Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life
imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great,
every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county
ordinance shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions.
In other words, unless you are charged with a capital offense or an offense
punishable by life in prison, you are entitled to a bond.
However, there are certain crimes in Florida that qualify as "non-bondable
offenses." This is because these crimes are either capital felonies,
or felonies punishable by life in prison.
What this means is that if you are arrested for a capital felony, life
felony, or first-degree felony punishable by life, you will be held without
bond by the
first appearance/bond hearing judge
unless no probable cause is found for the charge.
Some examples of non-bondable offenses include:
1) Armed Kidnapping
2) Armed Robbery
3) 1st or 2nd Degree Murder
4) Burglary with an Assault or Battery
5) Armed Sexual Battery
6) Armed Burglary
7) Armed Trafficking
8) Lewd or Lascivious Battery on a Child Under 12
If facing non-bondable charges then a
South Florida criminal defense attorney must request that the court hold a specialized bond hearing known as a
An Arthur Hearing requires the court to find "proof evident, presumption
great" that the defendant committed the crime. A second prong requires
the court to determine whether the accused is such a danger to the community
that no pretrial release measures would be adequate.
Proof evident, presumption great is a very high burden of proof for the
prosecution to satisfy. During an Arthur Hearing (which takes place before
a judge), the prosecution must either present live witness testimony or
sworn witness affidavits (hearsay is admissible) proving that the accused
committed the crime for which he or she is charged.
If the court finds no proof evident and no presumption great, the accused
will be released on their own recognizance (ROR).
If the court finds proof evident, presumption great, then the court must
move to the second prong and determine whether the accused is a danger
to the community.
Sometimes, even if the court finds proof evident, presumption great, they
may not find that pretrial detention (keeping a defendant in jail) is
in the best interest of justice. If the accused has no prior criminal
record, the judge may permit them to be released to house arrest or some
other less restrictive means of pretrial release.
If the accused has a drug problem, the defense attorney may be able to
persuade the court to permit the accused to await trial in a rehabilitation
facility. While a locked rehab facility is not the ideal setting, it is
a heck of a lot better than sitting in the Dade County Jail or Broward
Being charged with a non-bondable offense is very upsetting for not only
the accused, but the entire family. People very often lose their jobs
sitting in jail for several days or weeks while the Arthur Hearing is set.
But when you are charged with a non-bondable offense, you must also keep
in mind that you are charged with a crime that carries a penalty of life
in prison. Your freedom is the most important thing in the world. At least
it is to me.
For all of my clients who are in custody, I visit them as often as possible.
I have seen the conditions of the jails in Miami-Dade and Broward and
would not wish such confinement upon anybody.
As a criminal lawyer, I always strive to get my clients out of jail as
soon as possible.
But once you are out of jail, the battle of clearing you of the charges
The first step is securing the pretrial release of an accused. I am a
who labored in the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office prior to entering
criminal defense practice.
I believe that I bring an insider's perspective to every case I handle
as a criminal defense attorney.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a non-bondable offense,
call me today
to discuss the matter privately and without a consultation fee.