Florida’s Pretrial Release Option
If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, there are several ways things could go from here. You could be held in jail as you await your trial; you could be released on your own recognizance; you could post bail or bond to secure your release; or you could participate in a pretrial release program. Which option is the best bet for you? Your local Kissimmee criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options according to Florida law.
Release on recognizance (ROR)
If you are a defendant who is considered to have a very low risk of repeat offences and who is likely to appear for your court date, this may be offered. It is the best option on all counts, since it provides for your release without restrictions, fines, supervision, or other costs.
Posting Bond/Bailing Out
In about half of all cases, the court will set a bond, or fee, that defendants must pay in order to be released from jail while awaiting trial. Typically, defendants pay a bondsman one-tenth of the bond amount in order to be released. For example, if you have a $10,000 bond set, you must pay a cash bond of $1,000 to either the court or to a private bondsman, who will make arrangements on your behalf. In the event you fail to appear for the mandatory court date, the bondsman will be required to pay the balance of the bond. Clearly, bondsman have a stake in whether or not you appear, and use a variety of methods they use to ensure clients do not abscond.
Judges may use their discretion in these determinations, and may place any defendant in a pretrial release program. Although these programs are usually used to accommodate defendants who are facing non-violent charges and who are estimated to pose no risk to the community, anyone may be deemed a good candidate for a pretrial release program. In some cases, a bond may accompany such a placement. Also worth noting is the fact that, although the majority of defendants who participate in pretrial release programs are indigent, financial stability is not a factor in determining who is eligible for them. In the event you are granted pretrial release, you may be subjected to several conditions, including:
- Monitoring through visits, phone calls, ankle monitors, etc.;
- Participation in various programs such as drug treatment, behavioral reform programs, etc.;
- Routine and/or random drug and alcohol testing.
What Can You Expect?
If you are facing criminal charges, it can be daunting looking into an uncertain future. At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., our knowledgeable, experienced legal team understands just how unsettling that can be. We work to ensure the best possible outcomes for clients, and keep them informed every step of the way. If you require stellar legal counsel and easy access to your attorney, contact us in Kissimmee to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.