Motions for Bond Reductions are filed in Court when a person can’t afford to get out of jail. Hiring a private criminal defense attorney may get you a court hearing quicker. It’s a hearing where your lawyer asks the judge for a lower bond amount.
Bond is the amount of money someone must pay to get out of jail after they have been arrested. Paying the money ensures they will show up for future court dates. If the person doesn’t show up – they lose the money. All of it.
In order to get out of jail, someone must either hire a bondsman and pay them 10% of the bond amount, or actually go to the jail and pay the full amount of the bond. If you pay the full amount, you will get that money back, assuming that you don’t miss any court dates. If you pay a bondsman 10%, you won’t get that money back. Hiring an attorney for bond reductions, is often less expensive than paying a bondsman.
For example, to get out of jail for a DUI, you might have to pay $500. But on a 3rd degree felony, like grand theft, the amount might be $5,000. This amount may be higher or lower, depending on the facts – these are merely examples. Pinellas and Pasco counties have suggested bond amounts for all crimes. These can be f
ound on the Sixth Judicial Circuit website. Here’s the link for Pasco County and for Pinellas County.
What if I can’t afford to pay the bond?
Then you sit in jail, until your court date. Experienced criminal defense attorneys, like the ones at the The Law Offices of Pawuk & Pawuk, can set a court date and argue on your behalf that you need a bond reduction. Often we are able to get people Released on their Own Recognizance or ROR.
The judge looks at the following factors when deciding whether or not a bond should be reduced:
- Threat of harm to the victim or society
- A person’s ties to the community, like if they have family in the area, a full time job, own a home, etc.
- Prior criminal history and/ or prior failures to appear in court (FTA)
- The seriousness of the offense – clearly if you are accused of murder, the bond will be higher than if you were accused of petit theft.
- The evidence of guilt – for example, if there were 10 witnesses who saw you shoot someone, that’s pretty clear evidence of guilt.
- Ability to pay – A judge will ask about a person’s financial resources in determining how much the bonds should be.
Keep in mind that there are several crimes that require a judge to revoke or disallow any kind of bond. Domestic violence is one of those. You will not receive a bond when you are arrested, but must wait to see a judge. Murder is another. You may eventually be able to get a bond, but this is where it becomes important to hire a lawyer to represent you.