Articles Posted in Bail Bonds

Navigating through Florida’s complicated labyrinth of criminal law is a task best left to the trained professional– someone that speaks the language and can even walk the walk when it comes down to it. In the area of criminal law, knowing the rules regarding what is supposed to happen and when it is supposed to happen is a very valuable tool to possess. A criminal defense attorney that is knowledgeable of the rules will prove to be your greatest ally in the unfortunate event that you are arrested.

gavel-2-1409592-m.jpgFlorida law, under Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.133, requires a nonadversary preliminary hearing within 48 hours of a person being arrested; this is commonly referred to as “first appearance”, since it is typically the first time that a person appears before a judge after being arrested. At this hearing, the presiding judge will determine whether there is probable cause to believe (1) that a crime has been committed and (2) that the defendant is the person that committed the crime.

The amount of a bond required is usually set during the first appearance. It is important to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf to help ensure that a reasonable and appropriate bond amount is set. Moreover, if it can be demonstrated that no probable cause exists, a defendant can be released without a requirement to post a bond. Another situation that could lead to release without a bond requirement is where the hearing is not held within the time frame that is required by Florida law, which is 48 hours; however, in extraordinary circumstances two separate 24-hour extensions may be applied.
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Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAccording to a report by WFTV, four out of every 10 Florida drivers stopped by police for suspected drunk driving refuse to submit to breathalyzer tests. Something that many people may not be aware of is how severe the penalty can be just for refusing to take the breath test.

Florida’s current law regarding breath tests, known as Florida’s Implied Consent Law, states that any motorist who simply accepts the “privilege… of operating a motor vehicle within this state is… deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to… [a] test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath.”

The condensed version of the law means that if you choose to drive in the state of Florida, you have already consented to a breathalyzer test and if you refuse to take one then you can and will be punished. The punishments can be quite severe as well; with a first refusal punishable by a suspension of a driver’s license and a second refusal being considered a first-degree misdemeanor and a criminal offense.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyThe Supreme Court recently held that it is cruel and unusual punishment to send a young murderer to life in prison if a judge has not first weighed whether he deserves a shorter prison sentence due to his youth and the specific nature of his crimes. The 5-4 decision struck down laws on the books in some 28 states – including Florida – that say life sentences without parole for juvenile murderers are acceptable.

Officials in Florida law enforcement say it will take some time for the state to assess the impact of the ruling. Most experts in the state say that the number of state prisoners affected by the Supreme Court ruling is around 250, but the data are not all in yet.

It’s clear that Florida’s laws will have to be rewritten thanks to the recent ruling. Florida’s judiciary is bound by the state’s 10-20-Life law, passed in 1999, which says possessing a gun while committing some felonies brings an automatic 10-year minimum sentence, that when a gun is fired in the commission of a crime, the minimum sentence is 20 years, and if someone is shot the sentence goes up to life. It’s important to note that the decision does not mean it’s unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison, only that statutes that make such sentences mandatory are no longer acceptable. In Florida, if a juvenile who is certified as an adult is convicted of first-degree murder, the only option is life without parole.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyJacksonville Arrests occur all the time and when you caught off guard and arrested by the Jacksonville Police, you may not know what to do or say. That is where the advice and counsel of a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer could prove to be invaluable. In Jacksonville, first appearance court (also known as bond hearing), most Criminal Defendants will not be represented by a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer. This can prove to be a mistake if the Defendant has a record or the offenses are serious. They could be denied bail and remain in jail until their court date.

Under Florida law, a Jacksonville Criminal Defendant is entitled to appear before a judge within 24 hours of his arrest. Due to this Florida law, Duval County first appearance court is held twice a day, every day.

I have seen many Jacksonville Criminal Defendants stand before a judge without representation. Although there is a Jacksonville Public Defender present in the room, this is only one Defense Lawyer to represent all the Jacksonville Criminal Defendants for day. It is not possible for a Criminal Attorney to zealously and adequately represent that many Jacksonville Criminal Defendants at one time.

Jacksonville Criminal Defense AttorneyGeorge Zimmerman who is currently being charged with second degree murder for the death of Trayvon Martin back in February of this year. This case has brought special attention from supporters and protesters across the Nation. Governmental officials have lost their jobs and a special prosecutor has been brought in to handle this case.

