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How Does Immigration Bail Work?

Immigration law

Can you bail someone out of ice?

Immigration and Custom Enforcement, referred to as ICE, is one of three agencies in America that work under Homeland Security. The other two agencies are Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Citizenship Services, and each of the three agencies has specific responsibilities to the American people and this country. Our concentration for this piece will be about ICE and immigration bail bonds

To know how immigration bail bonds work, we need to understand what is immigration bail first.  Persons needing immigration bail bonds are either Green Card holder or undocumented persons because they are being held by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). It is much like the basic bond for anyone that’s arrested, but with a detailed focus on immigration. 

If you know somebody that ICE has arrested and is detaining for immigration reasons, you need to get an immigration bond in order for them to be released from custody. Like other types of bail, this is a temporary release until their court appearance. Instead of a judge establishing their status of immigration and bond, it is done by ICE authorities, including the decision to release this person on personal recognizance. In this case, an immigration bail bonds won’t be necessary.

How does an immigration bail bond work?

In American, when ICE has arrested and taken a person into custody,  if they are not considered a threat, they could be released with one or two different types of immigration bail bonds.  Those two types of immigration bail bonds are: 

  1. Delivery bond – This type of immigration bail bond eligibility is determined by an immigration judge. ICE must have an arrest warrant for the detained person and provide that detainee a notice of custody conditions before consideration for delivery bond release. The delivery bond is one of two immigration bail bonds that acts in the same way as other bonds in America and is the American Immigration court to be assured the detainee will appear at all immigration hearings. This allows their release before those hearing so they can spend time with their family, retain an immigration lawyer, and prepare their case while getting their affairs in order. 
  2. Voluntary departure bond – This is the second of the two immigration bail bonds and is available when a detainee is given the option to leave America voluntarily by a specified date at their own expense.  The departure bond must be paid in full direct to ICE and is refundable after that person has departed the country. This immigration bail bond is forfeited if they fail to leave.

Who pays for immigration bail?

Certain qualifications must be met before a detained immigrant can be issued either of the two immigration bail bonds. Immigration bail bonds can be paid for in two ways:

  • A Surety Bond– Family or friends can find an immigration bond agent that  will charge a fee, typically in the amount of 15% to 20% of the bond amount set by the immigration judge. The fee paid to the immigration bond agent is non-refundable.
  • A Cash bond – Family or  friends of a detained person can pay ICE directly, in cash, cashier check, money order, or U.S. bonds or notes, the full amount of the immigration bail bonds. Once the case of the detainee is resolved and the person has attended all court ordered appointments, a refund is given. , and that money will be refunded once the detainee has attended all mandatory hearings in immigration court. 

How do I pay an immigration bail bond?

Immigration bail bonds that are paid out of pocket, it is recommended to do so with a cashier’s check that is made out to the “Department of Homeland Security”.  Another option is to locate and obtain the services of an immigration bail bonds agent or immigration lawyer to handle the release of the person being detained.

Can I pay immigration bail with a bond?

Yes, immigration bail bonds can be paid at the ICE detention center by the detained. Or a family member or friend can pay immigration bail bonds it at most immigration offices. Payment can be made in the form of a U.S. Post Office money order or a cashier’s check made out to Department of Homeland Security. Some immigration offices are able to handle cash payment for immigration bail bonds.

immigration paperwork

Do you get immigration bond back?

After detained persons have met all the conditions of the immigration bail bonds, attending all court-ordered hearings, and complied with all facets of the deportation order, ICE will send a notice of immigration bond cancellation to the obligor and to the Department of Homeland Security. Once the notice (from I-391) is received, the obligor must send it, Form I-305, and any other required materials to the Debt Management Center of Homeland Security.

A Clarification between Immigration Bail vs Surety Bond: Immigration bail bonds may be issued to any person that has been arrested and is detained by immigration authorities but has not  committed a crime.  If the person can obtain a bond, they are kept in a detention center. 

