Bond Hearings in Daytona Beach
The purpose bond is to ensure the defendant comes to court. Bond is not supposed to punish the accused. Because of recent reform movements, courts are increasingly looking for non-monetary ways to ensure that someone comes back to court. A criminal defense attorney can file a motion asking the court to set a lower bond or release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (called a ROR bond). Judges are relying more on pretrial release conditions such as a GPS to monitor the whereabout of a person. In many of these cases, the defendant's family saves money by hiring a criminal defense attorney to file the motion to reduce bond.
If the defendant is being held without bond because of the serious nature of the charges, an experienced attorney can file a motion to reduce or modify bond based on the unique facts and circumstances of the case.
Attorney for Bond Hearings in Volusia County Florida
Since the purpose of bond is to ensure that the accused appears in court, the bond amount should not be punitive. A bond motion is used to show the court that the defendant has ties to the community or that the circumstances of the case make it unlikely that the defendant would flee the jurisdiction or be a danger to the community.
Typical Factors considered by the Court to Reduce Bond
In determining bond, the court will consider the following factors:
the financial circumstances of the defendant
the defendant's ties to the community
the defendant's occupation and employment history
the extent and nature of any criminal history of the defendant
the nature of the alleged offense
Judges in Volusia County use a bond schedule as a reference
Once the bail amount has been set by the court, there are two methods of posting bail:
In order to post a cash bond, the entire amount of the bond must be posted in cash or a cashier's check with the Volusia County Jail. At the conclusion of the case, the entire amount of the cash bond (less any fines or court costs imposed by the court if the defendant enters a plea or is found guilty) is returned to the individual that posted the bond. If the person arrested fails to appear in court, then the entire bond will be forfeited.
To post bond, a surety or bail bonding company can post a written guarantee called a surety bond. In exchange for posting the bail bond, the bail bonding company typically charges a bond fee which is 10% of the bail bond's total amount. The bail bondsman may also require collateral that equals the bail bond's total amount. For example, if the bond is set at $25,000.00, an individual might enter into a contract with the bail bonding company to pay a fee of $2,500.00, plus post collateral for the entire $25,000.00.
Under What Circumstances Can the Court Revoke my Bond?
Under Florida Statute Section 903.047, the defendant must comply with certain conditions of release imposed by the Court. The standard conditions typically include:
not engaging in criminal activity
not contacting the victim either directly or through a third party.
It is not uncommon for the court to include other conditions. When a defendant violates the conditions of release, then Florida law allows the court to revoke the bond and hold the person without bond.
Florida law provides that a finding of probable cause which can be determined by the Judge from the criminal report affidavit or probable cause affidavit, by itself, is enough to revoke bond on the pending case.
The court may also revoke bond on a motion from the State that alleges that the Defendant violated a condition of pre-trial release. The prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office carries the burden of proof at that hearing.
If the court finds that no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons or assure the presence of the accused at trial then the court can revoke the bond at the hearing.
What Happens at First Appearance Court After an Arrest?
At first appearance, the court will set the special conditions of your pretrial release. Bond is available for anyone charged with a crime, except that the court can deny bond to a person charged with a crime punishable by life in prison or the death penalty, when proof of guilt is evident.
In most cases, other than domestic violence cases, the accused comes into the first appearance hearing with a bond that has already been set from a standard bond schedule. If the accused was arrested on an arrest warrant, then the judge who signed the warrant has usually already set a bond amount, although that amount can be reviewed at first appearance.
First Appearance Court in Volusia County, Florida
All First appearance hearings are held at the Volusia County Branch Jail. On weekdays the hearings begin at 1:30 p.m. On weekends first appearance hearings begin at 8:30 a.m.
First Appearance Bonds in Domestic Violence Cases
Under Florida law, when a person is accused of any act of domestic violence, including domestic battery, domestic assault, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, violation of a injunction or restraining order, stalking or aggravated stalking, the defendant must be held in jail until the defendant is brought before the judge at first appearance.
In order words, the defendant is not entitled to bond out prior to the first appearance court date according to a standard bond schedule amount. At first appearance, the court will then set a bond amount and impose other conditions of released aimed at protecting the safety of the alleged victim, the alleged victim's children, and any other person that might be in danger after the defendant's arrest.
The court will usually impose special conditions of bond including a no contact provision which will prevent the accused from returning to his house until further order of the court. If the alleged victim also appears in court to ask the court not to impose the no contact condition, the judge will usually agree and instead impose a no violent contact provision while the case is pending.
Likewise, if the alleged victim wishes to have contact after the initial first appearance hearing, an experienced attorney can put the case back before the judge on a motion to modify bond conditions to eliminate the no bond condition.