The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution states, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." Article I, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Florida also establishes, "Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county ordinance shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions."
Even when alleged offenders in criminal cases are granted bond (also known as "bail"), the amount that the bond is set at can often be extremely high and difficult to pay. In some cases, a Tallahassee criminal defense lawyer may be able to file a motion to have the bond reduced.
Attorney for Bond Reduction in Tallahassee, FL
If you or someone you know has been arrested for an alleged crime in North Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel for help possibly getting your bond reduced or eliminated.
Pumphrey Law aggressively defends clients accused of all kinds of criminal offenses in Monticello, Quincy, Tallahassee, Bristol, Crawfordville, and many surrounding areas of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region.
Don Pumphrey and the Tallahassee criminal defense lawyers at Pumphrey Law can represent you in a bond reduction hearing and fight to secure the release of you or your loved one from custody.
Call (850) 681-7777 today to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Leon County Bond Reduction Information Center
- How does a person get his or her bond reduced?
- What are the bond amounts in Leon County?
- Where can I find more information about bond reduction in Tallahassee?
Florida Bond Reduction Process
In Florida, offenders are entitled to appear in front of judges within 24 hours of their arrests. During the first appearance (or initial appearance), the judge will determine whether there is enough information in the arrest affidavit to establish probable cause against the alleged offender and either affirm, lower, or raise the bond that was set for the alleged offender. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to file a motion to set or reduce bond during an individual’s first appearance.
Moreover, in tight situations, an attorney can arrange to have an emergency bond hearing schedule within a few days of the offender’s arrest. Alleged offenders in certain cases (such as capital offenses or domestic violence crimes) may be denied bond, but many other people may be eligible to have their bond reduced.
Under Florida Statute § 903.046, a court will consider all of the following factors when determining whether to release an alleged offender on bail or other conditions:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
- The weight of the evidence against the alleged offender;
- The alleged offender's family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition;
- The alleged offender's past and present conduct (including any prior convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings);
- The nature and probability of danger which the alleged offender's release poses to the community;
- 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;
- Whether the alleged offender is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding or on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of a sentence;
- The street value of any drug or controlled substance connected to or involved in the criminal charge;
- The nature and probability of intimidation and danger to victims;
- Whether there is probable cause to believe that the alleged offender committed a new crime while on pretrial release;
- Any other facts that the court considers relevant;
- Whether the crime charged is a violation of Chapter 874 of the Florida Statutes or alleged to be subject to enhanced punishment under Chapter 874 of the Florida Statutes or reclassification under Florida Statute § 843.22; and
- Whether the alleged offender, other than an alleged offender whose only criminal charge is a misdemeanor offense under Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes, is required to register as a sexual offender under Florida Statute § 943.0435 or a sexual predator under Florida Statute § 775.21; and, if so, he or she is not 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.
A Tallahassee criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with a prosecutor to possibly stipulate certain conditions of an alleged offender's release as part of the bond reduction. The conditions that the criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor agree to will be presented to a judge for his or her approval.
Uniform Bond Schedule in Leon County
In some cases, such as charges for violent crimes, domestic violence, or gang-related activity, bond may not be made available until after the alleged offender's first appearance. In Leon County, the following bond schedule applies to all courts in the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida:
- $25,000 — All first-degree felony offenses;
- $10,000 — Fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, all second-degree felony drug charges, and all other second-degree felony property crimes;
- $5,000 — Grand theft firearm, grand theft motor vehicle, insurance fraud, driving while license suspended or revoked with injury, criminal use of personal identification, and all other third-degree felony burglary charges;
- $2,500 — Grand theft, credit card fraud, forgery, uttering, providing false information to officer with adverse effect, unemployment compensation fraud, all third-degree felony drug charges, and all first offender misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI) charges;
- $1,000 — Felony dumping, defrauding a pawnbroker, public assistance fraud $200 or more, felony petit theft, felony driving while license suspended or revoked, cruelty to animals, and all other third-degree felony property crimes;
- $500 — All other first-degree misdemeanors; and
- $250 — When alleged offender does not have verifiable local address, all county or city ordinance violations, all other second-degree misdemeanors.
Florida Bond Reduction Resources
Rule 3.131, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure — View the full text of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to pretrial release, pretrial detention, and pretrial probable cause determinations and adversary preliminary hearings. You can also find information about time for filing formal charges, indictments, and joinder of offenses and defendants. Additional rules cover consolidation of related offenses, severance of offenses and defendants, and timeliness of defendant's motion.
United States v. Nebbia, 357 F.2d 303 (2d Cir. 1966) — Judges in state courts may add a condition to bond at a first hearing known as a "Nebbia Hold" (also referred to as a "Nebbia requirement" or "Bail Source Hearing") that allows the court to inquire into the source of the funds used for the bond. The legal premise for the Nebbia holds are based on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's decision in this case involving an alleged offender indicted for conspiring to import large quantities of narcotic drugs (some 95 kilograms seized—allegedly the largest seizure of heroin ever made in the United States). The man's bail was set at $100,000 and a motion for reduction of bail was denied, but his attorney presented a cashier's check for $100,000 issued by The Chase Manhattan Bank payable to the Clerk of the District Court only a few hours after her motion was denied. The Court ultimately concluded that the judge could "exercise his discretion whether to hold a hearing to determine the adequacy of the bail tendered on behalf of Nebbia, and whether it should be increased in amount or be accompanied by sureties." While the Nebbia decision applies to federal cases, Florida State Courts have interpreted Florida Statute § 903.046(2) and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.131(b) as authorizing a court to question the source of funds used to post bail before release.
Pumphrey Law | Tallahassee Bond Reduction Defense Lawyer
Do you or your loved one need bond to be reduced in order to be released from custody in North Florida? You should not delay in contacting Pumphrey LawDon Pumphrey and the criminal defense attorneys in Tallahassee at Pumphrey Law.
We represent individuals in communities all over Liberty County, Wakulla County, Leon County, Gadsden County, and Jefferson County. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (850) 681-7777 or submit an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 15, 2017.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.