If you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Pinellas County Florida you usually have a right to appear before a judge within 24 hours of your arrest. At this initial appearance the judge will determine if probable cause exists for your arrest and detention and will set bond for you or affirm a bond amount that has already been set. If the bond amount set in your case is too high for you to pay you may be able to get your bond lowered with the assistance of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney.
The initial bond set in your case is determined by a bond schedule. In Pinellas County, for example, the bond schedule provides for a low bond amount, a high bond amount, and a recommended bond amount based on the severity of the crime with which you have been charged. According to the bond schedule a second degree felony, for instance, will result in a bond of between $5,000 and $20,000 with a recommended bond amount of $10,000. There are a number of exceptions and considerations, however, which can change that amount. More importantly, a judge can deviate from the bond amount with good cause. As an accused, you have the right to request a reasonable bond. This request can be made at your initial hearing or at any time after the initial hearing.
If you retain the services of a Florida criminal defense attorney immediately after your arrest your attorney may be able to request a bond reduction at your initial hearing. If the judge is willing to hear arguments on bond at that time both your attorney and the prosecuting attorney will present arguments in favor of, and in objection to, the lowering of your bond. If you don’t hire an attorney until after your initial hearing, or if the judge won’t hear arguments regarding bond at the initial hearing, your attorney can file a Motion to Reduce Bond at any point thereafter. The court will then set the motion for a hearing at which time the parties will make their arguments.
A judge may consider a number of factors when deciding if a bond reduction is warranted, including:
- The severity of the charges against you
- The likelihood that you will appear at all court appearances if you are released
- The danger to the community of you are released
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Florida it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you current bond is set too high. If you are in the need of assistance or for more information, contact Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC when you need a criminal defense attorney working for you. Keep Calm Call Us®! 727-531-2926.