The purpose of immigration bail bonds is a punishment, but to push immigrants to appear in court.  Before immigration bail bonds are determined, the individual person’s criminal history and community connection, are considered, as well as if they are thought to be a flight risk. A surety bond is formed as a contract that involves three parties, the principal, the Immigration bail bonds agent, and the oblige. The purpose of the surety bond is a financial guarantee that the obligee will hold to all terms established by the immigration judge in regard to appearing for all court ordered activities.

What is the Most Common Misdemeanor?


How Bad is Misdemeanor?

If you are out on misdemeanor bail, you may want to know exactly how severe misdemeanors are. If you have been arrested on a misdemeanor count, you will be happy to know that misdemeanors are less significant than felonies. While misdemeanors are serious offenses that can still carry jail time, they will not prohibit you from voting. It is also important to recognize the long term consequences of a misdemeanor. Some employers have policies against hiring individuals who have misdemeanors which is why it is important to refrain from crime as much as possible in order to have as bright a future as possible.

What is the Most Common Misdemeanor?

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, you may be wondering what some of the most common misdemeanors are. Please review the following list of common misdemeanors to discover more.

  • Basic assault. If you have been charged with basic assault, it means that you have been found hurting someone without the intention of injuring them.
  • Indecent exposure. One of the most broadly interpreted misdemeanors, it includes willfully exposing one’s private areas. It also includes urinating in public.
  • Public Intoxication. This definition includes engaging in disorderly behavior while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It can be on public or private property.
  • Trespassing. In regular circumstances, people who are charged with this crime have been found entering restricted property sans authorization.

What Exactly is a Misdemeanor?

Many people who are charged with misdemeanors are confused as to what the actual definition is. A misdemeanor is classified as a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony, and more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanor charges are punishable by a fine and incarceration in local county jail. Infractions, by contrast, impose zero jail time.

What is the Lowest Misdemeanor?

On the lowest level of the spectrum, Class C misdemeanors are the least severe. If a defendant has no criminal history or a minimal history, then the defendant can petition the court for probation or deferred adjudication. This process can be used in a felony case as well. It’s important to note that in such circumstances that the probation is much shorter. It can range from six months to two years.

Can a First Time Misdemeanor Be Dismissed?

There are circumstances that entail a first-time misdemeanor charge being able to be dismissed. Such circumstances indicate that the dismissal hinges upon the severity of the crime and the defendant’s previous criminal history. There should be no prior cases on your record that you pleaded guilty to before taking the deferred.

Will Misdemeanor Assault Affect College Admission

It is important for all young people to recognize that misdemeanors are public record. What you do, whether it be good or bad, is recorded for posterity. That is why it is very important to be aware of the justice system and what the law considers to be right and wrong. If you have a misdemeanor on your public record, future employers will be able to see the circumstances of your misdemeanor and decide to pass on hiring you. 

Will Misdemeanor Affect College Admission

Generally speaking, future college students should be aware that if they do have a misdemeanor on their record that it will slow down the admissions process. Presumably, colleges want to review whether or not you have learned your lesson or not. If you have not been deemed mature enough, the college could ostensibly deny your admission.

Why Would a Misdemeanor Affect Employment

When you are looking for employment, it is important for you to present the best possible face to your future employer. A misdemeanor on your record can make finding a job more difficult because it can show up on your background check. Some employers will overlook a misdemeanor. During your interview, it is recommended that job applicants be honest about their past and explain how it has made you a better person.


Can Misdemeanor Charges Be Dropped

During a court case, the prosecution may agree to dismiss or reduce the charge or may agree to a special sentence. If an agreement between your attorney and the prosecution can be reached, then both parties will be required to present their agreement to the court for the judge’s approval. The best circumstances for a misdemeanor charge to be dropped are if you have no previous criminal record and if the case is not very severe. It is always good to show up on time and respectful during all of your court dates. Having the virtue of being a good citizen is rewarding both in society and in the justice system.

If you need bail for your misdemeanor in St. Petersburg, FL, our professional staff is here to help. Please reach out to a member of our team at 727-571-9999.

What happens if you violate probation for the first time?

man in questioning over probation violation

When going through probation

When somebody has been convicted, there are many things that can take place within the criminal justice system. One of those things is being placed on probation and within probation, there are several avenues that can take. There will be requirements made by the court and if the arrested person doesn’t follow those requirements, they could be found in probation violation.

