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West Palm Beach, FL 33401

First Appearance and Bail Posting Process After Arrest

battery-defense-lawyer_180x120If you are arrested, you will be handcuffed, and except in unusual circumstances, you will first be taken to the precinct in which the arrest occurred for initial processing. At the precinct, a police officer will interview you and ask for “pedigree” information, including your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, etc. Once you have been fingerprinted you will be taken to Central Booking and processed for arraignment, which is an appearance before a judge.

First Appearance

From The Law Office of Andrew D. Stine

In Florida, an arrestee, one who has been arrested must be taken before a judge or judicial officer within 24 hours of his or her arrest. Andrew D. Stine has been called at all hours of the day and night, by family members of the accused, to appear at the defendant’s court hearing.

Mr. Stine will be at the First Appearance for you or your loved one. The First Appearance is important because that is the hearing in which Bond or Bail will or will not be set. In Florida, the law holds that each individual arrested on a criminal charge is entitled to a reasonable bond.

In rare cases, bond may not be granted to the accused at his or her First Appearance. This granting of no bond is rare and only occurs in limited situations such as: when the arrested is on probation and the new arrest violates their probation, when the accused is a risk of flight, when the accused is charged with a crime punishable by death and the evident of guilt is overwhelming, when the accused has an open warrant for failure to appear, and in other limited circumstances. Understand though, bond or bail is most usually granted to the accused.

The conditions of pre-trial release: bond, bail, SOR and the like, are determined at the First Appearance. Many times, Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine can provide you or your loved one with a pre-trial release condition(s) that is feasible, economical, and non restrictive. All First Appearance in Palm Beach County occur at the Gun Club Jail or Gun Club Courthouse. Mr. Stine has appeared at this location on weekends, holidays and even during a hurricane to provide the accused or arrestee with representation that is second to none. Also remember that at the First Appearance the presiding Judge or Judicial Officer will determine if Probable Cause exist to send the case forward. Mr. Stine will argue, if appropriate, that probable cause is lacking as to a criminal charge and has been successful in actually having criminal matters resolved and dismissed at the first appearance.

What is Bail?

Bail is a process through which an arrested criminal suspect pays a set amount of money to obtain release from police custody, usually after booking. As a condition of release, the suspect promises to appear in court for all scheduled criminal proceedings — including arraignment, preliminary hearing, pre-trial Motions, and the trial itself. If the suspect fails to appear in court as scheduled, he or she will be subject to immediate arrest, and any bail amount paid will be forfeited.

Posting Bond

In most cases, you are entitled to a reasonable bond set by the court. Generally, this requires that you post a bond with the court. A bond is a binding agreement to pay money to the court in the event that you do not appear for your scheduled court dates. A bond is intended to ensure your appearance in the case. Your bond may either be a cash bond in smaller cases, or a surety bond in larger cases.

To post a surety bond, you will need the assistance of a bondsman who will file a bond with the court on your behalf, guaranteeing your appearance at all scheduled court dates. The bond is a conditional release, therefore, if you are arrested for subsequent offenses while you are out on bond, your original bond may be revoked by the court without notice. If you cannot afford to post the bond that is set by the court, it may be necessary to request a bond reduction hearing with the court. Depending upon the severity of the allegations made against you, the court may also impose other conditions of your pre-trial release, which could include many other restrictive conditions, such as electronic monitoring.

Factors That Influence Bail Amounts

In addition to the seriousness of the charged crime, the amount of bail usually depends on factors such as a defendant’s past criminal record, whether a defendant is employed, and whether a defendant has close ties to relatives and the community.

Judges may legally deny bail altogether in some circumstances. For example, if another jurisdiction has placed a warrant (hold) on a defendant, a judge is likely to keep the defendant in custody at least long enough for the other jurisdiction to pursue its charge. And bail may be denied to a defendant who is likely to flee the jurisdiction before the case concludes.

Example: Rosie Olla is arrested and charged with managing a large prostitution ring. Rosie is a naturalized American citizen born in Spain, and her family still lives in Barcelona. While searching Rosie after her arrest, the police found that she was carrying a passport and $5,000 in cash. Under these circumstances, a judge will probably be very reluctant to set bail for Rosie. Her family background and the fact that she was carrying a passport and a large amount of cash suggest that Rosie may flee to Spain if she is released on bail. Unless Rosie can explain to the judge why she was carrying the passport and cash, and can also demonstrate strong ties to the local community, a judge is likely to deny her request for bail.

Police Practices That Affect Bail Amounts

Unfortunately for many suspects who want to bail out of jail quickly, the police tend to arrest suspects for the most serious criminal charge that can possibly be supported by the facts at their disposal. For instance, the police may treat possession of a small amount of marijuana (a misdemeanor in most states) as an arrest for possession of marijuana with intent to sell (a felony in all states). Even though such a charge will almost certainly be reduced to a misdemeanor later in the case, it is a felony for the purposes of the bail schedule, and bail will be set accordingly. Source

West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

Few people understand the criminal justice process. If arrested, contact an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to represent you in court.

West Palm Beach lawyer Andrew Stine focuses exclusively on criminal defense cases and has an exceptional track record of results spanning the last ten years. A former public defender and medic for the U.S. Army, Mr. Stine is known for being proactive. He represents his clients aggressively, armed with individual attention and a passionate respect for their rights to due process.

Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.

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