CRIMINAL DEFENSE | Bond Hearings
For Bond Hearings call Orlando and Kissimmee Criminal Defense Attorney Don Waggoner. He has the experience and expertise to get a person accused of a crime a reasonable bond when the accused is entitled to a bond. Orlando and Kissimmee Criminal Defense Lawyer Don Waggoner has conducted 1000s of bond hearings for crimes ranging from capital murder, drug trafficking, domestic violence, to misdemeanors. Don Waggoner will make every effort to secure a reasonable bond or other condition of release.
There are three (3) instances in which a person is not entitled to a bond:
When the accused is charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great;
When the accused is out on bond or pre-trial release and there is probable cause to believe the accused has committed a new criminal offense – F.S. 903.0471;
When the accused has been accused of violation probation or community control – F.S. 903.0351.
In each case the court has discretion as to whether to grant bond or pre-trial release.
In all other instances, the accused is presumed to be entitled to release on his/her own recognizance or other reasonable terms of release.
Information needed to secure the release of the accused is an address where he/she will live upon release, prior criminal history, whether he/she has a job, length of time living in the area, how much money the accused or the family can afford for bond, names of relatives and friends.
Florida Statutes 903.046 and 907.041 essentially governs the release of a person after arrest:
F.S. 903.046 Purpose of and criteria for bail determination.
(1) The purpose of a bail determination in criminal proceedings is to ensure the appearance of the criminal defendant at subsequent proceedings and to protect the community against unreasonable danger from the criminal defendant.
(2) When determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what that bail or those conditions may be, the court shall consider:
(a) The nature and circumstances of the offense charged.
(b) The weight of the evidence against the defendant.
(c) The defendant’s family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition.
(d) The defendant’s past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings. However, any defendant who had failed to appear on the day of any required court proceeding in the case at issue, but who had later voluntarily appeared or surrendered, shall not be eligible for a recognizance bond; and any defendant who failed to appear on the day of any required court proceeding in the case at issue and who was later arrested shall not be eligible for a recognizance bond or for any form of bond which does not require a monetary undertaking or commitment equal to or greater than $2,000 or twice the value of the monetary commitment or undertaking of the original bond, whichever is greater. Notwithstanding anything in this section, the court has discretion in determining conditions of release if the defendant proves circumstances beyond his or her control for the failure to appear. This section may not be construed as imposing additional duties or obligations on a governmental entity related to monetary bonds.
(e) The nature and probability of danger which the defendant’s release poses to the community.
(f) The source of funds used to post bail or procure an appearance bond, particularly whether the proffered funds, real property, property, or any proposed collateral or bond premium may be linked to or derived from the crime alleged to have been committed or from any other criminal or illicit activities. The burden of establishing the noninvolvement in or nonderivation from criminal or other illicit activity of such proffered funds, real property, property, or any proposed collateral or bond premium falls upon the defendant or other person proffering them to obtain the defendant’s release.
(g) Whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding or on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of a sentence.
(h) The street value of any drug or controlled substance connected to or involved in the criminal charge. It is the finding and intent of the Legislature that crimes involving drugs and other controlled substances are of serious social concern, that the flight of defendants to avoid prosecution is of similar serious social concern, and that frequently such defendants are able to post monetary bail using the proceeds of their unlawful enterprises to defeat the social utility of pretrial bail. Therefore, the courts should carefully consider the utility and necessity of substantial bail in relation to the street value of the drugs or controlled substances involved.
(i) The nature and probability of intimidation and danger to victims.
(j) Whether there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a new crime while on pretrial release.
(k) Any other facts that the court considers relevant.
(l) Whether the crime charged is a violation of chapter 874 or alleged to be subject to enhanced punishment under chapter 874. If any such violation is charged against a defendant or if the defendant is charged with a crime that is alleged to be subject to such enhancement, he or she shall not be eligible for release on bail or surety bond until the first appearance on the case in order to ensure the full participation of the prosecutor and the protection of the public.
F.S. 907.041 Pretrial detention and release.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT
It is the policy of this state that persons committing serious criminal offenses, posing a threat to the safety of the community or the integrity of the judicial process, or failing to appear at trial be detained upon arrest. However, persons found to meet specified criteria shall be released under certain conditions until proceedings are concluded and adjudication has been determined. The Legislature finds that this policy of pretrial detention and release will assure the detention of those persons posing a threat to society while reducing the costs for incarceration by releasing, until trial, those persons not considered a danger to the community who meet certain criteria. It is the intent of the Legislature that the primary consideration be the protection of the community from risk of physical harm to persons.
(2) RULES OF PROCEDURE
Procedures for pretrial release determinations shall be governed by rules adopted by the Supreme Court.
(3) RELEASE ON NONMONETARY CONDITIONS
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to create a presumption in favor of release on nonmonetary conditions for any person who is granted pretrial release unless such person is charged with a dangerous crime as defined in subsection (4). Such person shall be released on monetary conditions if it is determined that such monetary conditions are necessary to assure the presence of the person at trial or at other proceedings, to protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, to assure the presence of the accused at trial, or to assure the integrity of the judicial process.
(b) No person shall be released on nonmonetary conditions under the supervision of a pretrial release service, unless the service certifies to the court that it has investigated or otherwise verified:
1. The circumstances of the accused’s family, employment, financial resources, character, mental condition, and length of residence in the community;
2. The accused’s record of convictions, of appearances at court proceedings, of flight to avoid prosecution, or of failure to appear at court proceedings; and
3. Other facts necessary to assist the court in its determination of the indigency of the accused and whether she or he should be released under the supervision of the service.
