Advisory Hearing in Pasco County, FL
Update: The courthouses in the Sixth Judicial Circuit will be closed Monday, September 28th, in observance of Yom Kippur, except for the first-appearance hearings on Monday. First appearances in Pasco County will begin at 8:00 a.m. in the advisory room at the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center, 38053 Live Oak Avenue, in Dade City.
Within 24 hours of arrest, if the defendant has not already posted bond, then the defendant will appear before a judge for an advisory hearing. The advisory hearing is also called the “first appearance” because it occurs within 24 hours of the person being booked into the jail after an arrest.
For all domestic violence cases (both felony and misdemeanor) and many of the most serious felony cases, the defendant is not permitted to bond out of jail until after the first appearance court hearing in Pasco County, FL.
If you wish to attend the advisory hearing, call the Booking Department of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 235-6070 to find out whether the hearing will be held at the courthouse in Dade City or New Port Richey.
The PCSO Booking Department can also tell you the time the hearing is expected to start.
Attorneys for First Appearance Hearings in Pasco County, FL
You can hire a private criminal defense attorney to attend the advisory hearing. Your attorney can appear on your behalf to argue:
- the reasons why no probable cause is contained in the criminal report affidavit (CRA);
- why the bond should be set as low as possible or ROR; or
- why the most favorable pre-trial release conditions should be imposed.
In many of these cases, by explaining to the court why you are not a flight risk, the criminal defense attorney can convince the court to lower the required bond amount substantial or just release you ROR (on a signature bond).
Contact one of the four attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm to find out more about how we can help.
When is the Advisory Hearing in Pasco County, FL?
During the week from Monday through Friday the advisory hearing after an arrest in Pasco County, FL, is held at 1:00 p.m. On Saturday, Sunday, and some holidays, the advisory hearing in Pasco County, FL, is held at 8:00 a.m.
You can call the jail to confirm the time and place of the advisory hearing immediately after the defendant is booked into the jail because these times are subject to change.
What happens at the Advisory Hearing in Pasco County, FL?
During these advisory hearings, the defendant remains at the jail’s detention center but appears by video. The judge, prosecutor, and public defender are in the courtroom but are able to see and hear the defendant through a two-way audio-video feed.
At the first appearance hearing, the judge will address the bond. The judge can keep the amount the same, raise the amount, reduce it, or release the defendant on their own recognizance (ROR). The ROR is a signature bond promising to appear for any future court dates.
At the hearing, the judge will consider any risk factors and the defendant’s ties to the community. When setting the bond and other pre-trial release conditions, the judge will consider the charge, and prior criminal history, and whether the defendant is a flight risk.
If needed, the judge will assign a public defender and advise the defendant that there is to be no contact with the victim(s) upon his or her release from custody. If you retain a private attorney to represent you, the private attorney can appear in court for you and argue for the lowest possible bond and most favorable pretrial release conditions.
Although the alleged victim is not required to attend the Advisory Hearing, if the alleged victim does appear, they can ask to speak to the defense attorney or a representative from the State Attorney’s Office prior to the hearing. The victim or any witness can ask the bailiff to notify the defense attorney or the prosecutor of the presence of the victim or alleged witness before the case is called.
If the alleged victim does not appear in court, the court will often set a “no contact” provision. If the victim wants contact and explains the reasons why at the first appearance hearing, the court might impose a “no violent” contact provision so that the defendant can go home while the case is pending.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 25, 2020.