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At Affordable Bail Bonds, our bond agents are committed to providing you with all the information you need to make educated decisions. Read below to learn more about Florida statutes regarding bail.
Chapter 903. BAIL Current through 2012
903.045 Nature of criminal surety bail bonds
It is the public policy of this state and the intent of the Legislature that a criminal surety bail bond, executed by a bail bond agent licensed pursuant to chapter 648 in connection with the pretrial or appellate release of a criminal defendant, shall be construed as a commitment by and an obligation upon the bail bond agent to ensure that the defendant appears at all subsequent criminal proceedings and otherwise fulfills all conditions of the bond. The failure of a defendant to appear at any subsequent criminal proceeding or the breach by the defendant of any other condition of the bond constitutes a breach by the bail bond agent of this commitment and obligation.
History.—s. 40, ch. 82-175; s. 1475, ch. 97-102.
903.046 Purpose of and criteria for bail determination
(1) The purpose of a bail determination in criminal proceedings is to ensure the appearance of the criminal defendant at subsequent proceedings and to protect the community against unreasonable danger from the criminal defendant.
(2) When determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what that bail or those conditions may be, the court shall consider:
(a) The nature and circumstances of the offense charged.
(b) The weight of the evidence against the defendant.
(c) The defendant’s family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition.
(d) The defendant’s past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings. However, any defendant who had failed to appear on the day of any required court proceeding in the case at issue, but who had later voluntarily appeared or surrendered, shall not be eligible for a recognizance bond; and any defendant who failed to appear on the day of any required court proceeding in the case at issue and who was later arrested shall not be eligible for a recognizance bond or for any form of bond which does not require a monetary undertaking or commitment equal to or greater than $2,000 or twice the value of the monetary commitment or undertaking of the original bond, whichever is greater. Notwithstanding anything in this section, the court has discretion in determining conditions of release if the defendant proves circumstances beyond his or her control for the failure to appear. This section may not be construed as imposing additional duties or obligations on a governmental entity related to monetary bonds.
(e) The nature and probability of danger which the defendant’s release poses to the community.
(f) The source of funds used to post bail or procure an appearance bond, particularly whether the proffered funds, real property, property, or any proposed collateral or bond premium may be linked to or derived from the crime alleged to have been committed or from any other criminal or illicit activities. The burden of establishing the noninvolvement in or non derivation from criminal or other illicit activity of such proffered funds, real property, property, or any proposed collateral or bond premium falls upon the defendant or other person proffering them to obtain the defendant’s release.
(g) Whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding or on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of a sentence.
(h) The street value of any drug or controlled substance connected to or involved in the criminal charge. It is the finding and intent of the Legislature that crimes involving drugs and other controlled substances are of serious social concern, that the flight of defendants to avoid prosecution is of similar serious social concern, and that frequently such defendants are able to post monetary bail using the proceeds of their unlawful enterprises to defeat the social utility of pretrial bail. Therefore, the courts should carefully consider the utility and necessity of substantial bail in relation to the street value of the drugs or controlled substances involved.
(i) The nature and probability of intimidation and danger to victims.
(j) Whether there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a new crime while on pretrial release.
(k) Any other facts that the court considers relevant.
(l) Whether the crime charged is a violation of chapter 874 or alleged to be subject to enhanced punishment under chapter 874. If any such violation is charged against a defendant or if the defendant is charged with a crime that is alleged to be subject to such enhancement, he or she shall not be eligible for release on bail or surety bond until the first appearance on the case in order to ensure the full participation of the prosecutor and the protection of the public.
History.—s. 41, ch. 82-175; s. 42, ch. 84-103; s. 4, ch. 86-151; s. 1476, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 2000-178; s. 18, ch. 2008-238.
FLORIDA STATUTE CHAPTER 648
If you are attempting to help someone you love by posting bail for him or her, but you will need the services of an experienced bail bondsman, it is understandable that you might be wondering about reliability and qualifications. All bondsmen must be licensed and certified by the State of Florida.
In order to earn this license, there are many different requirements that must be met. According to Florida Statute Chapter 648,
- The bail agent must be of high character and approved integrity. He or she must never have been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or any crime that is punishable by a year or more of imprisonment, in any state, whether or not a judgment or conviction was entered.
- A bondsman must complete a basic certification course in the criminal justice system with no less than 120 hours of classroom instruction and a final grade of 80% or higher. He or she must also complete a correspondence course for bail bond agents that has been approved by the Department of Justice.
- Prior to receiving his or her license, a bail agent must file with the Department of Justice three sworn statements from reputable citizens who reside in the counties in which he or she wishes to operate.
- Each potential bond agent must undergo a rigorous background check by the Department of Justice in order to affirm the applicant’s qualifications, character, experience, background and fitness.
- It is illegal for a bail bond agent to not charge a premium after execution of a bail bond; however, the premium rate may not exceed or be less than 10% of the bail amount.
- All licensed bail bond agents must maintain a record of all bail bonds he or she executes or countersigns for at least 3 years following the termination of liability. These records must be open to assessment by the Department of Justice and ready for examination, inspection, and reproduction at all times.