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The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments. Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure § 3.131 similarly states that every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county ordinance is entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions. However, it does not apply if the person is charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident, or the presumption is great.
The same Rule of Criminal Procedure prohibits an alleged offender from making contact of any type with an alleged victim and requires them to comply with all conditions of pretrial release. Judges in Florida have discretion in setting bond amounts, as well as pretrial release conditions. This is why it’s critical for any person accused of a criminal offense to have experienced legal representation.
Are you trying to get a pretrial release, or have you been accused of violating your pretrial release? Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible. Attorney Evan Hoffman has extensive legal experience and is dedicated to providing fierce counsel at all stages of a criminal case.
Pretrial Release Eligibility in Florida
Most counties in Florida have their own programs and pretrial release processes. In Miami-Dade County, pretrial release can include courts performing Release Own Recognizance (ROR) bonds, jails utilizing Promises to Appear (PTA) releases, and police departments issuing citation releases.
Miami-Dade County also has a local Pretrial Services (PTS) agency that releases individuals, free of charge before their trial, in exchange for a promise to appear in court.
Most pretrial release programs in Florida must abide by certain statewide regulations. Under Florida Statute § 907.041(3)(a), any person not charged with a dangerous crime as defined under Florida Statute § 907.041(4) must be released on monetary conditions if it is determined that such conditions are necessary to assure the presence of the person at trial or at other proceedings, to protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, to assure the presence of the accused at trial, or to assure the integrity of the judicial process.
Florida Statute § 907.041(3)(b) establishes that a person cannot be released on nonmonetary conditions under the supervision of a pretrial release service unless the service certifies to the court that it has investigated or otherwise verified:
- The circumstances of the accused’s family, employment, financial resources, character, mental condition, and length of residence in the community;
- The accused’s record of convictions, of appearances at court proceedings, of flight to avoid prosecution, or of failure to appear at court proceedings; and
- Other facts are necessary to assist the court in its determination of the indigence of the accused and whether they should be released under the supervision of the service.
Under Florida Statute § 907.041(4)(b), any person charged with a dangerous crime will not be granted nonmonetary pretrial release at their first appearance (advisory) hearing. However, if the facts and circumstances warrant such a release, the court retains the discretion to release the alleged offender on electronic monitoring or a recognizance bond.
Conditions of Pretrial Release Violations in Miami-Dade County
Florida Statute § 903.047(1) establishes that a person is required to comply with numerous conditions of pretrial release, whether their release was on surety bail bond or recognizance bond.
In addition to complying with all conditions of pretrial release, an alleged offender is expected to refrain from all of the following:
- Engaging in criminal activity of any kind;
- Initiating contact of any type with the victim, if the court issues a no-contact order;
- Communicating orally or in any written form, either in person, telephonically, electronically, or in any other manner, either directly or indirectly through a third person, with the victim or any other person named in the order;
- Having physical or violent contact with the victim or other named person or his or her property;
- Being within 500 feet of the victim’s or other named person’s residence, even if the defendant and the victim or other named person share the residence; and
- Being within 500 feet of the victim's or other named person's vehicle, place of employment, or a specified place regularly frequented by such person.
A violation of any of the conditions listed above could lead to possible revocation of the alleged offender's pretrial release. Florida Statute § 903.047(1) also establishes that a court can, on its own motion, revoke pretrial release and order pretrial detention if it finds probable cause to believe that a person committed a new crime while on pretrial release.
If you are hoping to get a pretrial release or were accused of violating your pretrial release in Miami, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm provides top-quality legal representation and will be committed to helping you. Our attorney will work to get you or your loved one released as quickly as possible.
Florida Conditions of Pretrial Release Resources
Monitored Release Program | Miami-Dade County: The Miami-Dade County Corrections Monitored Release Program (House Arrest) consists of pretrial and sentenced offenders. Pretrial offenders are individuals who did not qualify for other forms of pretrial release and are in the jail system waiting for disposition of their case. You can also find additional information about the pretrial release and Pretrial Services under the Inmate Release section.
Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Headquarters:
2525 NW 62nd St.
Miami, FL 33147
County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2016 | Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA): The OPPAGA is the research arm of the Florida Legislature that provides data, evaluative research, and objective analyses relating to legislative budget and policy deliberations. According to this 2016 report, the 7,993 defendants accepted in Miami-Dade County were the most of any county in Florida. Additionally, the 6 percent of cases in which a warrant was issued for a failure to appear in court was tied for the highest percentage in the state (matched by Leon County).
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