While some people who are arrested for a crime can be released on their own recognizance, many Florida judges prefer to set bail to help ensure that the defendant shows up for his or her court date. The process appears relatively straightforward, but not every defendant knows how things work.
Bail in Florida
A bail bond provides a way for a defendant to guarantee they will appear at their scheduled court date. Bail refers to a monetary amount used to secure the appearance, and not showing up in court results in the defendant forfeiting the funds. Also, the judge would issue an arrest warrant for the person who skipped bail.
Not everyone has the funds to post bail, so they may work with a bail bond company. Such a process usually involves the defendant putting up 10% of the bond to the company, and the company puts up the remaining amount. Expect the bail bonds company to require some collateral or a co-signer to secure the remaining 90%. Collateral and co-signing provide a way for the bail bonds company to cover potential losses if the defendant doesn’t appear in court.
Understanding bail and its rules
Questions about assault or felony topics may focus on bail and related rules. During a bail hearing, the defendant will learn about the terms and conditions for release. Requirements may include not consorting with known criminals and remaining free of drug use. Violations of the terms could lead to bail revocation. Those unsure of the bail terms may need to consult with their attorneys.
An attorney may also argue for a lower bail amount. Excessive bail could force someone to remain in jail. However, a compelling argument may lead to the judge reducing the bail amount to something fairer.