Bail Bond Court Procedures
Bond Court, also known as First Appearance Court or Magistrate Court or a bond hearing, is an arrestee’s first opportunity to be seen in front of a judge. By Florida Statute, a person must be brought in front of a judge within 24 hours of arrest to determine (1) whether there is probable cause to hold a person on the charge and (2) what bail bond, if any, should be set. These bond hearings are not full trials, and the judges move very quickly. Without adequate representation, a judge may set a bond that you are unable to afford. If you or someone you know has been arrested, Mr. Glassman can appear in court at the bond hearing and advocate for release on your own recognizance (ROR) or that a lower bond be set based on the particular facts of circumstances of the alleged offense. Bond attorney Matthew Glassman has the experience and resources necessary to effectively represent you in a bail bond hearing. He can also act as your criminal defense attorney and fight the charges that you were arrested for. Having the aid of a knowledgeable and experienced bond attorney that educates the Court as to your ties to the community and the importance of your immediate release can mean the world to you, your family and your employer. Don’t get stuck fighting your case from the inside. Hire an experienced bond attorney who has conducted hundreds of bond hearings to fight for you. Don’t let important facts that could lead to your release fall through the cracks. Make sure you contact attorney Matthew Glassman so that he can be there at your bond hearing.
The determination of probable cause is usually based solely on an affidavit prepared by the arresting officer and presented to the court. Judges determine that there is probable cause in the vast majority of cases, as probable cause is a very low standard of proof. If the judge needs more information to determine whether there is probable cause, the State Attorney is allowed up to 72 hours to provide that additional information to the judge, otherwise the arrestee will be released from custody on their own recognizance (i.e. without having to post a bail bond). Mr. Glassman can review the probable cause affidavit at your bond hearing and will be able to argue for your release if there are any defects in the paperwork.
Bail Bond Amount
After making a probable cause determination, the judge will then set a bail bond amount for each charged offense. The sitting judge has broad discretion to determine what an appropriate bond is but is guided by a bond schedule that has been prepared by the chief judge in your county (see relevant links below). The judge can (1) release the defendant on their own recognizance (ROR), which is release without posting a bond, (2) release the defendant on pre-trial release, which is release without posting a bond but often with additional conditions such as electronic or GPS monitoring, random drug testing and mandatory call in or in person reporting with a pre-trial officer, (3) set a monetary bond, or (4) hold the defendant in custody no bond. In setting bond, the judge will take into account the following factors: the defendant’s criminal history, the nature and circumstances of the offense, the danger the defendant poses to the community, the financial means or availability of funds, the defendant’s ties to the community. Certain major crimes and warrants carry a no bond hold. In these cases, the magistrate judge will often hold the defendant NO BOND until the matter can be more appropriately addressed by the division judge who is assigned to handle the case. Whatever your circumstance, bail bond attorney Mr. Glassman will fight to get you released on the least restrictive terms.
- Florida Statute 903.046 – Statutory Factors for Determination of Bond
- Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.130, 3.131, 3.132 – First Appearance, Pre-Trial Release & Detention (opens as pdf)
- Sun Sentinel Broward County Bond Court Live Stream
- Broward County Bond Court Rules (opens as pdf)
- Broward County Bond Schedule (opens as pdf)
- Palm Beach County Bond Court Rules (opens as pdf)
- Palm Beach County Bond Schedule (opens as pdf)
Recent Appellate Cases
- Norton-Nugin v. State, 179 So.3d 557 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) – $150,000 bond on four counts of aggravated child abuse was punitive and an abuse of discretion.
- Preston v. Gee, 133 So.3d 1218 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014) – An accused charged with a capital offense or one punishable by life imprisonment nevertheless is entitled to have the question of his or her pretrial release or detention determined under rules 3.131 and 3.132 absent an adequate showing by the State under Arthur that the proof of guilt is evident and the presumption great.
- Mendoza v. Cross, 143 So.3d 1155 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014) – A defendant may not be held without bond (i.e., pretrial detention) upon the sole finding that the defendant violated a condition of pretrial release by willfully failing to appear. Rather the trial court must make the additional finding that no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons or assure the presence of the defendant at trial.