We often represent individuals who have never before been charged with a criminal offense. The confusion that those people experience reveal how overly complicated and confusing the criminal justice system can be. And that system is the way that it is not by accident, but because of a purposeful design by the people who have been put in power to run that system. In recent times, criminal justice reform advocates along with some politicians have argued for bail reform, but little progress has been made. As a result, the bail and bond systems remain convoluted and excessively expensive.
The bond business is also just that—a business. And just like when choosing a lawyer, choosing the right bondsman can have a significant effect on your case. Some bond companies are known to get far too involved in the cases of their clients. Bondsmen will sometimes call our clients and give outdated or outright incorrect information to defendants about their court dates or about the restrictions placed on them as a condition of their bond. More professional bond agencies will allow the lawyers to do that, and will stay out of being involved with the case for the most part. Some bondsmen will refuse to bond people out if the case seems to “risky” to them, and will give family and friends the impression that no agency will be willing to write the bond. An experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer will necessarily have connections to reputable and trustworthy bond agencies, and will be happy to refer you to one when you are in need of help.What Happens When I need to Post Bond?
Once a person has been arrested for a criminal offense, they will be taken directly to the county jail for processing. At the jail, the staff will take a booking photo, search the arrestee and if applicable, apply a “schedule bond.” A schedule bond is a bond amount that is automatically determined based on the offense for which the person is charged by the police. For misdemeanor offenses, the schedule bond is usually relatively low, while for more serious felony offenses, the schedule bond can be extremely high. If the arrestee or a friend or family member can afford to post the bond, the arrestee can be immediately released. One can choose to post a cash bond directly to the jail. That money can be returned at the completion of the case. If you don’t have the full cash bond, you can pay a bondsman 10% of the bond amount to post the remaining amount. The 10% paid to the bondsman is a fee that is not refundable. These procedures are sometimes not made clear to people under investigation or arrested for a crime, so it is important to consult with a seasoned Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to prepare you for all of these procedures.
Some offenses do not automatically qualify for a “schedule bond.” For example, if you are charged with a domestic violence offense, the law requires that you appear before a judge before a bond can be set to secure your release. The “advisory hearing” before a judge can be a critical moment in your case, and a quick thinking Sarasota criminal lawyer can appear at such a hearing to get a head start on your defense. For offenses that are punishable by life in prison, a bond is not usually allowed until the defense moves for an Arthur hearing, where evidence must be presented by the state to justify the pretrial detention. No matter what your bond, if you cannot afford it, a skilled lawyer can help you argue for release.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon law are skilled and experienced when it comes to arguing for bail reductions and pretrial release. If you or a loved one are stuck in jail, contact us today at 941.462.1789 for a consultation to determine how we can secure your release.