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DeSantis Directs Supreme Court to Adopt Uniform Bond Schedule

October 10, 2023

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Governor DeSantis continues to pass legislation that is not friendly to Miami criminal lawyers or their clients. The new measure involves applying stricter rules regarding pre-trial detention and bail bonds in criminal cases. Specifically, it requires that the Supreme Court create a statewide uniform bail bond schedule. It also establishes rules for judges in the setting, reduction, and alteration of bail amounts.

Jury Gavel Representing Florida's Uniform Bail Bond Schedule
The amount of bail for a particular criminal charge currently varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction throughout Florida. For example, the bond for drug trafficking in Miami-Dade County may be $250,000, while the bond in Duval County can only be $75,000.00. Obviously, there is a great disparity in the requirements for the indemnitor or person who pays the bond. In state cases, bondsmen require that the indemnitor pay 10% of the premium on the bond.

Depending on the amount and the type of case, collateral in the form of money or a home may be required by the bondsmen. Simply put, the indemnitor in Miami would have to come up with $25,000 for the premium and $225,000 in collateral to secure the bond. The indemnitor in Duval would need $7,500 for the premium and $67,500. DeSantis wants a schedule that is equal across the board. Not because he is nice, but because some counties have dramatically smaller bonds than others and want to jack them up, making it more difficult to get out of jail.

The new law threw a monkey wrench into the hard work of a few judges in Miami. With support from Miami criminal attorneys, these judges were working on a project referred to as the Advanced Pre-Trial & Research or "APPR". The program was intended to enhance public safety by keeping certain people in jail until being brought before a judge while releasing others to pre-trial services which do require the monetary requirements for posting bonds. The new DeSantis law put the program on hold.

Pair of Handcuffs with Money and Bail Bond Sign
Once the Supreme Court sets the bond schedule, the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT are certain that the current political environment will significantly increase bonds across the State of Florida and make it more difficult to secure bond reductions. While reducing bonds in the past seemed a surmountable task, the changes in the law will make requests for bond reductions more tenable. Once the new schedule is in place, you will need experienced attorneys to file intricate motions to reduce bonds in order to get friends and family out of custody as soon as possible.

The criminal lawyers at DMT will keep you up to date with any new laws and how they affect Miami's justice system. If you have specific questions, we're available 24/7 so don't hesitate to call (305) 444-0030 for more information. Our firm uses decades of experience to provide the best legal representation in Miami and South Florida.
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