Hillsborough County Jail – Bail Hearings
After a defendant has been arrested in Hillsborough County, he or she will be processed in the Hillsborough County Jail. To be released while the case is pending, the defendant must typically post bond, or bail. The defendant must also comply with various other obligations during pretrial release.
For many felonies, the bond/bail can be extremely high. For instance, if someone’s bond is set at $100,000, the defendant will generally have to pay the full amount of the bond or will have to pay a bondsman a 10 percent premium to post the bond. The bondsman will also normally require the accused to pledge collateral in the amount of the bond. For example, on a $100,000 bond, the accused would have to pay the bondsman a $10,000 (10 percent) premium plus pledge collateral for his or her release. The bond is to ensure that the defendant appears for his or her court date. Failure to appear will result in the bond and collateral being forfeited and a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
Do Not Pay Outrageously High Bail. Get Your Bail Reduced Instead.
The Florida Constitution and Florida statutes both make clear there is a presumption to pretrial release. Specifically, Florida’s Constitution states that unless someone is charged with a capital offense or an offense that is punishable by life imprisonment, and the “proof of guilt is evident or the presumption great,” a defendant should be “entitled to pretrial release under reasonable conditions.” The court must consider several factors when determining whether pretrial release is appropriate.
Before Working With A Bail Bond Company, Work With A Criminal Defense Lawyer Instead
Most counties in Florida, including Hillsborough County, have set and issued a standard and arbitrary bond schedule for the vast majority of charges. This schedule was developed to allow an individual to be released the day of his or her arrest and before appearing in court, where conditions of pretrial release are more appropriately considered by a judge.
Unfortunately, this standard bond schedule arbitrarily sets bond for these crimes extremely high without taking into account the significant ties the defendant has to the community, the defendant’s good character and/or weaknesses in the government’s case. Once a standard scheduled bond is set upon a person’s arrest, it will not be lowered unless an attorney files a motion with the court to reduce bond/bail. Many defendants pay outrageously high bonds because they didn’t know a motion could be quickly filed to lower the bond or that they could seek release on their own recognizance, or ROR.
At Escobar & Associates, we recognize that the bond hearing is one of the most important early stages of any criminal case. Our Tampa criminal defense attorneys will quickly schedule a bond hearing and show the judge why you are a strong candidate for ROR or a lower bond. At a bond hearing, the judge will want to see evidence that the defendant will appear at all court dates. To that end, our lawyers will present evidence to show that you are a strong candidate for release on your own recognizance or a lower bond. Factors that could lead to a reduction in bail include:
- Family in the area and other local ties
- A steady job
- Little or no criminal history
- Weaknesses in the government’s case
If we are successful in reducing or eliminating your bond, the money that would have been spent on a bail bond can now go toward your defense. Our law firm has successfully represented thousands of clients in bond reductions.
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