MOTION TO SET AND/OR REDUCE BOND
DEFENDANT, by and through undersigned counsel and pursuant to Rule 3.131, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article I of the Florida Constitution, hereby requests this Court to set and/or reduce Defendant’s bond. As grounds therefor, Defendant states as follows:
- Defendant was arrested under a “no bond” warrant signed by the Honorable Judge Bond Presumption of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in and for Duval County, Florida. At the time the “no bond” warrant was issued, Defendant did not have the benefit of counsel to advocate his position with regard to the reasonableness of the bond.
- This Court is required under applicable Rules to provide a meaningful first appearance, which includes conducting a hearing on Defendant’s right to pretrial release under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.131, the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Florida Constitution and other statutes and rules of procedure.
- Rule 3.130(a) requires that an accused be afforded a first appearance before a judicial officer within twenty-four hours of arrest. The judge shall, at the the Defendant’s first appearance, consider all available factors to determine what form of release is necessary to assure the defendant’s appearance. If a monetary bail is required, the judge shall determine the amount. Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.131(b)(2).
- The Florida Supreme Court has held that “[t]he endorsement of bail on the arrest warrant is an ex parte proceeding done for the purpose of allowing the arrested person to post bail without the necessity of waiting until first appearance, which must occur within twenty-four hours of arrest. This procedure is not intended as a substitute for either the arrested person’s appearance before the first appearance or the opportunity to present reasons for other forms of release as expressly provided by Rule 3.131(b)(2). Nor is the endorsement of a bail amount on the arrest warranted intended to limit the first appearance judge’s discretion in applying Rule 3.131(b)(2). State v. Norris, 768 So. 2d 1070 (Fla. 2000).
- A person arrested for an offense for which detention may be ordered under §907.041, Florida Statutes, shall be taken before a judicial officer for a first appearance within twenty-four hours of arrest. The State of Florida may file with the judicial officer at first appearance a motion seeking pretrial detention, signed by the state attorney or an assistant, setting forth with particularity the grounds and the essential facts on which on which pretrial detention is sought and certifying that the state attorney has received testimony under oath supporting the grounds and the essential facts alleged in the motion. If no such motion is filed, the judicial officer may inquire whether the State intends to file a motion for pretrial detention and, if so, grant the State no more than three days to file a motion under this subdivision. Upon a showing by the State of probable cause that the defendant committed the offense and exigent circumstances, the defendant shall be detained in custody pending the filing of said motion. If, after inquiry, the State indicates it does not intend to file a motion for pretrial detention, or fails to establish exigent circumstances for holding the defendant in custody pending the filing of the motion, or if the State files a motion that is facially insufficient, the judicial officer must proceed to determine the conditions of release pursuant to the provisions of Rule 3.130(b). If the motion for pretrial detention is facially sufficient, the judicial officer shall proceed to determine whether there is probable cause that the person committed the offense. If probable cause is found, the person may be detained in custody pending a final hearing on pretrial detention.
- If probable cause is established after first appearance pursuant to Rule 3.133, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the accused has been released from custody, then the accused may be recommitted to custody pending a final hearing on pretrial detention. Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.132(a).
- No motion seeking pretrial detention has been filed in the instant case by the State of Florida.
- When determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what the bail or other conditions may be, the Court shall consider: (a) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; (b) the weight of the evidence against the defendant; (c) the defendant’s family ties, his length of residence in the community, his employment history, his financial resources, and his mental condition; (d) the defendant’s past and present conduct, including prior convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at previous court proceedings; (e) the nature and probability of danger which release would pose to the community; (f) the source of funds used to post bail; (g) whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding, or on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence; (h) the nature and probability of danger and intimidation to victims; (i) any other facts the court considers relevant. Fla. Stat. § 903.046(2).
- There is a presumption in favor of release on non-monetary conditions for any person who is granted pre-trial release. The judicial officer shall impose the first of the following conditions of release which will reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure the presence of the accused at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process; or, if no single condition gives that assurance, any combination of the following: (a) personal recognizance; (b) execution of an unsecured appearance bond in an amount specified by the judge; (c) placing restrictions on travel, association, or place of abode of the defendant during the period of release; (d) placing defendant in custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him; (e) requiring the execution of a bail bond with sufficient and solvent sureties; (f) imposing any other condition deemed reasonably necessary to assure appearance as required, including a condition requiring the person to return to custody after specified hours. Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.131(b).
- The crimes charged in the present case are not enumerated as “dangerous crimes” pursuant to Fla. Stat. 907.041(4)(a).
- There is a presumption in favor of release on non-monetary conditions for any person who is granted pretrial release unless such person is charged with a dangerous crime. A person shall be released on monetary conditions if it is determined that such monetary conditions are necessary to assure the presence of the person at trial or other proceedings, to protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, to assure the presence of the accused at trial, or to assure the integrity of the judicial process. Fla. Stat. § 907.041(3).
- Defendant is a United States citizen born in Jacksonville, Florida. He has been a resident in Jacksonville for over thirty years.
- Defendant has strong family ties in Jacksonville, where his wife, children, and other relatives reside. Defendant’s children attend public school in Jacksonville, Florida.
- Defendant has no criminal record of any kind.
- Defendant is not a threat to the community and does not pose a flight risk. In fact, Defendant has never before been accused of a crime and has never been accused of committing any act of violence.
- Defendant has never failed to appear for any judicial proceeding or respond to any summons or other legal process.
- Regardless of the type of charge or number of counts that have been alleged against defendant, there are no allegations of violent behavior, no allegations of flight or foreign travel to escape authorities, and no allegations of violations of any court orders.
- There is no reason to believe that Defendant poses a danger to the community or a risk of flight in this cause. As such, there is a presumption in favor that Defendant should be released on his own recognizance without the need to post any financial bond. To that end, certain conditions can be set by this Court to ensure Defendant’s appearance at any required court dates and to ensure the safety of the community.
WHEREFORE, Defendant respectfully requests that this Court grant the instant Motion and order Defendant released on his own recognizance.