What Happens When Someone Is Arrested In Florida?
In Florida, after a person is booked into a jail, there may be a bond set by a judge on the arresting papers (called a capias, or warrant). If so, that person is then eligible to bond out of jail. If someone is arrested without a bond, he or she will probably have to stay in jail overnight, and then will be taken the next day to a hearing called “first appearance,” where the judge will: 1) release a person on his or her promise to appear at all subsequent court appearances (called signature release, or recognizance release), 2)set a cash or surety bond, or 3) hold a person in jail with no bond, meaning with no opportunity to bond out..
What Are A Person’s Options If The Judge Sets A Cash Or Surety Bond?
- To stay in jail, awaiting disposition of the case;
- To stay in jail and wait for a bond reduction hearing, if the bond is larger than one can or will pay. This hearing is usually set by an attorney (see “Choosing an Attorney” );
- To put up the full amount of the bond in cash (all or most will be returned when the case is over).
- To call a bondsman (also called a “surety agent”), who will charge 10% of the face amount of the bond. This is a non-refundable fee, and is rarely returned. ( Note: The 10% is mandated by Florida state law; a bondsman may charge no less or no more. Note that some bondsmen will occasionally allow one to make payments toward that 10% of the court-defined bond.)
What Exactly Does A Bail Bondsman Do?
- When a bondsman writes a bond, he is promising the courts that he will have the defendant at every required court appearance. If the defendant misses an appearance, the bondsman will attempt to locate the defendant and return him or her to jail, or the bondsman will be forced to pay the full amount of the bond to the court.
What Are The Bail Bond Laws A Person Should Know?
- A person cannot be returned to jail for not paying the bondsman all the money due on the bond. The bondsman can, however, sue a person in civil court for the amount owed, plus costs.
- People can have bonds revoked if they are arrested again after posting a bond
- if they are untruthful on their bond application.
- if they change their address(es) without letting the bondsman know in advance.
- if they give the bondsman reason to believe they will not go to court.
- if they depart the jurisdiction of the court without written permission of the court and the bondsman.
These are the only conditions by which a Florida bond agent can revoke a bond without returning the full bond premium!