Florida is a state where you are not eligible for a bond if you are charged with a felony that is punishable by life in prison.
This includes life felonies, first-degree felonies punishable by life (PBLs), and capital felonies (first-degree murder).
If you are arrested and charged with a felony punishable by life, that charge is considered non-bondable. At your first appearance (bond hearing) you will be denied a bond as a matter of law unless the prosecutor stipulates to a bond. At this early stage, such a stipulation is rare.
If the bond judge finds no probable cause for the charge, you will be entitled to an ROR (release on recognizance).
During the pre-file stage of the case (first 21-30 days between arrest and arraignment), your criminal defense attorney should be filing for an Arthur Hearing. An Arthur Hearing is a specialized hearing where the trial judge hears evidence outside the presence of a jury and decides whether sufficient proof exists for you to be held without bond.
This hearing should be scheduled as soon as possible. It is not a requirement that a formal charging document - an information - be filed in order for your lawyer to file for the Arthur Hearing.
Another way to secure a bond in a life felony case is for the prosecutor to stipulate to a bond. I have successfully done this several times. Normally, if the prosecutor is reasonable, the facts of the case are not terribly egregious, and the accused has no prior criminal record, sometimes a stipulation bond can be agreed upon. This may include house arrest and some monetary bond. This is done to secure the defendant's appearance in court while putting sufficient safeguards in effect that will protect the community if the defendant's crime is considered to be violent.
Bond is very important to people who are charged with felonies. It allows you to remain out of custody and fight your case from the comfort of your own home.
If you are facing a life felony in Broward County or Miami-Dade County, contact The Law Offices of Eric Matheny today!