A Miami couple that was arrested outside of the State of Florida and accused of the kidnapping and sexual battery of an 11 year-old girl have been returned to Miami where they are awaiting trial without a bond.
The accused couple was extradited from Louisiana where they were arrested and brought before a Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge. The Judge found probable cause for kidnapping and sexual battery on a child under 12, both felonies punishable by life in prison.
Since the maximum penalty the accused couple is facing is life in prison, they must be held without bond.
In the State of Florida, all felonies punishable by life in prison are considered non-bondable offenses. The only way to secure a bond is to hold an Arthur Hearing where the judge will hear evidence from the state and decide whether a bond should be issued. The judge can uphold the initial bond judge’s decision not to issue a bond. So it is possible to remain in custody the entire time your felony case is pending.
The evidence against the couple includes video footage of the car they allegedly used to commit the kidnapping. As well, the alleged victim has positively identified both suspects. As far as physical evidence of a sexual battery, that is unknown at this time.
When charged with a life felony, many people fear the idea of remaining in custody without being able to be released almost as much as they fear going to prison for life. Arthur Hearings are difficult to win. However, it is the state’s job to prove the allegations. If the evidence is insufficient to prove you guilty, the judge must grant a bond.
Eric Matheny is a Miami criminal defense attorney and Broward criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with felonies punishable by life. Call Eric Matheny to discuss your case.