Florida Arrests Typically Increase Over The Holidays. With Labor Day Coming, The Attorneys At Thero, Riecks & Pitts Are Explaining What To Do After Being Arrested.

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When a friend or family member is arrested in Florida it can stressful and confusing. Accurate information can be difficult to find when dealing with an unexpected Florida arrest.

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The first two people that should be contacted after a Florida arrest are a bail bondsman and a criminal defense attorney.

With Labor Day just around the corner police patrols will increase. The increased police presence combined with holiday celebration causes arrest numbers to increase. When someone is arrested in Florida it can stressful and confusing. It might be hard for you to find accurate information about the steps to take after a Florida arrest. The first two people that you should contact after an arrest are a bail bondsman and an attorney. For cases with smaller bonds (less than $10,000) a bail bondsman should be the first person that is contacted. For larger bonds an attorney should be contacted about a bond reduction hearing. When someone is arrested on a misdemeanor or a felony they generally have two options to get out of jail. They can post a cash bond or can go to a bail bondsman. On a cash bond the entire bond amount must be paid. Beware, the Clerk of Court might take handling fees, fines and court costs out of the cash bond at the conclusion of the case. If a bond is posted with a bondsman the fee is either 10% or $100 for each charge whichever is greater. On smaller bond cases a bondsman should be the first person you contact. Hiring an attorney for a bond reduction hearing on a $5,000 bond can only save $500 if the bond is modified to release on own recognizance. If the accused calls anyone they must be made aware that all phone calls are recorded. They should never talk about their case to anyone in jail. In many cases a criminal defense attorney can successfully argue to reduce the bond amount by presenting evidence to the court that shows the accused is not a flight risk. One consideration is that every $1000 the attorney is able to reduce the bond will save the client $100. In larger bond cases a successful bond hearing can result in thousands of dollars of savings.

A Bail bond is a contract between a third party and the bondsman. For the contract to be successfully performed the defendant must comply with all the conditions of release and attend all necessary court proceedings. The person that signs the contract for the accused is the indemnitor. As long as the defendant attends all scheduled court dates the indemnitor will not have any obligations after signing for the accused. If the accused skips court then the indemnitor is financially responsible for the cost of bringing the accused into custody and any cost assessed by the court up to the total amount of the bond. The maximum fee the court can charge is controlled by statute and the faster the accused is brought before the court the lower the cost for the indemnitor. In some situations a bondsman might want collateral. Collateral is generally something of value held by the bondsman as security. Generally collateral is not required unless something about the bond appears to be risky. If the accused has a history of failing to appear or the bond appears to have other risk factors like residing out of state, collateral can give the bail bondsman the security they need to bond the accused out of jail. In most cases collateral is not required and if all court dates are complied with collateral will be returned.

An individual is entitled to a bond unless the case is punishable by life or death, the defendant violated probation or the state files a motion and convinces the judge that if the accused is released the public cannot be adequately protected. In cases that are punishable by life or death the accused is entitled to an Arthur Hearing. Even when the prosecution's evidence is sufficient to convict on a capital or life offense, but there is some doubt arising from other evidence, contradictions, or discrepancies, this exacting standard is not met and the accused is entitled to reasonable bail. Common temporary exceptions to the entitlement to a bond are DUI cases and domestic violence charges. In a drunk driving case the accused will not be let out until the breath test is below .05%, their normal faculties are no longer impaired or eight hours has passed from the arrest. Domestic violence defendants will typically not be bonded until the defendant appears at first appearance. At first appearance the judge will usually grant a domestic violence defendant a bond but in many cases they will have special conditions including either a no contact order or a non-violent contact order and in some cases they accused will be tracked with a GPS monitor. A criminal defense attorney can file a motion to modify the restrictions placed on someone accused of a domestic violence charge.

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Kevin Pitts
since: 02/2011
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The Law Offices of Kevin J. Pitts
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