A Miami criminal defense attorney knows that it difficult when you or a loved one is facing criminal charges. When this occurs, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the state bail process. As the period between arrest and trial can be several months, so making bail can ensure you or your loved one is home safe instead of in jail.
When you’re first arrested, you will be taken to jail and booked. Within 24 hours, you will be brought before a judge. They will review your case, notify you of your charges and determine if there is probable cause. If the judge sees no probable cause, you may be released. If probable cause is determined (and your charge is not a capital offense or a probation violation), your bail will be set.
Once probable cause has been determined, the judge will go about setting a bail, which is the amount of money you must pay before you can be released. Essentially, bail is set to keep you from leaving town before your trial date.
To determine your bail, a judge will usually consider the likelihood that you will flee, the severity of your charge, your ties to the community and the potential penalties that you face. If the judge feels you’re facing criminal charges that are minor and you pose no real flight risk, they may release you without bail; this is called “release on your own recognizance,” or ROR.
According to state laws, your bail amount should be a reasonable amount relative to the severity of your crime. If you feel your bail is unreasonable or unfair, contact a Miami criminal defense attorney as soon as possible; they can file a motion for a bond hearing in which your bond may be lowered or conditions of your release can be modified.
Getting a Bail Bond
Once your bail has been set, you will need to contact a bail bondsman or bail bond company. For a fee, these entities will issue a bond to the jail for the release of your or your loved one. In Florida, the fee is $100 for a bail of $1,000 or less, and 10 percent for any bail above $1,000.
To begin the bail bonds process, the bond company will need the name, date of birth and arresting county of the person being bailed out. Once this information is processed, they will issue the bond, and you will be able to leave jail.
After your bond has been issued, you will be free to go home; however, your legal obligations don’t stop there. You will still need to pay the bondsman or bond company back for your bail, as well as the additional fees that were charged.
Moreover, although you are no longer in jail, the process is not over. You are required to attend your trial date, as both you and the bond company are responsible for your court appearances. If you do not show up for trial, your bond will be forfeited and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Are you or a loved one facing criminal charges in Florida? Don’t fret. A Miami criminal defense attorney at the Falk & Ross Law Firm can help walk you through the bail process and ensure you have the best defense possible at your trial. Call 877-663-5110 or 305-741-6997 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers today.