Tallahassee Bail Bond Hearings Attorney
If you have been arrested by the police and taken into custody, you may not be sure about what happens next. What are your rights? Can you ask for bail? And how will you pay for bail? For that matter, what exactly is bail?
Basically, within 24 hours of an arrest, the suspect must be brought before a judicial officer–typically a magistrate–for what is called a first appearance. This initial hearing is designed to inform the suspect of the charge against them, advise them of their constitutional rights, and set the terms of their release from custody pending trial.
This is where bail comes into play. Bail is a defendant’s promise to appear in court. In some cases that promise alone is enough to secure pretrial release. In other cases, particularly those involving more serious crimes, the magistrate may require the defendant to pay a deposit in the form of bail or bond.
The rules governing bail can be quite complex, especially if this is a person’s first time dealing with Florida’s criminal justice system. At Luke Newman, P.A., our experienced Tallahassee bail attorneys can represent you at an initial appearance and make the strongest case possible for releasing you from custody pending trial.
ROR, Bail, Bond, or Remand?
There are a number of possible outcomes for a Florida bail/bond hearing:
- In misdemeanor cases, a magistrate will often grant the suspect release on recognizance or ROR in lieu of bail. This is simply a fancy way of saying the defendant promises to make all subsequent court appearances. ROR is common when the defendant has no prior record and the nature of the crime they are currently charged with does not suggest they pose a threat to the community.
- In more serious cases, the magistrate will set bail. This is a specific amount of money the defendant needs to deposit with the court before they can be released from custody pending trial. The Constitution prohibits a magistrate from setting “excessive” bail. But the court still has wide discretion to determine bail amounts based on a number of factors, including the nature of the alleged crime, the defendant’s prior criminal record, and their ties to the community.
- If a defendant cannot post the full amount of bail–which is fairly common–the magistrate may instead allow the posting of a bond. This is where a licensed third-party bail bond company actually posts the bail. The defendant is only required to pay a premium of 10 percent with the bail bond company, although some companies may require collateral or a co-signer to protect against default.
- In serious cases, such as those involving murder or where the defendant is believed to be a strong flight risk, the magistrate an deny bail altogether and remand the defendant into custody to await trial.
Also keep in mind that even when a court decides to grant ROR or bail, the magistrate can still impose a number of conditions for release that the defendant must strictly follow.
Contact Attorney Luke Newman Today
A bail/bond hearing is a defendant’s first opportunity to have their day in court. Things are more likely to result in a favorable outcome if that defendant is represented by an experienced Tallahassee bail/bond hearings lawyer. So if you need advice or representation, contact Luke Newman, P.A., today to speak with a member of our criminal defense team.