Jail Release Conditions In Hillsborough County
High unsentenced inmate percentage is a problem in almost every state. The Sunshine State has one of the highest percentages of unsentenced inmates in the country. In other words, many inmates haven’t been convicted. They’re just waiting for their day in court, usually because they cannot afford to make bail. In response to this problem, many states have essentially opened cell doors, as long as the inmate promises to go forth and sin no more, at least temporarily.
That response hasn’t happened in Florida. However, the issue has made more jail release alternatives available to more people. These options always have some strings attached, in the form of jail release conditions. Normally, authorities direct inmates who make bail to follow these conditions without explaining them, providing detailed compliance instructions, or laying out the consequences of not following these conditions. A Tampa criminal defense attorney does all these things, and more. So, defendants with lawyers have a better chance of staying out of jail until judges decide their cases.
Almost all jail release orders include general and offense-specific conditions. Failure to abide by these conditions could result in bond forfeiture. More on that below.
General conditions usually apply to all defendants, regardless of the charges they face in court. Some of these conditions include:
- Remaining in the county at all times,
- Reporting to a supervision officer at designated times,
- Working and/or attending school full time,
- Immediately informing authorities about any changed contact information, and
- Appearing at all required court hearings.
These conditions vary. Hearing appearance is a good example. Some Hillsborough County judges require defendants to personally appear at all hearings, even if they are just procedural. Other judges only require defendants to appear at contested hearings and/or trials.
Almost everything is negotiable. Assume Michelle lives in Hillsborough County and works in Pinellas County. Technically, every time she goes to work, she’s violating her release conditions. A Tampa criminal defense attorney is usually able to modify such conditions, so defendants remain free and avoid trouble.
Offense-specific conditions vary significantly as well. Sometimes, the sheriff imposes such conditions at the time of release. Other times, a judge imposes such conditions at a later date. Examples include an IID (ignition interlock device) in DUIs and a keep-away order in assaults. An IID is basically a portable Breathalyzer tied to the ignition. A keep-away order directs the defendant to stay away from the alleged victim, and usually any witnesses as well.
Many pretrial release violations are technical violations. For example, Dan might miss an IID installation deadline or accidentally put a court appearance on the wrong date on his calendar. Generally, although they have the power to do so, judges give defendants a chance to quickly make things right before they revoke bail and issue arrest warrants.
Apropos of nothing, an attorney connects defendants with the best, and most affordable, IID providers and other necessary providers.
If the defendant commits a substantive violation, like leaving town without notice, or has committed multiple technical violations, judges are usually less patient. We normally recommend that defendants in these situations voluntarily turn themselves in. Once a judge issues an arrest warrant, it’s valid forever and in all states.
Connect With a Hard-Working Hillsborough County Attorney
A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.