The vast majority of individuals who are arrested have a bond set for them. This refers to the amount of money you must pay in order to be released from jail pending your criminal charges.
Many different factors may have an impact on the amount of bail or bond set in a particular case. Therefore, it is important to understand how bail is set in Ft. Lauderdale. Our well-versed bail/bond defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could make sure your rights are being asserted and protected.
Fort Lauderdale Bail Procedures Explained
At the time of your arrest, you will generally have bail amounts set by law enforcement based on their initial arrest charges. Within 24 hours, you must have an initial or first Court appearance, at which time a Judge will review the bail amount and determine whether to change the amount of bond or leave it the same.
Each Court follows a bond schedule that equates certain criminal charges with certain bond amounts. However, Judges may deviate from the normal bond scheduled as they see fit, which sometimes can result in a much higher or a much lower bond than the schedule prescribes.
When you cannot afford the bail amount that a Judge has set in your case, you can request a bond reduction hearing. At that hearing, the Judge will consider various factors that can impact your requests for lower bonds, as provided for in Fla. Stat. § 903.046 (2018).
While Judges can consider any relevant factors in deciding whether to lower a bail amount, they must take certain factors into account if they apply in the case before them. Some of these factors are:
- The kind of criminal offense involved, as well as whether you already have other pending criminal charges or were on probation for another criminal offense
- Your family, residence, and employment ties to the community, to determine the risk of your flight from the jurisdiction
- The strength of the evidence against you
- Whether your release on bail would be dangerous to the community or threatening or intimidating to any alleged victims
These are just a few of the statutory factors that judges must consider as they determine whether to decrease the amount of bond that already has been set in a particular case. For more information about how local bail is determined, work with a knowledgeable lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale.
Exceptions to the Standard Procedure
There are a few exceptions under Florida law in which you may not immediately post bail following your arrest. These include those who are on the sex offender registry. Another case is when someone is allegedly involved with a gang or engaging in gang-related criminal offenses, which potentially could result in penalty enhancements upon sentencing.
In each of these situations, you may not post any type of bond until you appear in Court with the State Attorney’s office. This is to give the State the chance to object to bail for individuals who may pose a threat to the safety of the community.
Likewise, in some cases, a Judge may decline to set any bail amount. First, if you are charged with a felony that carries a potential sentence of life in Prison, and they believe there is substantial proof to support your guilt, the Judge may rule that bond should not be set.
Get a Better Understanding of How Bail is Set in Ft. Lauderdale
When you are arrested for any type of charge, your first inclination is often to secure your release from jail and get back to your family, your home, and your job. Understanding how bail is set in Ft. Lauderdale is important to working towards these goals.
Having a conversation with a Ft. Lauderdale bail attorney may answer your questions and address some of your concerns about the bail process. For answers to your questions, call Leifert & Leifert for a free case review.