.
How can I post bail?
Bail can be posted in two different ways which one being through a bail bonds agency. Bail agencies offer services and buy the bail bond for 10% of the amount of the bond.
The second way is by paying the entire amount in full with either cash or a cashier’s check. Credit cards and personal checks are not accepted.
Will the bail be returned to me?
If the defendant for whom the bail was posted for cooperates and attends to all of the scheduled hearings, the bail will be returned minus the bondsman fee that he charged. If the bail bond was paid in full, then the entire amount will be returned minus administrative fees. If the defendant for whom the bail was posted for flees jurisdiction or does not attend the scheduled hearings, the judge can than revoke the bond. What this means is that whatever was put up for collateral will be forfeited.
If you cannot afford bail or for whatever reason you do not post bail, or the crime that has been committed is “non-bondable” then you will remain in jail pending the outcome of your case.
When you are released on bail the court requires the defendant to refrain from any criminal activity of any kind and to not have any contact with victim(s) or co-defendants.