So, what is probation exactly? It is a court ordered and mandated sanction given to a person who has been arrested and convicted for a crime. Instead of serving time behind bars, probation allows them to live at home, or a halfway house, and continue working or attending school. If they miss a day at school or work, they could consider it a probation violation.

Sometimes, the probation requirements include having a job or being enrolled in school if that person isn’t already. The person is also required to check in with their probation officer regularly, usually once a week. There can be some stipulations of its own, such as a daily check in. Once a week, they may require it to make in person appearance, or a phone call is sufficient.  Depending on the charge, it may require a drug test. Any of these requirements that are not met, the parole office can report the matter to the court as a probation violation.

What is considered a probation violation?

Each state has its own set of laws that define probation violation, with federal and state law governing these laws. General probation violation occurs when the convicted avoids, ignores, refuses, or in any way breaks the condition or terms of their probation during their designated probation period. The typical probation period is between twelve months to thirty-six months, but the original offense could cause the judge to set a longer probation period of several years.

Probation violation can happen in several ways that may include one probation violation, not paying fines, or any of the following:

  • No show at required court appearance
  • Not reporting to probation officer 
  • Not paying court ordered restitution
  • Present in certain places prohibited by probation
  • Associating with certain people
  • Out of state or out of country traveling
  • Possession, use, or selling of illegal drugs
  • Commit another crime or offense is a probation violation with new charges
  • Being arrested for criminal or non-criminal offense

For each of those probation violations, there are probation violation consequences

 which can be any of the following or other as the judge rules:

1. Court Appearance

There rules vary how probation violation is handled immediately and is determined by the probation officer’s discretion. They may issue a warning to the convicted or they may require the convicted to appear before the judge for a probation violation hearing. The probation officer will consider the violation’s severity and type any history of probation violations, warnings, or other considerations. Appearance in court could result in additional jail time, fines, penalties, or a combination of the three.

2. Determination of the Probation Violation

During the probation hearing, the judge will hear the convicted case in consideration of the violated conditions and terms of the probation. The prosecuting attorney will attempt to prove the probation was violated by providing evidence and/or witnesses. The judge will consider the nature of the violation and the seriousness, the convicted criminal history, and any prior probation violations. The judge will consider all circumstances whether they are aggregating or mitigating when making their decision.

3. The Sentencing

If they find the criminal guilty of probation violation, sentencing occurs shortly after this hearing. They may extend probation, it may include additional conditions and terms, possibly jail time will be required with probation being revoked. Consideration of a first time probation violation or is the criminal has a history will factor into the sentencing phase.

Do you automatically go to jail if you violate probation?

Not necessarily. Every probation violation does not result in a revocation of their probation or jail sentence automatically. The original crime, the convicted criminal history, the violation in question are all factors that will determine how the judge rules. As discussed earlier, there are several options the judge can take, along with the probation officer’s input, including additional and immediate jail time for probation violation no bail set.

How much jail time do you get for violating probation?

When found guilty of probation violation, a jail or prison sentence isn’t automatic, but it is a common punishment. Even if the convicted has completed most of their probation, they could still receive the maximum jail time if the judge sees fit.

A third degree felony in most states is punishable by five years prison time. If the criminal was originally sentenced to probation for three years and completed two before committing the probation violation, the judge can sentence them to prison for five years.

Can a probation violation be dismissed?

Sometimes, the convicted person’s attorney can negotiate with the state for a plea for an alleged probation violation in exchange for their client pleading guilty to the new offense.

handcuffs and arrest

Do you need a lawyer for probation violation?

It isn’t necessary, but we recommend it. Probation is a benefit that the judge gives an offender. However, if the convicted doesn’t uphold the terms set for the probation, the judge can impose the total sentence plus additional time for the probation violation. Having an experienced criminal lawyer is having a knowledgeable person on your side.

The recommendation is to stay out of trouble with the law. However, that isn’t always possible and those who find themselves arrested and given probation should be cautious in everything they do to make sure they do not violate their probation. Need bail for your probation violation in St. Petersburg, FL? Call 727-571-9999 today!

