Traditionally when a person is arrested for a crime they are either held in custody or have the option to be released on bail. Bail is money that the defendant puts up that’s held by the court system in exchange for their release while they wait for their impending trial date. For more information on bail and the bail bond process, check out my recent blog.
In August, the Miami Herald announced that the bail laws in Broward County would be changing and becoming more lenient in favor of those who may not be able to afford their bail. Instead of having bail set by the courts for their release until it’s time for trail, most misdemeanors such as petty theft, marijuana possession or public intoxication can result in being released on ones “own recognizance” as they wait for their court date.
Bail Laws Will Still Remain The Same For Some Crimes
While the new policy does make it easier to be released without having serving time during the period before going to trial, there are a list of crimes that will not be affected by this change and will still result in either jail time or a set bail amount.
Those accused of the following will not be included in the new more relaxed law:
· Drunk driving
· Violating a court order
· Indecent exposure
· Domestic violence
· Animal cruelty
Why Are Broward’s Bail Laws Changing?
Many law cities are changing their laws in a similar fashion in order to assist with overcrowding issues in their local jails. Often times those who are unable to afford their bail are homeless and being held for small crimes like trespassing. In these cases, the bail is typically only $100 or so, but for those who are homeless or unemployed that’s an unattainable sum that leads to long wait times in jail before going to trail for a case that is likely to be dismissed. Those who are employed, but can’t afford their bail and are forced to wait for trail in jail, are at risk of losing their jobs due to their time away, creating a higher numbers when it comes to unemployment.
If you or someone you know are currently out on bail and waiting to go to trial, consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist with your case. Russell Spatz is a caring and compassionate criminal defense attorney who puts the needs of his clients first. He has over 40 years of experience and can help make the trial process a smooth one. Give him a call today at (305) 442-0200.
Ovalle, David, and Charles Rabin. “Poor Defendants Accused of Minor Crimes Will No Longer Need Cash to Get out of Broward Jail.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, 26 Aug. 2019, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article234388292.html.