When you are first placed under arrest, you are taken to the jail where booking is conducted. At this point, the police can issue a standard bond, or, in the alternative, within 24 – 48 hours you will be taken to court for your First Appearance. In Hillsborough County this means an appearance in Division O in front of Judge Heinrich. If you are arrested over the weekend, you may be assigned to a rotating Judge instead.
When you appear in front of the Judge, who will determine a bond amount, there will be several issues addressed. First, are you a flight risk? In analyzing this question the court will ask, “what are the chances that this person will flee our jurisdiction to avoid having to appear at his or her day in court?” Second, the court questions whether or not you are a danger to the community. This analysis looks at the type of crime you have been accused of and your criminal record. After analysis of these issues, the Judge will determine a bond amount; if you are on probation or have a pending case, or if you are charged with a capital offense, you may not be eligible for bond.
If you hire an attorney for your first appearance, he or she may be able to get the charges and/or bond reduced by showing weaknesses in the case or by showing that you are not a flight risk/do not pose a threat to the community. If you or someone you know has been arrested, or is anticipating being arrested, do not hesitate to call us. A consultation with one of our lawyers, all of which are former Florida state prosecutors, is always free. Taracks & Associates – The Advocate For You.