Can you get bail on a felony charge?

felony bail

Understanding the Law

Before we answer that question, do we understand what felony means? A felony is a crime committed and tried by United States government. It is a federal charge for a crime, typically involving violence. Between a felony or misdemeanor, a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor. In Florida, felony charges could be any of the following:

  • Murder
  • Aggravated assault/aggravated battery
  • Child Abuse
  • Burglary
  • Assault/Battery of Law Enforcement/Public Servant
  • Controlled substance possession (not marijuana)
  • Kidnapping
  • Grand theft
  • Stalking
  • Incest
  • Carjacking
  • Resisting arrest with violence
  • Sex crime (includes rape)
  • Drug trafficking
  • Robbery
  • Concealed weapon

The mandatory sentencing by Florida laws has limited the discretion by a judge the past few years, especially when it involves repeat offenders of violent crimes. Since 2007, when the Florida Anti-Murder Act became law, house arrest violators and probation violators are likely to face a less lenient judge that may impose mandatory minimum sentences. A person accused of such violations should hire an experienced legal representation to get the best results possible.

What is the highest felony?

In the state of Florida, they consider the most serious felony crime a capital felony, for example, capital murder. If convicted, the accused could be punished by death penalty or life in prison, and up to $15,000 fine. Depending on the crime, they classify Felonies in the state of Florida: 

  • Capital – punishable by death sentence
  • Life
  • First Degree – a first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in state prison with a fine up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree – punishable by 15 years in state prison with up to $10,000 fine
  • Third Degree – punishable by 5 years in state prison with up to $5,000 fine

If a felony conviction doesn’t have a degree or punishment predetermined, the punishment will be a third-degree. 

Is jail time mandatory for a felony?

There is little to no chance that a person charged with a felony without jail time sentencing is possible. The “10/20/Life” enacted a mandatory minimum sentence law in 1999 and applies to a violent felony with a firearm. The state mandatory minimum sentences a convicted person can face are:

  • 10 Years: Any person convicted of committing or attempt to commit a felony while in possession of a firearm
  • 20 Years: Any person who commits burglary, robbery, sexual battery, or murder with a firearm
  • Life Sentencing: Any person attempting or commissioned of a felony that discharges a firearm resulting in death or serious bodily injury.

Will felony ruin your life?

A felony charge and/or conviction will ruin your life because society will see you differently. You’ll face numerous consequences, including incarceration, and because you were involved with a crime, felony or misdemeanor, your life is permanently altered, even if you’re not convicted and do not serve any time.

Criminal laws are constantly changing, new laws are created, they change criminal statues, misdemeanors and felony charges, and the law enforcement that is sworn to enforce and uphold these laws keep up with these changes. How criminal laws are interpreted are constantly being changed for the courts, and rulings are changed as well. This another reason that having legal representation is important.

Whether you feel you are innocent of any wrongdoing, you will have changes in your freedoms, liberties, and rights forever more. Here is a brief review of things you can expect from now on with your life after being charged and/or convicted of a felony:

The Financial Implications

Anytime you are charged with any crime, the cost of hiring a criminal attorney or if you’re eligible for a public defender. A criminal defense attorney can get expensive and can start at a flat fee around $500, or they may charge by the hour. Then there are court costs, potential fines, penalties, and assorted fees.   

Employment costs could be the more expensive cost of all. While “employment at will” applies in most states, you could be fired because your crime and time missed because of your court dates. The cascading problems financially can be never ending, starting with the expenses we mentioned above, and if you lose your driver’s license, that can create issues for getting to and from work, even finding gainful employment.

Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties will have a financial cost regardless if you are convicted. Among those costs are penalties of jail time, which can be wide ranging. From nonviolent misdemeanor could be charged a substantial penalty, and you can face more serious felony with life-altering consequences. Additional penalties can include any of the following:

  • Probation
  • Restitution
  • House Arrest
  • Community Service
  • Restricted Privileges


Once you’re convicted, employment becomes an uphill battle, even for nonviolent crimes, depending on the field of employment. Criminal history is on most applications and employers will routinely inquire about an applicant’s criminal history, using a confusing way to inquire. Various employment fields include a criminal background check.

