If you are arrested in South Florida you may be released to a program known as Pretrial Services. This is typically for first-time offenders whose offenses are non-violent in nature and they reside locally. If released on Pretrial Services, you will not have to post a monetary bond (bail bond) but the Judge may issue what is known as an "alternative bond." This is the amount of money your bond will be if you violate the program and wind up back in custody.
On Pretrial Services, you may have to report by phone once or twice a week, and you may have to submit to drug tests. If you are arrested in Monroe County (Florida Keys), expect that your Pretrial Services Agreement will involve you submitting to random drug and/or alcohol tests.
The best way to avoid a Pretrial Services violation is to fully comply with the program. But if something happens, you need to know what to do to avoid being taken into custody.
If you fail to report, the Pretrial Services program may submit a memo to the Court advising of your non-compliance. You will need to contact your attorney immediately to advise them of your non-compliance. Your attorney may be able to assist you so that you don't wind up in jail.
If you fail a drug test or miss one (a missed test is almost always treated as a failed test), Pretrial Services will consider that a violation and will bring it to the attention of the Judge.
Again, it is critical that you retain qualified counsel, if you don't already have one, who can help navigate you through a Pretrial Services violation.
Does a Pretrial Services violation automatically mean you will wind up in jail? No. But that certainly depends on how proactive you are when facing a violation.
If you have been released on Pretrial Services and you are facing a potential violation, contact me to discuss. I handle criminal cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.