Harsh Penalties for Violating Pretrial Release Conditions in Florida
Being arrested is just the first stage of a criminal process that can take some time, which is why you will seek to be free and get back to your daily routine until your trial date. Fortunately, Florida’s statute on pretrial release provides that you can be out of police custody by posting a surety bond, recognizance bond, or some other arrangement. Of course, there are conditions attached when you are allowed to enjoy your personal freedoms while your case is pending. Violating the terms of your pretrial release can lead to harsh consequences in addition to what you face for the underlying criminal charges.
If you are accused of failure to comply with the court’s order on pretrial release, you should retain a Florida criminal defense attorney right away to protect your interests. An overview of some key issues should persuade you why you need legal counsel on your side.
Pretrial Release Violations Through Subsequent Arrest: The most clear-cut reason to revoke your bond and bring you back into court is if you are arrested for another crime while out on pretrial release. The prosecutor in the underlying offense may not find out about a subsequent arrest, but will certainly take action when the information becomes available. The statute is specific that you must refrain from criminal activity of any kind, which means an arrest is all it takes; your bond could be revoked even if the charges are later dropped or you are acquitted at trial for the second offense.
Failure to Appear While on Pretrial Release: The whole point of posting bail is to ensure that you have a financial incentive to show up in court for all appearances between your arrest and trial date. If you fail to attend a hearing, you lose the money that you deposited for the bond. In addition, you provide the prosecution with a reason to revoke bond and take you into custody immediately. You may have grounds to contest revocation of pretrial release if your failure to appear was not intentional.
Prosecution’s Motion to Revoke Pretrial Release: You could be subject to an automatic revocation of pretrial release if you were arrested for a subsequent offense, since the prosecution needs little more to show that you are a threat to the community. For a failure to appear, the court could still order you into immediate police custody if you do not have a good reason for the no-show. By not being present in court for a required appearance, you could be viewed as a flight risk – giving the judge grounds to hold you until your trial date.
A Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Pretrial Release Violations
Though most individuals can take advantage of bail pending their trial date, you may find yourself in a serious predicament if you are accused of violating your pretrial release terms. To learn more about strategies to fight the allegations, please contact Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Kevin J. Kulik to set up a confidential consultation today.