Yes, because if you don’t, you are likely to be re-arrested for violating the terms of your Pretrial Release. How can you avoid this pitfall? Consulting immediately with an experienced Hillsborough County Defense Attorney who will explain your release conditions and the Judge’s expectations of you.
Whether you were released without posting a bond (commonly referred to as ROR, or Release on Recognizance), or by posing a bond with a bondsman, you signed documents that detail your responsibility to comply with the conditions of your release. The conditions of your release are provided by Fla. Stat.§903.047, and are broken down into three main categories that you must comply with:
I.No new law violations:
II.An order of no contact with the victim:
III.Any other condition for your release that the Judge imposed.
A violation of any of the above conditions of release can result in the imposition of additional conditions, an additional amount of bond to be poster, or your release being revoked so you cannot be released from jail until your case is over.
I. NEW LAW VIOLATIONS
As stated above, one of the mandatory conditions of your release from jail while your charges are pending, is your promise not to break the law. If you do get arrested while out on release, the Judge at your advisory is likely to revoke your bond, and keep you in jail while all of your charges are pending. Even if the Judge doesn’t revoke your bond; you’re not free from the danger of being taken back into custody. The prosecutor can file a Motion to Revoke Bond, and most judges will allow the prosecutor to make such a motion at your next court appearance.
Your Judge may rely on Fla. Stat. §907.041(4)(c)7 to revoke your bond for an additional charge if probable cause has been previously found. This can be done at any time or at any hearing.
So, what can you do to try to prevent your bond being revoked? As soon as you can after you are arrested, meet with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who is familiar with the Judge and prosecutors on your cases. Delay in hiring legal counsel will drastically reduce your prospects of staying out of jail.
The Attorneys at Taracks and Associates know how to navigate the criminal court system to give you the best prospect of remaining out on bond despite the efforts of the prosecutors.
Whether it is a substance evaluation, enrolling in the appropriate counseling program, letters and other documentation of your employment, screening for work release programs, or other options: ignoring the circumstance is the worst thing that you can do.
II.AN ORDER OF NO CONTACT WITH THE VICTIM
If you have a Battery, Violation of Injunction, or other criminal charge involving someone else (victim or co-defendant), you most likely have a “No Contact” provision as a condition of your release. This prohibited contact includes direct or indirect contact with that person. This means, no phone calls, no letters, no text messages, no emails, and no “mutual friends or family” to get a message to the victim on your behalf.
If you contact this person, not only will you potentially have to deal with concerns of having your release revoked, the State of Florida may also consider adding Tampering with a Witness as an additional charge. So, no matter the circumstances, until a Judge removes a No-Contact Order, you should have no contact with that person.
So, what do you do when the victim does contact you?
In cases involving Domestic Violence allegations, it is common for the victim after a day or two, to initiate contact, despite the presence of the No Contact Provision. Just because the victim initiates contact doesn’t protect you from the Court’s Order of No Contact. If you do contact the victim, you do so at your peril!
If the victim wants to have “lawful contact” with you while your case is pending, if you need to get additional items from the victim that are yours, if there is visitation of children that necessitates contact with a victim, or other reasonable reasons to have contact with the victim, there is a Contact Hearing that the Attorneys at Taracks & Associates can schedule for the Judge to consider either amending or potentially removing completely.
III.OTHER CONDITIONS OF RELEASE IMPOSED BY THE JUDGE
In addition to the above 2 conditions of release, judges will quickly “rattle” off other conditions of release that may include:
- Consume no alcohol.
- Do not go to any bars or restaurants where the primary source of income is from liquor.
- Obtain a substance abuse evaluation.
- Random Urinalysis.
If your Judge is presented with the allegation that you have violated any of the other conditions listed above, you need to develop a plan to counter the Judge’s concern that you are not taking this seriously enough. Time is of the essence to put in motion mitigation that will reduce the Judge’s concern.
For example, if your condition of release was that you were to consume no alcohol, if you haven’t had a substance abuse evaluation, you need to have one completed ASAP. While you are waiting for either a court hearing or the results of the evaluation, attendance at either AA/NA will be a significant fact that is often successful in keeping clients out of jail with pending charges.
The common thread for fighting against having your bond revoked for a violation of any conditions of release is preparation. Once you are released from jail with pending charges, you should not delay, but contact an experienced Hillsborough Criminal Defense attorney to review your release conditions so there is no doubt what is expected of you.
Meeting with an Attorney at Taracks & Associates upon your release from jail, is a significant step to prevent any of the above violations from occurring.
If you are facing allegations that you have violated any terms of your release, call our office to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible so that we can discuss your situation, and begin to develop a strategy that will increase your likelihood of remaining out of jail while your charges are pending.