Currently George Zimmerman has been released on his second bond of 1 million dollars. This decision was made after the Judge had previously revoked Zimmerman’s $150,000 bond after it was revealed Zimmerman and his wife had lied to the court regarding the financial situation. They did not disclose that they had acquired over $100,000 in donations for Zimmerman’s defense.

Zimmerman is currently located in a safe house located in Seminole County, Florida. His security team is protecting him while he is out on bail.

The judge in Sanford, Florida has announced this morning that Zimmerman’s new bond will be in the amount of $1 Million.

This second bond amount has stemmed from his earlier bond ($150,000) was revoked following information that Zimmerman and his wife mislead the Court as to their financial stability.

Last week the judge hearing arguments from both sides of the case. The prosecution pushing for no bond because Zimmerman had lied to the Court and therefore, could not be trusted. On the other side, the Defense, argued Zimmerman’s self-defense claim is strong whereas the prosecution’s case is weak.

Today was another bond hearing where Zimmerman’s attorney, O’Mara, presented evidence as to Zimmerman’s injuries he sustained during the altercation with Trayvon Martin that resulted in Zimmerman shooting Trayvon in what Zimmerman is calling self-defense. This case started the controversy that Florida is currently facing for our “Stand Your Ground” law.

After lengthy testimony presented by both the Defense and the State, the Judge has determined that he will not make an immediate determination as to release Zimmerman on bond or not. He wants time to review all the evidence and make a proper determination.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAs a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, the situations people place themselves in boggle my mind sometimes. However, a strong Defense and zealous representation could prove to be invaluable in the your Criminal Case. One can never be too cautious and one can never know when the police will arrive and want to talk or arrest you. That is why one must always be aware of their surroundings and be weary when traveling on the city’s motorways.

One such incident of blind-luck worked out for the Columbia Police Department. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when Chaylen Ortega (22) and Keith Wheeldon (31) were pulled over for a tag violation. A citation that would be dropped if proof of a valid tag is shown to the Court. However, in this case, chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine were located inside the vehicle. The police found and seized lithium batteries, pseudoephedrine, and a container of muriatic acid. All chemicals required in the manufacture of Meth.

Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested and booked at the Columbia County Detention Facility. They both have been charged with the possession of listed chemicals with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance (a 2nd degree felony). Ortega is being held without bond due to her violation of probation and a warrant out for her arrest. Wheeldon, on the other hand, had a bond set at $5,000.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyYesterday I reported on a Meth Lab located in Jacksonville’s exclusive gated community, James Island. Well, today I report a Meth Lab located in Jacksonville’s Argyle area. The location of the Meth Lab was Motel 6 located at 6109 Youngerman Circle. If that address seems familiar it is because JSO just recently busted a previous Meth Lab in the same location!

In this case, the Motel 6 security guard waived the police down on Wednesday night. He reported smelling unusual orders and the particular behavior of room 107’s occupants. When police arrived at the door the two occupants, Michael Aderhold (46) and Dawn Hoden (39) denied any illegal activity. However, it was soon uncovered that the two were in-fact manufacturing methamphetamine inside the Motel room.

Aderhold has been charged with possession of chemicals to manufacture a controlled substance and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. Hoden has been charged with possession of chemicals to manufacture a controlled substance. Both are being held in Duval County Pretrial Detention Facility and neither are eligible to receive a bond.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyIf a person goes through the yellow pages or searches the internet, one could be overwhelmed with the amount of Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys available in Jacksonville, Florida. However, selecting an attorney is not an easy process. Often, people will ask whether or not they should hire a private attorney or use a public defender. My response is always “if you can afford a private attorney, you should hire one.”

First, the services of the office of the public defender in Jacksonville are only for those clients that cannot afford an attorney. A public defender is not appointed to everyone that wants an attorney, just for those that do not have funds available to hire a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney.

Second, a Jacksonville criminal defendant cannot chose which attorney at the public defender’s Office will represent them. Therefore, if one is unhappy with their public defender, they cannot “shop around” and request another attorney be appointed. There are different types of attorneys at the public defender office and in private practice. Some attorneys are better than others. When you hire a Jacksonville criminal attorney, you have the option of meeting with the attorney and choosing which attorney better suits your needs.

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