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How Do I Get A Reduction In My Bond?

Aggressive Trial Attorney With a Reputation for Success

I have discussed getting a bond reduced previously. But I would like to explain the rationale behind an accused person's request to a judge to lower a bond that has been previously imposed by another judge.

When you are arrested, you will typically appear before a judge within 24 hours. The judge will inform you of the charges against you and will set a bond. Most offenses in Florida are bondable, meaning that a bond can be imposed and you can be released from custody.

Some offenses are non-bondable, in which case your first appearance judge will usually not impose a bond. Your attorney will have to set an Arthur Hearing in order to try for a bond on a non-bondable offense.

However, some first appearance judges can be heavy-handed. They may impose a bond that is too high for you to pay. Remember, a bondsman will charge a 10% premium and may require collateral down in order to post your bond. So if your bond is $100,000, the bondsman would likely require $10,000 in cash and $90,000 in unencumbered assets, such as a house. For one, not many people have $10,000 in available cash. Secondly, in this housing market, who has $90,000 in equity in their home?

The primary purpose of a bond is to ensure your presence in court. If $100,000 is tantamount to no bond because you can't afford the premium, your attorney should request a bond reduction. This is a motion for the court to evalutate the first appearance judge's decision and perhaps lower the bond amount, or impose alternative sanctions such as house arrest or GPS monitoring in lieu of a high monetary bond.

If you can get out of jail, you should. Just because you're not filthy rich doesn't mean you should stay in custody. It is perfectly acceptable for your attorney to seek a bond reduction.