As seen on:
1610 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL
Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist
Bail Bond How to bond out
Inmate Property FAQ
I got arrested….what’s the next step? How do I bond out? Get bail?
Many times by local administrative order, there is a standard bond schedule. This means that you can bond out without going to first appearance and seeing a judge. Some charges are non-bondable (murder, armed drug trafficking, and burglary with battery). In that case, you have to see the judge within 24 hours. The court will read your charges and determine the amount of your bond. Generally, the Judge has the power to lower or raise your bond even if its already set.
In very serious cases like this your attorney has to request what is referred to as an “Arthur Hearing.” An Arthur Hearing is often like a mini-trial whereby the state has the burden of proving that the proof is evident that the crime was committed by the defendant and the presumption of guilt is great. In other words, the state must demonstrate that the there is an abundance of evidence and that there is a likely possibility that the defendant will be convicted.
What’s a bail bond?
A bail bond is a three-party contract between the Courts, the Bondsman, and the Indemnitor (also called a Cosigner or Guarantor). It is the Bondsman who guarantees to the Court that the accused – when released on bail – will be present for each and every court appearance in the future. In turn, the Indemnitor guarantees to the Bondsman that he/she will make sure that the Defendant goes to Court when required. For this “Bond Contract”, the Bondsman charges a percentage of the total bond.
What are the different types of bonds?
Cash Bond: You pay the full amount of the bond in cash to the jail where you got booked into. The law changed in Florida on cash bonds. The court can now deduct any unpaid fees and/or costs from your cash bond.
Surety Bond: Is a contract between the bondsman, the indemnitor (the person paying) and the Court.
ROR: ROR (Release on Own Recognizance). You get ROR if you are not a flight risk. Usually if you are a first time offender or if its not a violent crime.
House Arrest, ELMO and Pre-Trial Services: ELMO stands for Electronic Monitor, and is usually a condition of release in addition to a regular bail bond. The ELMO program is administered either by the local Pre-Trial Services Agency or the local law enforcement agency. This device is usually in the form of an ankle bracelet. It sets off an alarm if a person strays too far from its base located within the defendant’s home.
How long until I get out of jail?
Unless you are a celebrity, it takes most people several hours (8 to 12 hours) to bond out, sometimes even 12-24 hours.
How much is my bail going to be?
It depends on the charge, your prior record, and any prior failures to appear.
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.131 (b) (3) states
In determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what that ail 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.
How much does a bond cost?
By Florida statute in state court, bondmen charge 10%
Federal Bonds cost 15%
Immigration Bonds range from 15%-20%, depending on the collateral used and the risk
The only other acceptable fee may be charged for transfer bonds, those posted by another bondsman out of their area or in another jurisdiction and federal bonds.
Do I have to pay the full amount of bail?
No. But you should if you are able.
What’s the bail bond fee and is it refundable?
The bail bond fee is the premium. Its 10% of the bond and its earned when the bond is posted. It’s non-refundable.
If you pay cash and show up for every court date, you get the money back at the end of the case, even if you are found guilty.
What’s collateral and what can I use as collateral?
Collateral is something you use as security for your bond, your house, car, motorcycle, boat, anything of value. It guarantees that the you will show up for court. Some bondsman are more lenient with collateral than others.
When do I get the collateral back?
When your case is resolved and the bondsman gets a discharge certificate from the clerk. It takes about 7-10 days after the case is closed.
How do I know when I have to show up in court?
The clerk’s office will notify you by mail. They also send notice to the bondsman or in some cases notify them by phone.
Why is there a separate bond for each charge?
Because bondsmen lobbied the state legislature and changed the law.
What if the bond is too high? Can I ask the judge to lower it?
Yes. Your lawyer can file a written motion to reduce bond and set it for a hearing before the judge.
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.131(d) states:
(1) When a judicial officer not possessing trial jurisdiction orders a defendant held to answer before a court having jurisdiction to try the defendant, and bail has been denied or sought to be modified, application by motion may be made to the court having jurisdiction to try the defendant or, in the absence of the judge of the trial court, to the circuit court. The motion shall be determined promptly. No judge or a court of equal or inferior jurisdiction may modify or set a condition of release, unless the judge:
(A) imposed the conditions of bail or set the amount of bond required;
(B) is the chief judge of the circuit in which the defendant is to be tried;
(C) has been assigned to preside over the criminal trial of the defendant; or
(D)is the first appearance judge and was authorized by the judge initially setting or denying bail to modify or set conditions of release.
(2)Applications by the defendant for modification of bail on any felony charge must be heard by a court in person at a hearing, with the defendant present and with at least 3 hours’ notice to the state attorney and county attorney, if bond forfeiture proceedings are handled by the county attorney. The state may apply for modification of bail by showing good cause and with at least 3 hours’ notice to the attorney for the defendant.
