Although every arrest is different, the standard procedure is set forth under Florida Law as follows:
- Booking. After an arrest, you are taken to the local jail to be fingerprinted and photographed for your mug shot. If you have been arrested for drugs or for a violent crime, you may also be subjected to a medical examination. Cooperate throughout the booking process, but don’t talk to anyone until you have spoken with your lawyer. After booking, you will have an opportunity to make a phone call.
- First Apperance. Within 24 hours of your arrest, you will likely make your first appearance before the judge. This is called first appearance, when you will hear the charges against you and bail bond will be decided. There are occasions where the Judge may set no bond at all (e.g. Violations of Probation or serious Felonies). Also, more common today is the use of Pre-Trial Services where you are placed on “supervised release” which is a lot like being on probation before ever being convicted. Although it is not a trial and no evidence will be submitted yet, we highly recommend contacting a criminal defense lawyer before your first appearance to explain your options.
- Bond. Once your bond is set, you have two options to make bond. First, post the entire bond amount. This usually means having a family member go to the jail with the total amount of bond in cash. The second option is to use a bondsman. Bondsman charge you a non-refundable 10% fee on the total bond amount and they then put up the remaining money for you. They typically require collateral to secure the bond.
Attorney Derek Byrd is a second-generation criminal defense and trial lawyer and has handled more than 2,000 criminal cases over the last 14 years. If you or someone you love is in trouble with the law, contact our office.