Pre-trial Release

After being arrested, your first priority is being released from jail so that you can return to your family and job. Sometimes, the court will set the bond so high that you cannot afford to post the bond.

In other cases, the court might impose harsh conditions for pre-trial release, making it nearly impossible to keep your job and go about your life while the case is pending.

A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you gain your release under the most favorable pre-trial release conditions.

Suppose you are accused of violating pre-trial release conditions (particularly for a new arrest). In that case, the prosecutor will file a motion to revoke pre-trial release so that you will be held without bond on the old case until it is resolved.

In other words, if you are arrested in a second case, the trial court may revoke bail in the first case based solely on a probable cause affidavit prepared in the second case for an arrest warrant or a probable cause determination at the first appearance.

The revocation can occur without an adversary hearing if the prosecutor proffers the evidence required to support an arrest warrant or probable cause determination at first appearances.

That evidence might include an affidavit of a police officer, a sworn complaint, sworn deposition testimony, or other testimony under oath properly recorded.

If you are accused of violating pre-trial release, a criminal defense attorney might be able to act quickly so that you do not have to go back into custody.

Attorney for Violations of Pre-trial Release Conditions in Tampa, FL

By having an attorney at the first appearance before the court after the arrest, the attorney can argue why a very low bond should be set. We often save our clients money by getting the bond set substantially lower.

That way, you can spend your limited resources on a criminal defense attorney who can aggressively fight your case.

Your attorney can also try and prevent the court from piling on unnecessary restrictions (known as pre-trial release conditions) that might impact your ability to travel to see your family or work while the case is pending.

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, are experienced in helping our clients secure pre-trial release under the most favorable terms possible.

We can help you return to court to get the pre-trial release conditions modified when necessary.

Our attorneys fight cases in Tampa, Hillsborough County, and throughout the surrounding areas in Tampa Bay, including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, and Polk County, FL.

Call (813) 250-0500 today to discuss your case.

Motion to Revoke Pretrial Release in Tampa, FL

As explained in Section 903.26, F.S., a failure to appear in court can result in the bond being subject to forfeiture.

Under s. 903.0471, F.S., the court may revoke, on its own motion, pretrial release and order pretrial detention if the court finds probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a new crime while on pretrial release.

What happens if you are out on bond for a criminal charge and you get arrested for a new offense while the case is pending?

If you immediately bond out of jail, the courts might not know about the pending case in time to do anything about it.

The next day (or sometimes weeks later), when the prosecutor finds out about the new arrest, the prosecution might file a motion to revoke pretrial release (sometimes called the motion to revoke bond).

Condition (1)(a) of bond under Florida Statutes 903.047 requires a person released on bond to refrain from criminal activity.

The prosecutor will argue that the arrest for the new offense has demonstrated the defendant’s inability to conduct himself or herself under Florida Statute 903.047(1)(a), which requires refraining from any criminal activity.

Florida Statute Section 903.0471, which became effective on June 2, 2000, provides:

Violation of condition of pretrial release

Notwithstanding s. 907.041, a court may, on its own motion, revoke pretrial release and order pretrial detention if the court finds probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a new crime while on pretrial release.

The statute was designed to assure the integrity of the judicial process. The State Attorney’s Office has argued that the statute is essential to:

  • the integrity of the judicial process; and
  • the court’s orders, especially the bond conditions, must be obeyed and enforced;
  • detention is necessary to protect the community from the risk of physical harm.

The prosecutor might allege that “probable cause” exists that the defendant committed a new crime while on pretrial release by attaching a copy of the criminal report affidavit or the citation for a criminal traffic offense to the motion.

The prosecutor might ask the court to revoke the defendant’s pretrial release so that the defendant can be held on the older case without bond under Fla. Stat. 903.0471.

The prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office will often refer to the following cases:

  • State v. Parker, 843 So. 2d 871 (Fla. 2003)(allows the State to move to revoke bond pursuant to 903.0471); and
  • Perry v. State, 842 So. 2d 301 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003)(there is no requirement of an adversarial hearing to revoke a defendant’s pretrial release).

