How Does The Bail Process Work?
Simply put, bail is an insurance policy that the defendant will show up in court. A person can post a cash bond, meaning the individual provides the whole amount the bond to the sheriff for release.
However, most cannot afford huge sums of money, so a bail bondsman or bonding agency usually is hired to basically write an insurance policy. Most bonding agencies require 10 percent of the amount of the bond as a premium, so if it is a $10,000 bond, the bonding agency will request a $1,000 payment and collateral to ensure that the bond amount can be recovered in case the person bonded out of jail does not appear in court and the full bond has to be paid.
The bond is a written document whereby the bonding agency insures the court that if the defendant fails to appear in court, the bonding agency will pay the full amount of the defendant’s bail.
Once the bond is posted the defendant is released from incarceration, and will remain so while their case is progressing through the court. Most offenses are bondable offenses, but the court can decide to decline bond if they feel the defendant poses a threat to harm others if released.
The court can hold a defendant accused of certain serious offenses without bond. The defendant can request a hearing to set bail. The State will be required to present a high level of proof to keep such a defendant from having a bond set. Generally, in such cases if the court does decide to set a bond it will likely be extraordinarily high.
The Bond Schedule Determines How Much Bail Will Be Set For Different Offenses
A bond schedule is a schedule used to set a certain amounts of money for a bond for certain offenses. Various factors are utilized. For instance, if it is a third degree felony and the person is a local resident, the bond will usually be less than the bond issued for the same offense to an out of county resident.
These Cases Can Take Varying Amounts Of Time Based On The Investigation And Whether It Is A Felony Or Misdemeanor
Misdemeanors are handled in county court and they are usually dealt with much quicker than felony cases. For felony cases in Florida, the defense will have the right to depose witnesses, to question witnesses pre-trial about what they know about a case.
The State has a requirement to list its witnesses believed to have any information about the offense. A felony case can resolve quickly in a couple of months, although it could also take a year or more, depending on the seriousness of the offense or the amount of difficulties involved in progressing the case from the point where the lawyer and the client were gathering the evidence until the case was ready to be tried.
In misdemeanor court, the initial court date or arraignment date will usually be within 2 to 4 weeks. This is when the court will formally advise an individual of their charges. The next court date is a docket call.
The docket call is to see which cases are ready to go to trial, which cases need to be continued, and which cases are settled. Most misdemeanors usually will be resolved quickly; felony cases usually take quite a bit longer.
Both felony and misdemeanors will have arraignments and docket soundings. The court will want to bring people in, defendants and their attorneys, so they can determine the status of the case. Trial courts are trying to move the cases forward.
For more information on Bail And The Court Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Regardless of whether you or your loved one has been arrested in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Okeechobee, or any area within Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee or Indian River counties, attorney T. Charles Shafer is here to provide aggressive, hard working representation.
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