Court Explains Grounds for Revoking Bond in Florida Criminal Actions

People charged with sex crimes often fear that they will have to remain in jail until their trial is over. In many cases, though, the courts find it appropriate to release people charged with sex offenses on bond, which allows them to participate more fully in their defense. If a person out on bond is charged with a second offense, their bond may be revoked, however. In a recent Florida ruling, the court discussed grounds for revoking and reinstating bond in a criminal action.  If you are faced with charges that you committed a sex crime, it is imperative to meet with a  Tampa sex crime defense lawyer to discuss what you can do to safeguard your liberties.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the defendant faced numerous charges, including sexual battery upon a child under twelve, sexual activity with a child twelve to eighteen years old, lewd or lascivious conduct, and lewd or lascivious molestation. While out on bond for these charges, the defendant was arrested for domestic battery, leading to a second criminal case against him.

Reportedly, the court revoked the defendant’s bond in his first case due to the new offense. The State later dropped the domestic battery charge against the defendant, however, effectively ending the second case. The defendant then sought to reinstate his bond in his first case, arguing that since the second case against him was dismissed, there was no basis for bond revocation. The trial court denied the defendant’s request, after which he filed a petition for habeas corpus.

Grounds for Revoking Bond in Criminal Action

After analyzing the defendant’s petition for habeas corpus, the court ultimately denied it. The court explained that while Florida law generally allows pretrial release unless there’s strong evidence of guilt, Section 903.0471 permits courts to revoke pretrial release if there’s probable cause that the defendant committed a new crime while on release.

In the subject case, the court found that the trial court had found probable cause for the defendant’s involvement in the domestic battery, even though the State dropped the charge later. In doing so, the court clarified that the statute doesn’t require the State to prosecute the new crime for bond revocation to stand. Since the trial court had sufficient grounds to believe the defendant committed the new offense while on pretrial release, it was within its rights to revoke the defendant’s bond. Therefore, the defendant’s petition for habeas corpus was denied.

Meet with a Trusted Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney

As with all criminal matters, people charged with sex crimes are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, in many cases, they will be released on bond prior to trial, which allows them to take a greater role in formulating their defense. If you are accused of a sex offense, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to assess your options. The trusted Tampa sex crime defense lawyers of Hanlon Law possess the skills and resources needed to help you seek the best legal outcome available. You can reach Hanlon Law by using the form online or by calling us at 813-228-7095 to arrange a consultation.