(4) PRETRIAL DETENTION
(a) As used in this subsection, “dangerous crime” means any of the following:
2. Aggravated assault;
3. Aggravated battery;
4. Illegal use of explosives;
5. Child abuse or aggravated child abuse;
6. Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult;
7. Aircraft piracy;
11. Sexual battery;
14. Lewd, lascivious, or indecent assault or act upon or in presence of a child under the age of 16 years;
15. Sexual activity with a child, who is 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, by or at solicitation of person in familial or custodial authority;
16. Burglary of a dwelling;
17. Stalking and aggravated stalking;
18. Act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28;
19. Home invasion robbery;
20. Act of terrorism as defined in s. 775.30;
21. Manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893; and
22. Attempting or conspiring to commit any such crime.
(b) No person charged with a dangerous crime shall be granted nonmonetary pretrial release at a first appearance hearing; however, the court shall retain the discretion to release an accused on electronic monitoring or on recognizance bond if the findings on the record of facts and circumstances warrant such a release.
(c) The court may order pretrial detention if it finds a substantial probability, based on a defendant’s past and present patterns of behavior, the criteria in s. 903.046, and any other relevant facts, that any of the following circumstances exists:
1. The defendant has previously violated conditions of release and that no further conditions of release are reasonably likely to assure the defendant’s appearance at subsequent proceedings;
2. The defendant, with the intent to obstruct the judicial process, has threatened, intimidated, or injured any victim, potential witness, juror, or judicial officer, or has attempted or conspired to do so, and that no condition of release will reasonably prevent the obstruction of the judicial process;
3. The defendant is charged with trafficking in controlled substances as defined by s. 893.135, that there is a substantial probability that the defendant has committed the offense, and that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at subsequent criminal proceedings; or
4. The defendant is charged with DUI manslaughter, as defined by s. 316.193, and that there is a substantial probability that the defendant committed the crime and that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community; conditions that would support a finding by the court pursuant to this subparagraph that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
a. The defendant has previously been convicted of any crime under s. 316.193, or of any crime in any other state or territory of the United States that is substantially similar to any crime under s. 316.193;
b. The defendant was driving with a suspended driver’s license when the charged crime was committed; or
c. The defendant has previously been found guilty of, or has had adjudication of guilt withheld for, driving while the defendant’s driver’s license was suspended or revoked in violation of s. 322.34;
5. The defendant poses the threat of harm to the community. The court may so conclude, if it finds that the defendant is presently charged with a dangerous crime, that there is a substantial probability that the defendant committed such crime, that the factual circumstances of the crime indicate a disregard for the safety of the community, and that there are no conditions of release reasonably sufficient to protect the community from the risk of physical harm to persons.
6. The defendant was on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence or on pretrial release for a dangerous crime at the time the current offense was committed; or
7. The defendant has violated one or more conditions of pretrial release or bond for the offense currently before the court and the violation, in the discretion of the court, supports a finding 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.
(d) When a person charged with a crime for which pretrial detention could be ordered is arrested, the arresting agency shall promptly notify the state attorney of the arrest and shall provide the state attorney with such information as the arresting agency has obtained relative to:
1. The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
2. The nature of any physical evidence seized and the contents of any statements obtained from the defendant or any witness;
3. The defendant’s family ties, residence, employment, financial condition, and mental condition; and
4. The defendant’s past conduct and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings.
(e) When a person charged with a crime for which pretrial detention could be ordered is arrested, the arresting agency may detain such defendant, prior to the filing by the state attorney of a motion seeking pretrial detention, for a period not to exceed 24 hours.
(f) The pretrial detention hearing shall be held within 5 days of the filing by the state attorney of a complaint to seek pretrial detention. The defendant may request a continuance. No continuance shall be for longer than 5 days unless there are extenuating circumstances. The defendant may be detained pending the hearing. The state attorney shall be entitled to one continuance for good cause.
(g) The state attorney has the burden of showing the need for pretrial detention.
(h) The defendant is entitled to be represented by counsel, to present witnesses and evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses. The court may admit relevant evidence without complying with the rules of evidence, but evidence secured in violation of the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Florida shall not be admissible. No testimony by the defendant shall be admissible to prove guilt at any other judicial proceeding, but such testimony may be admitted in an action for perjury, based upon the defendant’s statements made at the pretrial detention hearing, or for impeachment.
(i) The pretrial detention order of the court shall be based solely upon evidence produced at the hearing and shall contain findings of fact and conclusions of law to support it. The order shall be made either in writing or orally on the record. The court shall render its findings within 24 hours of the pretrial detention hearing.
(j) A defendant convicted at trial following the issuance of a pretrial detention order shall have credited to his or her sentence, if imprisonment is imposed, the time the defendant was held under the order, pursuant to s. 921.161.
(k) The defendant shall be entitled to dissolution of the pretrial detention order whenever the court finds that a subsequent event has eliminated the basis for detention.
(l) The Legislature finds that a person who manufactures any substances in violation of chapter 893 poses a threat of harm to the community and that the factual circumstances of such a crime indicate a disregard for the safety of the community. The court shall order pretrial detention if the court finds that there is a substantial probability that a defendant charged with manufacturing any substances in violation of chapter 893 committed such a crime and if the court finds that there are no conditions of release reasonably sufficient to protect the community from the risk of physical harm to persons.