Getting Out Of Jail

Every person charged with a crime is entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions, unless you are charged with a "non-bondable" offense.

In determining whether to release someone on bond, the judge may consider the following:

  1. the nature and circumstances of the crime and the penalty provided by law;
  2. the weight of the evidence against the defendant;
  3. the defendant's family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition;
  4. the defendant's past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings;
  5. the nature and probability of danger that the defendant's release poses to the community;
  6. the source of funds used to post bail;
  7. whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding or is on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence; and any other facts the court considers relevant.

Posting a bond can be as simple as calling a reputable bondsman, such as Mark Durkee at A Signature Only Bail Bonds, or simply using the money in your possession to post bond. If you use a bondsman you should expect to post 10% of the amount of the bond, which is the bondsman's fee for posting the money on your case. You will have to produce some type of collateral, or property of value, for the remaining amount that you would pledge to guarantee the remaining amount. In the event you do not show up for Court, a bondsman can take the property and sell it to get his money back. If you show up in Court, and your case is closed, the property goes back to the owner, without any type of lien.

Usually, you will get released quicker if a bondsman is used to post your bond. In Broward County, expect to be incarcerated for 14-18 hours prior to being released on bond, if your bond is posted as soon as possible. In Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, the process tends to run 5-10 hours.

If you have a bond, but you cannot afford to pay a bondsman you can file a Motion to Reduce Bond, and/or a Motion for Pretrial Release. The Court will consider the factors listed above and may decide to reduce your bond to a lower amount. If you have no money to pay, the Court can put you on pretrial release, which requires an officer to supervise you to ensure that you come to court. There are almost always conditions, like an electronic monitor, house arrest, or drug testing that are attached to this type of order.

In circumstances where you have been charged with a non-bondable offense, which are usually life felonies or felonies punishable by life, you can get out of jail in two ways. The first way is if the State fails to file charges against you by the 40th day after you have been arrested. In this circumstance, you are entitled to a release on your own recognizance, meaning you do not have to post a bond in your case at all. This is a very rare occurrence in criminal court.

The other way to get a bond is to request a hearing called an Arthur Hearing. This is a Motion for Bond for a non-bondable offense. The State must prove that "proof is evident" of the crime you have been charged with and that a "presumption is great" that you are a danger to the community. This is called the "proof evident presumption great" standard, and is a higher standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer is allowed to cross examine witnesses and subpoena witnesses for this type of hearing. The Judge has the discretion to grant your motion for bond, even if he or she finds "proof evident presumption great." Bonds under these circumstances are usually very high and carry a condition of house arrest.

Sometimes in serious fraud cases the Court will issue what is called a "Nebbia Requirement." Nebbia is a case which says that bond should be based on the individual circumstances of a person's life and the case before the Court. Nebbia has evolved to commonly refer to the requirement that a person charged with a crime, where they may make a large sum of money, must show that the money they use to post their bond comes from a legal source. Depending on the prosecutor, this requirement can significantly delay your release from jail.

At Williams and Trese, we know how hard it is for you and your family when you are in jail. We will do whatever is in our power to get you out of jail and get you out as fast as we can. We don't think it's fair for the state to hold you in jail before you've been found guilty and we will fight as hard as we can to protect the presumption of innocence. If your loved one is stuck in jail, call Williams and Trese today. We help you get your life back, by getting back your freedom.