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The Inequality of Cash Bail

Justice is supposed to be blind. Yet for all the well-intentioned people working in Florida’s criminal justice system, there are some inequalities that are simply inherent to the system. Bail is one of these complex issues. While bail is supposed to be made equally available to defendants (depending on their risk factors), it is, in fact, much more readily available to wealthy defendants than those who have limited access to cash funds.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Miami about bail and other pretrial release conditions (such as GPS monitoring). You have the right to be advised about your pretrial rights, and the right to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you at any hearing to determine these pretrial release conditions.  Call (305) 615-1285 to schedule a free phone consultation with the experienced Miami criminal defense attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A.

How Does Bail Work?

After a person is arrested, law enforcement officers must decide how to proceed. For minor offenses, the suspect may be released with a promise to appear in court on a specified date in the future. For more serious offenses, the defendant will be held in jail until he or she can make an initial appearance before a judge. At this first hearing, the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to hold the defendant in custody while a criminal case proceeds. The judge will also determine if the defendant may be released from jail pending his or her trial, and if so, what conditions must be met for his or her release. The prosecutor can ask the judge to hold the defendant without a bond (also known as bail). The prosecutor can also ask for a specific amount. If the prosecutor asks for an unreasonably high amount, this can have the same effect as asking the judge not to allow a bond at all. This is why it is so important for defendants to be represented by their own criminal defense lawyer at a hearing to determine pretrial release conditions.

Another way that a prosecutor can prevent a bond from being issued in some jurisdictions is to ask for a cash bond. This means that the defendant must raise every penny of the bond in cash to be deposited with the court until the trial is complete. This is opposed to bonds that can be issued by depositing collateral with the court (such as the deed to a house), or by working with a bail bondsman. Cash bonds are much more difficult to raise and therefore keep many defendants in jail before their trials. In fact, the Hillsborough County State’s Attorney has officially opposed cash bail in a Texas legal brief. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the brief refers to money bail as “wealth-based discrimination.”

Experienced Representation for All Bail Matters

All defendants charged with a crime in Miami, Florida have the right to a fair determination of bail and other pretrial release conditions. The seasoned criminal defense attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. has extensive experience in dealing with pretrial release matters in the courts of Florida. Call (305) 615-1285 for a free phone consultation to protect your legal rights as soon as possible.

Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.

View more contact information here: Criminal Defense Attorney in Miami.


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