Factors Used to Determine Bonds in Criminal Cases in Jacksonville First Appearance Court

The Florida Constitution (Article I, Section 14) gives a Jacksonville criminal defendant the right to be released from custody pending the outcome of his or her criminal case. Furthermore, Rule 3.131 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure requires the court to conduct a hearing to determine pretrial release. This Jacksonville Bond Hearing is referred to as a criminal defendant’s first appearance. It must be conducted within 24 hours of arrest. At the bond hearing, the presiding judge must consider a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the factors that are set forth in Rule 3.131(b)(3). Rule 3.131(b)(3) states:

“In determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what that bail or those conditions may be, the court may consider the nature and circumstances of the offense charged and the penalty provided by law; the weight of the evidence against the defendant; the defendant’s family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, need for substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment, and mental condition; the defendant’s past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings; the nature and probability of danger that the defendant’s release poses to the community; the source of funds used to post bail; whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding or is on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence; and any other facts the court considers relevant.”

It is important for a Jacksonville Criminal Defendant to have a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer that will present evidence to the court in order to establish that the defendant is entitled to a reasonable bond or that the defendant should be released on his or her own recognizance.

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