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  Melbourne, Florida
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Pre-trial Intervention

Drug Court

A person charged with certain drug charges is eligible for drug court, and upon successful completion may be able to have his or her record expunged.

948.08 Pretrial intervention program.

(6)(a)…A person who is charged with a nonviolent felony and is identified as having a substance abuse problem or is charged with a felony of the second or third degree for purchase or possession of a controlled substance under chapter 893, prostitution, tampering with evidence, solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance, or obtaining a prescription by fraud; who has not been charged with a crime involving violence, including, but not limited to, murder, sexual battery, robbery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, or any other crime involving violence; and who has not previously been convicted of a felony is eligible for voluntary admission into a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program, including a treatment-based drug court program established pursuant to s. 397.334, approved by the chief judge of the circuit, for a period of not less than 1 year in duration, upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion, except:

1.If a defendant was previously offered admission to a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program at any time prior to trial and the defendant rejected that offer on the record, then the court or the state attorney may deny the defendant’s admission to such a program.

2.If the state attorney believes that the facts and circumstances of the case suggest the defendant’s involvement in the dealing and selling of controlled substances, the court shall hold a preadmission hearing. If the state attorney establishes, by a preponderance of the evidence at such hearing, that the defendant was involved in the dealing or selling of controlled substances, the court shall deny the defendant’s admission into a pretrial intervention program.

(b)While enrolled in a pretrial intervention program authorized by this subsection, the participant is subject to a coordinated strategy developed by a drug court team under s. 397.334(4). The coordinated strategy may include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the participant for noncompliance with program rules. The protocol of sanctions may include, but is not limited to, placement in a substance abuse treatment program offered by a licensed service provider as defined in s. 397.311 or in a jail-based treatment program or serving a period of incarceration within the time limits established for contempt of court. The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the participant before the participant agrees to enter into a pretrial treatment-based drug court program or other pretrial intervention program. Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the treatment-based drug court program, if otherwise eligible, may have his or her arrest record and plea of nolo contendere to the dismissed charges expunged under s. 943.0585.

(c)At the end of the pretrial intervention period, the court shall consider the recommendation of the administrator pursuant to subsection (5) and the recommendation of the state attorney as to disposition of the pending charges. The court shall determine, by written finding, whether the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program. Notwithstanding the coordinated strategy developed by a drug court team pursuant to s. 397.334(4), if the court finds that the defendant has not successfully completed the pretrial intervention program, the court may order the person to continue in education and treatment, which may include substance abuse treatment programs offered by licensed service providers as defined in s. 397.311 or jail-based treatment programs, or order that the charges revert to normal channels for prosecution. The court shall dismiss the charges upon a finding that the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program.

(d)Any entity, whether public or private, providing a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program under this subsection must contract with the county or appropriate governmental entity, and the terms of the contract must include, but need not be limited to, the requirements established for private entities under s. 948.15(3). (7)The department may contract for the services and facilities necessary to operate pretrial intervention programs.

Bail and Bond Hearings

Who is entitled to a bond for a criminal charge?
Anyone charged in Florida with a non-capital charge is usually entitled to some amount of bond that they can make.  If a person is charged with violating terms of  probation or community control, the person is entitled to no amount of bond, however the judge in his or her discretion may permit you to be released until your probation hearing.




Anyone charged with a non-capital charge is usually entitled to some amount of bond that they can make. If a person is charged with violating probation or community control, he or she is not entitled to any amount of bond (but may still be given one, in the judge’s discretion).



Bail bonds for misdemeanors are given as a matter of course.  There are rare exceptions to this rule–a judge may deny bail unless he or she believes that no conditions of release can 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.


Right to Pretrial Release

Any person arrested for a misdemeanor (petit theft, first DUI, assault, public intoxication) is entitled to be released from jail until his or her next appearance in Court (always follow your attorney’s instructions on this).  The judge allowing the pretrial release is authorized by law to require the arrested person to comply with certain conditions (for a complete list of these conditions, please call me directly at (321) 757-1107 or contact my office at (321) 757-6848).


This right to pre-trial release is not absolute, meaning that the law authorizes a judge to use his discretion in deciding whether or not to set conditions (such as curfews, monetary bonds, or house arrest) if he feels they are necessary to protect others from physical harm, or to protect the inFlorida law requires a judge to consider the safety of the community in making a decision to permit the pre-trial release of anyone arrested for a crime.  A first appearance judge may permit you to be held pending trial if he or she believes that you willphysically harm someone such as the victim, witnesses, or co-defendants.


A record of FTAs (failure to appear) is not going to convince a judge to reduce the bond amount or release.  However, there are unavoidable life circumstances: accidents, sudden illness or unexpected death in the family.  Perhaps you failed to appear before a criminal court in the past, but need someone tell the judge your side of the story.  If you are in this situation, it is important to act quickly.  Call my office at 321-757-6848 today to schedule a free criminal consultation.


When are bond hearings held?

Most often, an arrested person is taken before a judge for first appearance within 24 hours of arrest.  The person is given a bond amount or released on his or her own recognizance (ROR), or held pending trial.  A judge may set a bond for any amount that he believes will give the arrested person an incentive, or reason, to submit to the jurisdiction of the court.


If the arrested person just cannot come up with the bail bond amount, I can ask the Court to reduce it.  Call my office at (321) 757-6848 if you wish to ask the Court for a reduction in the bond amount.


What kind of factors may the judge take into account when considering bail?

When a motion for reduction of bond is presented to a judge, he or she is authorized by law to consider:

  • The nature and circumstances of the offense charged
  • The penalty provided by law for the charged offense
  • Weight of evidence against the accused
  • Family ties
  • Length of residence in the community
  • Employment history
  • Financial resources
  • Mental condition
  • Defendant’s past and present conduct
  • Record of convictions
  • Previous flight to avoid prosecution
  • Previous failures to appear at court proceedings
  • Probability and nature of danger posed to community
  • Source of funds used to post bail
  • Whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of
    another criminal proceeding
  • If the defendant is on probation or on parole or on any release pending completion of sentence
  • Any other facts the court considers relevant



What happens after the bondsman is paid?

Once the bondsman is paid his or her percentage, the bondsman will deliver the bail bond certificate to the jail.  Jail policies and procedures dictate how long it will be before a person is released after the  bail bond is posted.  Most jails try to get a bailed defendant out the front door as soon as they can;  other, busier jails can take as long as 6 hours. Call me today, and let’s get your defense moving forward! My cell phone number is 321-757-1107 if you would like to talk to an attorney now, or try me at the office: 321-757-1107!

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