Civil Liberties

Convicted criminals still have their rights to civil liberties in every state. They also have Federal restrictions when the crime is a felony. Those restrictions can affect the person’s applying for disaster assistance, student loans, federal jobs, and federal business licenses, and certifications.

Psychological Impact and Social Stigma

A criminal conviction can affect how society views a person and the treatment they receive.  

bail bonds for felony convictions

What rights do felons lose?

Being convicted of a crime, you can lose the following rights:

  • Voting
  • Jury Duty
  • International Travel
  • Firearms Ownership, including ammunition
  • Certain Employment
  • Parental Rights

Does a felony go away after 7 years?

A felony will show on a person’s criminal record background check for seven years unless they are successful in having the criminal conviction expunged or sealed. If they are charged with a felony with no prior record, expunging or sealing the record is possible. 

In Closing

Whether you feel you have been wrongly arrested, hiring a criminal defense attorney is the best defense.  If they find you guilty, you want an attorney that will work to get the lightest sentence possible, even a possibility of having the charges lessened. Dial 727-571-9999 to connect with someone on our staff about felony bail in St. Petersburg, FL and more!

Can you bail someone out with no money?

arrest after charges

Bail for your needs

Most of us go through our lives never thinking we must post emergency bail. It isn’t an everyday occurrence in most circles of society. There are plenty of people that do though, and they keep the emergency bail bonds agencies busy.  

If you never have experienced posting an emergency bail, for yourself or someone you know, then the process is foreign to you. When somebody has been arrested, they will be given a bail amount at an emergency bail hearing. This is money paid to get them out of jail on the condition they will return for their court date. 

The emergency bail can be as small as $100.00 up to thousands, even millions, depending on what the charges are that caused their arrest, following the emergency bail schedule as set by the state or federal government. 

Rarely do people have that kind of cash on them, so they have their one phone call. They can use that to find a family member or friend to post an emergency bail for them. Another option is to see the services of an emergency bail bondsman. After the bond has been posted, it allows the person to leave and carry on with their life, school, work, etc., as they await their court date. 

Is a bail bond a loan?

No, emergency bail bonds are not emergency bail bond loans. A bond is a surety bond, a slip of paper that states you agree to show up for your court date. The amount the arrested agree to pay the bondsman is the fee. When the bondman post bail, it is their guarantee to the court the accused will show up in court, a risk they take. The accused or an indemnitor must sign this paperwork as their guarantee to the bondsman the accused will appear. 

Can you make payments on a bail? 

No, after the court has set the bail amount, it typically has to be paid in full in cash, cashier check, or money order. With a high-set emergency bail, for something like murder charges, a court may allow a percentage of the bail to be paid or accept some type of collateral. 

Do bail bondsmen do payment plans? 

Chances are, if somebody you know needs an emergency bail posted, you may not have the money. Some bail bonds companies will offer a payment plan option to their clients, with an interest rate. There are some bail bond agents that will offer interest-free financing on bail bond loans. 

With or without interest, read the details of the contract before you sign anything. They may or may not run a credit check before authorizing a bail bond loan, and like any loan, your credit rating may affect how much interest you’re charged. Some bail bonds agencies will take collateral as a substitution for cash or other monetary payment. 

What can be used as collateral for a bail bond? 

Depending on the charge, a crime serious enough could require a large emergency bail that cash or other monetary means aren’t easily available. In that case, a court or bail bondsman may accept something for collateral that is of equal or more value. Some things that may be accepted as a tangible collateral are: 

  • Real estate – belonging to the defendant’s or the person putting up the bail. The bail bond agency or the court will hold the deed until the case is finished. 
  • Vehicle titles – must be currently registered with a clear title in hand for vehicles, boats, campers, mobile homes, or utility trailers. As with the real estate collateral, the bail bond agency or the court will hold the title until the case is finished.
  • Art, Coins, Jewelry – this must be of value equal to or more than the emergency bail bond and will be held until the case is finished. These must be authentic, and you may be required to provide a certification of the value of the item offered for collateral. 
gavel and court

Does your bond go down when you stay in jail? 

