Once released on bond or on one’s own recognizance there certain conditions which the defendant must follow:
- Not engage in any criminal activity.
- A no contact order may be issued that the defendant is to have no contact with the victim. This no contact order will be in effect until further order by the court.
- If alcohol was involved then a continuous alcohol monitor can be required.
Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment every person shall be entitled to pretrial release upon reasonable conditions.
Every adult person charged with a crime shall be taken before a Judge either in person or in camera within 24 hours of arrest. The Judge will advise the person of the nature of the charge. If you are not represented by an attorney at first appearance the Judge may appoint the counsel if the person requests counsel and cannot afford to hire a private attorney. During first appearance the Judge will determine the conditions of release.
Filing of Formal Charges
The State Attorney’s Office shall file formal charges by information which consists of a plain statement of the facts of the crime charged.
This is the formal reading of the charge at which time the defendant can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure encourage the discussion of pleas however the Judge has ultimate determination as to the sentence. Before accepting any plea the Judge will make a determination that the plea has been voluntarily entered into and that there is a factual basis for the plea.
In cases of a misdemeanor, every person shall be brought to trial within 90 days of arrest or if a felony within 175 days of arrest. Many times there may be a need for the defendant to waive speedy trial in order to work out plea negotiations, more time is needed for investigation, or other factors exist that it is in the best interest of the defendant.
Once the formal charges have been filed the defendant has a right to participate in the discovery process and request any and all evidence the State has in its possession for the prosecution of the charge. This may include but not limited to; the taking to depositions, video evidence, phone calls, photographs, digital evidence, DNA evidence, expert witness statements, chemical reports, lab reports, witness statements, and police reports.
The accused shall have a right to a trial by an impartial jury in the county where the alleged crime was committed.
The Judge has the responsibility to impose the sentence which may be agreed upon before the plea or the sentence may be dictated by the Florida Criminal Sentencing Guidelines. A sentence may consist of jail, probation, prison, or a combination with certain terms and conditions imposed by the Judge.
If you would like to discuss your case or the process in more detail please contact my office or email a request for a consultation.