New Bail Laws Holding Up Miami Jails
February 01, 2024
Recent changes in Florida law are jamming up the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections, delaying timely releases from jail in the process. Since the beginning of 2024, individuals charged with crimes in Miami-Dade County are being held longer than in the past, with several people being forced to wait in jail to see a first-appearance judge instead of bonding out as quickly as possible.
The new law requires people to go before a first appearance judge within 24 hours of an arrest. However, an individual can avoid the first appearance judge if the offense is bondable and corrections has done a screening to ensure that an individual is not on pre-trial release, probation, or community control in this state or any other state. In the past, individuals could post bonds immediately after booking while the new screening requirement takes time.
Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Nushin G. Sayfie told NBC6 that the Florida legislature and governor signed off on several new laws. Sayfie says, "most of the responsibility now lands on the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department. If you get arrested for any felony at all — let's say possession of cocaine — theoretically, corrections is supposed to conduct an extensive screening which may be difficult to obtain in a short time."
As of January 1, 2024, anyone arrested for violent crimes against a person or property, such as burglary and robbery offenses, battery on a law enforcement officer, or resisting an officer with violence, to name a few, will have to wait for a first appearance judge to grant a bond and decide release conditions regardless of the corrections screening component.
"Unfortunately, it ends up that there are people who are not probably high-risk who end up being in jail for a short period of time," Judge Sayfie said. As a result of the new law, the Miami-Dade County's jail population has increased. Some blamed the delays on a data entry problem at the Department of Corrections. Given time, the issues with the bail bond new system will hopefully get worked out.
If someone you know is being held in jail after posting a bond, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. We have assisted hundreds of clients with bail or bond issues over the years. DMT has often successfully argued bond reductions and satisfied Nebbia requirements in drug trafficking cases.