Yes, usually, but with each case, there are always exceptions. Each time the accused appears in court, the accused attorney can request a bond review for it to be lowered. The court may implement the following conditions with the agreement of lowering the emergency bond: 

  • A daily phone call to the court
  • Weekly drug testing
  • Curfew
  • Attend all court dates
  • Other miscellaneous criteria as determined by the judge 

Arrest and the legal proceedings that follow can confuse and intimidate, including posting an emergency bail. Hiring an experienced defense attorney is always recommended as soon as the arrest happens.  They know the process and can walk you through the steps and advise on how to plea, including posting emergency bail, putting up collateral for the bail, and more. Need help with bail in St. Petersburg, FL? Dial 727-571-9999 today for your bail needs!

What are some misdemeanor charges?

traffic ticket misdemeanor

How serious is a misdemeanor charge?

A person faced with a misdemeanor charge may find some comfort in thinking that it could be worse, like a felony charge. While that is one point in that direction, it is still a criminal charge that will stay with you.  A misdemeanor charge can affect future employment, getting a driver’s license, firearm possession, and other things in your life. 

In Clearwater Florida, a misdemeanor can be punished by up to twelve months in the county jail with a $1,000.00 fine for a first-degree. A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable for up to 60 days with a $500.00 fine.

So, no, a misdemeanor isn’t as serious as a felony, as we’ve just reviewed above.  However, with the possibility of one year incarcerated in county jail, it is a level of seriousness. When charged with a misdemeanor, a citation is issued by the arresting police officer, or a complaint may be filed by a prosecutor. The citation or complaint will state if the offense is a felony, a misdemeanor or infraction. An infraction is the least serious level of offense, i.e., a traffic violation. The penalty for this level is typically a fine of $100 plus court costs.

You can be charged with any of these levels, but until you’re convicted by a judge and/or jury, it is only an arrest, not a conviction.  So, you can have an arrest for a misdemeanor without conviction may not affect your future employment, getting and keeping your driver’s license, or purchasing and have possession of a firearm.

Examples of an infraction are:

  • Traffic violations
  • Littering
  • Boating; Fishing without a license
  • Building permit
  • Running a business without a license
  • Jaywalking
  • Public intoxication

Examples of a misdemeanor could vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but common misdemeanor is typically:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Firearm discharge in city limits
  • Petty theft
  • Prostitution
  • Public intoxication
  • Simple assault
  • Reckless driving
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor?

Yes, every misdemeanor offense can carry a maximum penalty which may vary from state to state, with anywhere from six months incarceration to 1 year plus a $1,000 fine. Typically, a first-time offense is not sentenced to any time behind bars, but instead, would be charged with a misdemeanor with probation of any length as determined by the judge.

Do you have to go to court for a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor will typically begin with a citation issued by law enforcement. The officer may take you to jail then or the citation will have a date stated that will require your presence in court for an arraignment. There are some misdemeanor charges where going to jail isn’t an option, like a DWI or DUI.


Does a misdemeanor ruin your life?

Yes, pretty much.  A misdemeanor isn’t as serious as a felony, but a crime is a crime and it will be in your criminal record for the rest of your life. So, if you are completing a job application, answer yes to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”. Offer an explanation should you get to the interview process, but by law, a prospective employer cannot ask.

Being convicted for any level of crime, misdemeanor or felony, will do more than hurt your chance at a job. It can affect your professional license eligibility, you can lose custody of your child(ren), you will be ineligible for food stamps, student loans, and public health care or public housing assistance. If you’re not from this country, you could find yourself deported.

In most jurisdictions within the United States, a misdemeanor offense is punishable by sentenced to 12 months in jail, possibly a fine community service, and/or probation. The jail time will be in a local or county jail, not a federal prison. The only way to get a misdemeanor off your records is to file to have the charges expunged or your records sealed.

Can a first-time misdemeanor be dismissed?

As soon as you’ve been arrested or received a citation for a misdemeanor, hiring a defense attorney is the best thing you can do.  With their experience, based on your criminal history (if any), the accused crime, and other circumstances, they might have the charges reduced, expunged, dropped, or your file sealed. If you’re feeling lucky, you can roll the dice, so to speak, and if the complainant or arresting officer do not show up on your court date, they could dismiss your misdemeanor.

