Whether you are in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, you may notice that misdemeanor domestic violence cases are treated differently than your run-of-the-mill misdemeanors such as DUI, driving while license suspended, and petit theft.
That is because the Florida legislature has deemed domestic violence cases, even at the misdemeanor level, to be particularly serious. The State Attorney's Offices in Miami-Dade and Broward have specially-trained prosecutors who handle these matters.
The first thing that happens in a misdemeanor domestic violence case is an arrest, of course. When I say arrest I mean handcuffs, ride in the police car, and a jail cell. No promise to appear (PTA)
Upon being arrested, you will be taken to the police station and then to the jail where you will be held for the bond judge. This is because the judge must issue a stay-away order (a type of restraining order) forbidding contact between the defendant and the alleged victim.
The standard bond for a domestic battery
is $1,500. It may be less for other domestic crimes, such as criminal mischief
. The judge may increase the bond if the accused person has priors, especially a prior history of domestic violence with the same alleged victim.
If the accused is arrested for a misdemeanor domestic violence case while on probation
, they will be held with no bond. This is because it is a violation of probation to get re-arrested.
If the accused is out on bond for another charge, the new misdemeanor domestic violence arrest will almost guarantee that they will remain in custody without a bond.
If the accused has few or no priors and a place to live (other than with the alleged victim), the accused person may be eligible for pretrial services. This is a pretrial program whereby an accused person is released without having to post a monetary bond. However, an accused person must report to pretrial services both by phone and in-person weekly. If they fail to do this, they can end up back in jail.
As I mentioned earlier, all domestic violence bonds come with stay-away orders. You will not be permitted contact with the alleged victim while the case is pending. If the alleged victim and accused live together, the accused will have to find another place to live for the time being. Stay-away orders can be modified at a later date if the alleged victim comes to court and tells the judge that he or she is not afraid of the accused. Talk to your criminal defense attorney
about modifying a stay-away order.
If the accused is determined to be ineligible for pretrial services, they will have to post a monetary bond.
If you have further questions about bonds in misdemeanor domestic violence cases, call me
. I routinely provide criminal defense
for people charged with domestic violence offenses in both Miami-Dade and Broward.