(3)If any trial court fixes bail and refuses its reduction before trial, the defendant may institute habeas corpus proceedings seeking reduction of bail. If application is made to the supreme court or district court of appeal, notice and a copy of such application shall be given to the attorney general and the state attorneys. Such proceedings shall be determined promptly.
I have a warrant out for my arrest, what is the bond for my case?
There is no bond generally.
The State wants to revoke bond, can they do that?
They can if you pick up a new charge while out on bond.
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.131 (f) states:
The court in its discretion for good cause, any time after a defendant who is at large on bail appears for trial, may commit the defendant to the custody of the proper official to abide by the judgment, sentence, and any further order of the court.
Here are some links from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s website that may be useful to you:
- What is the mailing address to mail something to an inmate?
- What am I allowed to send to an inmate?
- Why would a letter be refused and returned to the sender?
- Can inmates receive books, magazines, or newspapers?
- How much money can an inmate have in their account?
- Do you hold inmate’s property or money when they are no longer in custody?
- Do you charge a daily fee to each inmate account?
- Are there any other fees charged to inmates while in custody?
- What items may be purchased through the commissary and the cost of these items?
- How often can inmates purchase commissary and the maximum they can spend?
- How can an inmate get paperwork notarized?
- Will you accept payroll checks or government checks?
- If the inmate has money in their property, can they bond themselves out?
- How can I get glasses/contacts and dentures to an inmate?
- Can I send money through Western Union?
- Can I bring money to the jail for deposit to an inmate’s account?
- How do I obtain inmate’s personal property that is being stored in the property room at a detention facility?
What is the mailing address to mail something to an inmate?
The mailing address for inmates housed at the Main Detention Center or the Stockade is the same. It is P.O. Box 24716, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416. All incoming mail must have the inmates booked name, jacket number, and cell assignment on the outside of the envelope.
- If the information is incorrect on the outside of the envelope
- If the mail contains an unauthorized item
- If the inmate is released or transferred and is not in our custody
- If the mail does not comply with the facility rules
Can inmates receive books, magazines, or newspapers?
All publications and periodicals must come directly from the publisher or a licensed commercial warehousing source. The mailing label must contain the inmate’s booked name, jacket number, and cell assignment.
How much money can an inmate have in their account?
There is no limit on the amount of money an inmate may have in their account. Any amount in excess of $10,000.000 is subject to IRS reporting requirements.
Do you hold inmate’s property or money when they are no longer in custody?
When an inmate is released or transferred from our custody, their personal property and any balance in their account is transferred or released as well.
Are there any other fees charged to inmates while in custody?
Yes. Inmates are charged an initial $20.00 processing fee for each incarceration. They are also charged for various self- initiated medical fees.
- Nurse Clinic $5.00
- Medical Clinic $10.00
- Dental Clinic $10.00
- Prescription $7.00
- Transport to own doctor $100.00
What items may be purchased through the commissary and the cost of these items?
A variety of hygiene items, over the counter medications, clothing, snacks, and writing material are available through canteen. The canteen vendor may be reached at 688-4377 for specific questions.
How often can inmates purchase commissary and the maximum they can spend?
Each designated housing assignments has a designated canteen day. They may order only on that day and spend a maximum of $80.00 for clothing items and $80.00 on all additional items (total $160.00).
If the inmate has money in their property, can they bond themselves out?
Yes. The inmate needs to inform a deputy during the intake process that they have the funds in their property for bond. The inmate will be required to sign the bond receipt.
How can I get glasses/contacts and dentures to an inmate?
These items may be mailed in. The outside of the package must indicate the contents (i.e. glasses enclosed, contacts enclosed, etc.) and all packages will be thoroughly searched before being delivered to an inmate.
Can I send money through Western Union?
Yes. The code city for Western Union COMMISSARY transactions is GUNCLUBJAIL. The code city for Western Union BOND transactions is PBSOJAIL The inmate’s full name and jacket number must be included on the Western Union check. Information on methods to sendWestern Union transactions are available on their website.
Can I bring money to the jail for deposit to an inmate’s account?
We now have Cobra Cashier Kiosks located in the lobbies of the Main Detention Center and the Stockade. Inmate’s family and friends may directly deposit funds into an inmate’s account via cash, credit or debit.
How do I obtain inmate’s personal property that is being stored in the property room at a detention facility?
Inmates must provide written authorization to release all personal items stored in the tamper proof bags. Transfer of property requests are processed Monday through Friday from 0830 hrs to 1500 hrs only after the inmate’s signature has been verified. Valid photo identification must be provided when picking up inmate’s property.
(Reprinted and adapted from Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Website)
Inmate property Florida
Inmate rights defense attorney
- As a board certified criminal lawyer, I represents clients charged with serious federal and state criminal offenses, like felonies and DUI, before federal criminal courts and state criminal courts in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Jupiter, Boca Raton, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Stuart, Martin County, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, Key Largo, Key West, and all state criminal courts in Florida and all federal criminal courts throughout the United States of America.
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