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Emergency Bond Hearings

Jurisdictions throughout Florida utilize a uniform bond schedule that sets certain amounts for criminal defendants to pay to get released prior to their trial. The state has specific rules and regulations when it comes to pretrial release. With many felony charges, the amounts of these bonds can be simply unaffordable for the average person.

Unless an alleged offender is accused of a capital felony, he or she has the right to request a lower, more reasonable bond prior to any conviction. After a person is arrested in Florida arrested, they are usually required to make their initial appearance before a judge within 24 hours. It is critical to have legal representation during this time to ensure that the defendant gets the most favorable bond terms possible.

A criminal defense attorney can represent you during the bond hearing, or help file a motion for an emergency bond hearing to get the bond amount reduced or altered.

Attorney for Emergency Bond Hearings in Tallahassee, FL

If you’ve recently been arrested for any type of criminal offense in Northern Florida, Pumphrey Law can fight to get you released from custody as soon as possible. Don Pumphrey, Jr., and his legal firm have over two decades of combined legal experience working in the criminal justice system in locations throughout the Florida Panhandle.

Our Tallahassee emergency bond hearing attorneys assist clients all over Leon County as well as surrounding areas such as Franklin County, Gadsden County, Jefferson County, Liberty County, and Wakulla County. We will provide a thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Leon County Emergency Bond Hearings Overview

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What is a Bond?

Florida Statute Section 903.011 provides that the term pretrial release is synonymous with “bail” and “bond.” Pretrial release is when a person charged with a crime is able to get released from jail after their arrest. Bond is essentially the monetary amount a defendant is required to pay to be released from jail pending their trial.

In Florida, only a judge may set, reduce, or otherwise alter a defendant’s bond. Unfortunately, the set bond amounts are often too high for a defendant to afford. There is some leniency, though. Florida law provides that upon a motion by the defendant, or on the court’s own motion, a court may reconsider the monetary amount of bond if the defendant is unable to pay.

Most defendants have the right to post bail, however there are certain restrictions. For example, a defendant charged with a capital offense or who is facing a violation of probation (VOP) is ineligible to post bond.

A Tallahassee defense attorney can help you through the bond process.

What is the Purpose of Pretrial Release in Florida?

Florida Statute Section 903.046 explains that the purpose of a bail determination in criminal proceedings is to make sure the defendant appears at subsequent proceedings, and to protect the community from any unreasonable danger from the criminal defendant.

The court must consider the following before determining whether to release a defendant on any pretrial conditions:

  • The nature and circumstances of the alleged criminal offense;
  • The weight of the evidence against the defendant;
  • The defendant’s previous conduct or criminal history;
  • The nature and probability of danger the defendant poses to the community;
  • The source of funds used to post the defendant’s bail or bond;
  • Whether the defendant is already on a pretrial release for another crime;
  • If the alleged offense involved any controlled substances, then the street value of such substance involved in the charge;
  • The nature and probability of intimidation and danger to the alleged victims;
  • Whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant commits a new offense while on pretrial release;
  • Any other details the court may consider relevant to the defendant’s release.

Important: A defendant who is charged with a criminal offense that is subject to enhancements or reclassification shall not be eligible for the release via bail or surety bond until the first appearance on the case to ensure the full participation of the prosecutor and the protection of the public. Additionally, a defendant whose alleged offense requires them to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator is not eligible for the release via bail or surety bond until the first appearance on the case.

Types of Bond in Florida

In Florida, defendants generally have one of three ways of posting bail after a court has set the bond amount:

  • Cash Bond The defendant pays the full amount of bond with cash, a money order, or a certified cashier’s check. Certain courts may accept personal checks or credit card payments. The amount of a cash bond will be returned to the alleged offender at the conclusion of their case so long as they have not assessed any fines as part of a nolo contendere (no contest) or guilty plea. The entire bond amount will be forfeited if the defendant fails to appear in court after being released.
  • Release-on-Own-Recognizance (ROR) Bond The defendant signs a document guaranteeing that they will appear at all future court appearances. While the defendant pays nothing to be released, any failure to appear in court will result in a bench warrant being issued for their
  • Surety Bond A surety company posts a bail bond on behalf of the defendant, which is a written guarantee that he or she will make all future court appearances. The bonding company typically charges the defendant a percentage of the total bond (usually 10 percent) for this service, and that fee is nonrefundable. The bonding company could also require some form of collateral, as any failure to appear in court by the alleged offender makes the bonding company liable for the entire bond amount.

Were you or a loved one recently arrested and have questions regarding pretrial release, contact Pumphrey Law Firm.

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Factors Considered by Leon County Courts in Lowering or Reducing Bond

The court takes several different factors into consideration when determining bond amounts. The positive or negative impact of these factors depend entirely on the defendant’s circumstances, but some aspects that may be considered include:

  • Alleged offender’s criminal history;
  • Alleged offender’s employment history;
  • Alleged offender’s finances;
  • Alleged offender’s ties to the community;
  • Likelihood alleged offender will commit another crime if bonded;
  • Nature of the alleged offense; and
  • Whether alleged offender’s family and relatives reside in community.

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What is an Emergency Bond Hearing?

When a judge sets a bail amount for a defendant that is too high for them to afford, the defendant can request an emergency bond hearing. This is a legal proceeding for a judge to review the bail amount they set for the defendant. Emergency bond hearings can occur for any of the following reasons:

  • The defendant’s bond is set too high;
  • The defendant is being held without bond due to the charges they are facing; and/or
  • The pretrial release conditions set out by the judge are too difficult.

It’s important to address that bond hearings are complex legal procedures that require the knowledge and experience of a defense attorney. A lawyer with Pumphrey Law Firm can assist you in filing a motion for an emergency bond hearing.

Tallahassee Bond Hearings for Nebbia Holds

In certain cases, the court may impose a bond condition known as a Nebbia Hold. Also referred to as a Bond Source Hearing, this requires an defendant or any co-signers posting bond to provide proof that the funds being used to post the bond have come from legitimate sources.

The idea of a Nebbia Hold is to ensure that the funds used to pay bond have not come from such activities as:

  • Dealing In Stolen Property
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Theft
  • Worthless Checks

Motions to lift Nebbia Holds can often be filed in conjunction with motions to reduce bond amounts. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm for a free consultation to go over the details of your criminal case.

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Florida Emergency Bond Hearings Resources

301 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 577-4000

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Find an Emergency Bond Hearing Lawyer in Tallahassee

Were you or a loved one recently arrested and are now awaiting a bond hearing in Northern Florida? Obtaining legal counsel to represent the case in court will provide the best chance of being released as quickly as possible. Pumphrey Law wants to ensure you get released with the least amount of financial hardship. Navigating Florida’s legal proceedings can be complicated, but a defense attorney can make sure your rights are protected while providing legal guidance during this challenging time.

The defense attorneys at the Pumphrey Law Firm fight for residents seeking pretrial release in Apalachicola, Bristol, Carrabelle, Chattahoochee, Monticello, Quincy, Saint Marks, and communities in the surrounding areas of Leon County. Call (850) 681-7777 right now to take advantage of a free legal consultation.


Page Updated February 6, 2024

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