During the hearing on the motion to revoke the bond or the defendant’s pretrial release, the prosecution will argue that good cause has been shown and that it is in the interest of justice for the trial court to revoke the Defendant’s pretrial release.

A criminal defense attorney might argue that by failing to require specific findings, the statute violates the provision of the Florida Constitution authorizing denial of bail if no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure the presence of the accused at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process.

It can be argued that in the absence of a requirement for an adversarial hearing, the statute allowing revocation of pretrial release violates:

  • procedural due process; and
  • substantive due process by placing too low a burden of proof upon which to base pretrial detention.

Writ of Habeas Corpus for Pre-Trial Release Violations

If the judge grants the motion, the court might remit the defendant into custody without bond. The defense attorney can file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

The trial court is not generally allowed to order pretrial detention without bond for failure to appear without finding that failure to appear was willful and that no conditions of release could reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure the presence of the accused at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process.

The Florida Supreme Court has declared section 903.0471 to be constitutional. See Parker v. State, 843 So. 2d 871, 878 (Fla. 2003).

Parker rejected many of the same arguments raised by Johnson, finding that section 903.0471 does not violate substantive due process or the Florida Constitution and that a trial court is not required to hold an adversarial evidentiary hearing before revoking pretrial release under section 903.0471. Parker, 843 So. 2d at 877-80.

It is indisputable that this Court may revoke the conditions of pretrial release of a defendant who is arrested on new criminal charges. See Harris v. Ryan, 147 So. 3d 1100, 1103 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014) (“The defendants do not dispute that they were arrested for new crimes. For these reasons, the defendants’ subsequent criminal activity while released within the pretrial intervention program was sufficient to warrant the revocation of their bonds.”)

Read more about violations of pre-trial release conditions in Pinellas County, FL.

Fighting Pretrial Detention with No Bond

What happens if the court holds the defendant with no bond under Section 903.0471, Fla. Stat., for violating pretrial release conditions where the defendant has never been booked or given a pretrial release order establishing the conditions for his pretrial release?

The courts have found that the trial court is without authority to order a defendant held without bond under those conditions. See Bynum v. Ryan, 954 So. 2d 1255, 1226 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2007).

In State v. Deacon, 25 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 809b (Fla. 6th Jud. Cir. Ct. 2017), the defendant was charged by information with battery. The summons for arraignment was mailed to him. The defendant was subsequently arrested for a new battery charge.

At first appearance for the new offense, the trial court decided that the new offense violated pretrial release conditions in the first case and ordered the defendant held without bond in the first case. After the defense counsel filed the writ of habeas corpus citing the Bynum case, the higher court granted relief.

Likewise, the court cited the Bynum case when granting habeas corpus relief in Hubbard v. State, 2016 WL 9412846 (Fla. 2d DCA February 10, 2016).

In these cases, the court will grant the petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and remand the case to the trial court to set a reasonable bond taking into consideration the criteria as set forth in Sec. 903.046, Fla. Stat., and any other factors to ensure the defendant’s appearance before the court, the safety of the community, and the orderly administration of justice.

Lawyers for Pre-trial Release Conditions in Hillsborough County, FL

Under Florida law, anyone charged with a crime generally has a right to bail unless the charges are for a capital crime or a probation violation. The judge has wide discretion to set the amount of bond that must be posted and the pre-trial release conditions.

If you are out on bond or pretrial release for a crime and then you are arrested for a new crime, the court may revoke the pretrial release for the first crime and may refuse any further pretrial release in the first case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can represent you at this stage of the case. We can also save our clients money, time, and frustration.

We can show the judge why you are not a flight risk and why burdensome pre-trial release conditions are not needed.

We also represent clients charged with violation of pre-trial release in a domestic violence case, usually because of a violation of the “no contact” provision. In fact, violating the pre-trial release conditions in a domestic violence case can be charged as a separate crime.

Contact an attorney at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, to discuss your case and to schedule a free initial consultation.

Call (813) 250-0500.

This article was last updated on Monday, May 8, 2023.