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West Palm Beach, FL 33401

What Happens After Arrest

busted_180x120-150x119Each and every county in Florida; Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Dade, has a chief prosecutor titled State Attorney. Each State Attorney has many Assistants working under him. The State Attorney Offices are in charge of prosecuting all criminal offenses that occur within their prospective counties. The State Attorney is within the Executive Branch of Government.

The State Attorney may charge a criminal defendant with an accusation of a crime in one of two ways: (i) filing and information or (ii) impaneling a grand jury to return a true bill. It is important to remember that Law Enforcement Officials cannot charge someone with a crime; they only have the ability to arrest. Only the State Attorney or his Assistants may charge someone with a criminal case.

In Florida, however, a Law Enforcement Officer such as: a Deputy Sheriff, Florida Highway Patrol and local law enforcement officers – Boca Raton Police Department, Lantana Police Department, North Palm Beach Police Department, Stuart Police Department, Hollywood Police Department and so on, may arrest and individual. In Florida, an arrest may actually occur in two distinct ways: (i) the defendant is placed in handcuffs and booked or (ii) the defendant is given a Notice to Appear.

Get Out of Jail

Even when you play monopoly, when you land in jail, you want to get out. To get out of jail you need to post bail.

Bail is cash, a bond, or property that an arrested person gives to a court to ensure that he or she will appear in court when ordered to do so. If the defendant doesn’t show up, the court keeps the bail and issues a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.

When a person is charged with a crime, he may have to wait weeks or even months before he is given a trial. Rather than having accused parties languish in jail during this time, courts may grant them release on bail. This basically means that a party or his loved ones can give cash or property to a court as security against the defendant’s eventual return for trial. If the accused shows up for his court date, the money or property is returned to the person who pledged it. If the party does not show up, the pledge money or property may be forfeited.

There are a few options a person has when he needs to post bail. The options available may vary in different court systems, however. In general, a person may post bail by paying the bail amount to the court or by going through a bail bondsman, who can post bail for him. In some cases, a person in this position may be able to pay 10 percent of his bail directly to the court instead of the full amount. In other cases, a court may be willing to accept property instead of money to secure a release from jail.

How Bail Is Set

Judges are responsible for setting bail. Because many people want to get out of jail immediately (instead of waiting for a day or longer to see a judge), most jails have standard bail schedules that specify bail amounts for common crimes. An arrested person can often get out of jail quickly by paying the amount set forth in the stationhouse bail schedule.

If a suspect wants to post bail but can’t afford the amount required by the bail schedule, the suspect can ask a judge to lower it. Depending on the state’s procedures, a request for lowered bail may be made either in a special bail setting hearing or when the suspect appears in court for the first time (usually called the arraignment).

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that bail not be excessive. This means that bail should not be used to raise money for the government or to punish a person for being suspected of committing a crime. Remember: The purpose of bail is to allow the arrested person to remain free until convicted of a crime, and the amount of bail must be no more than is reasonably necessary to keep the suspect from fleeing before a case is over.

So much for theory. In fact, many judges set an impossibly high bail in particular types of cases (such as those involving drug sales or rape), knowing that the high bail will effectively keep the suspect in jail until the case is over. Although bail set for this purpose — called preventative detention — is thought by many to violate the Constitution, courts have uniformly rejected this argument (the issue has never been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not constitutional).

Posting Bond or Bail

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.

After the accused has his or her First Appearance, Mr. Stine will help provide the family members with a bail bonds company. Mr. Stine will help make sure that your loved one is granted a reasonable bond and assure that the bond will be posted by a reasonable bonds person. If the accused is placed on house arrest, electronic monitoring wherein the accused must stay within the confines of his or her home, Mr. Stine will help and make sure the home is ready for the device. Meaning, that a hard telephone line or service is in place, assuring the house arrest supervisor receives the court order, and most importantly makes sure the county jail releases the accused in a timely manner.

Hire Stine Or Do Time

If you have been arrested and charged with any criminal offense, from a traffic violation to federal drug charges, in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or any of the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Remember, early intervention is the best defense strategy in any case, so call Andrew Stine and his team immediately after arrest.

Andrew Stine will work directly with you on your case and incorporate your wants, needs, wishes, and concerns into a comprehensive, customized defense strategy constructed with a passion for the craft and a militant attention to detail. No matter the circumstances of your Palm Beach County criminal case, your rights as an American citizen deserve protecting. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561-832-1170 today and schedule yours.

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