While a misdemeanor isn’t as serious as a felony, it shouldn’t be taken lightly either. We provided a few examples of what is considered a felony vs what is considered a misdemeanor. Unfortunately, there can a different severity level of any crime.  It is always in the best interest of the person accused or arrested to seek the professional help of a defense attorney. They will know the ins and outs, the potholes and the way around the court system to get that person the best outcome possible. Dial 727-571-9999 for your misdemeanor bail needs in St. Petersburg, FL 

How Can You Prove Theft?

Stealing is a crime

What are the 4 types of evidence?

For a theft charge to be carried out, the court must prosecute and find the accused guilty of thievery. In order to do that, the accuser must present ample evidence in each of the four types of evidence that can be presented. Each is meant to shine a light on the circumstances and detail of the crime. Each type of evidence is: 

  • Demonstrative
  • Real
  • Testimonial 
  • Documentary 

Demonstrative in this case depicts a representation of a crime with an object or something physical. This would include pictures, graphs, dramatizations, resulting damage, and anything that can be used to describe the theft. Real evidence can be confused with demonstrative but is the use of evidence found at the crime. It is not a descriptive piece, but something physical found or used in the purported situation. Testimonial evidence is different from the previous two in that it is the personal account of a witness or person affected by the crime in court. The final type of evidence, documentary, is any official documents that can be found in discovery or by legal means. These are such that back of the claim of the accused or the accuser. 

In relation to theft, each type of evidence can be used as they would in any other crime. It should be noted that while the accused can plan to defend against claims using each form of evidence, they can also defend themselves using each as well. 

What are the different types of theft charges?

Like many other crimes, theft can be categorized as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on which context it is used in. Due to a theft charge being used broadly to cover the multiple different types it is related to. Such theft crimes that can be a theft charge includes: 

  • Identity theft
  • Robbery 
  • Carjacking 
  • Larceny
  • Fraud

Unless there are outstanding factors, theft becomes a felony when the accused had stolen anything in excess of three hundred dollars. Upon being convicted of a felony theft charge, the convicted will also be ordered to remain in prison for a minimum of one year. The same sentence of being found guilty of the other crimes listed also applies, in the case of fraud and identity theft the punishments tend to be harsher when it is above a misdemeanor. Florida law dictates that those guilty of a robbery or identity theft, you may a year to forty years in prison. When convicted of a carjacking theft charge in Florida, the felon can face around two years in prison and up to around a ten thousand dollar fine.

What is the average sentence for theft?

As mentioned, the severity of the punishment depends on the severity of the crime. A misdemeanor crime can at most be a year in prison with a varying fine. That can also include community service as a replacement to prison or after the prison sentence has been served. However, in the state of Florida grand theft can sentence a person to prison for up to thirty years and a fine that varies depending on the degree of grand theft. 

A theft charge can still be applied even when the criminal has returned the stolen property before or after the sentence is carried out. The return of stolen property does not negate the initial and deliberate intent of theft. Thereafter, if the stolen property is returned and there is legitimate regret in the initial action then it could influence restitution. In the same breath, the victim of the crime may be more likely not to press charges. It would then depend on the court to decide on whether the person is deserving of punishment. 

There is often a misunderstanding when it comes to borrowing property, with permission or not. Borrowing without permission by definition can result in a theft charge due to it being recognized under law as stealing. As mentioned, the charges to the convicted may be less if the person were to return the stolen property or item, but that does not necessarily mean they will not be charged. While there may have not been malicious intent in the crime, it does fall into the definition that the person did prevent the user from accessing the property.

Stealing is a crime

How much is bail for stealing?

Theft charge bail varies depending on the severity of the crime committed and how much the accused had stolen. For something such as shoplifting, the general bail can be between five hundred to one thousand dollars. It is not uncommon however for the defendant to be released on the condition they will return for their court case. In the case of grand theft auto, bond can be two thousand dollars and up. 

Upon a person committing a federal offense, the system changes quite a bit from what has been explained through the context of state law. When it comes to a state offense, the judge will set an amount for your bond and you can use bondsmen like Al Estes Bail Bonds to help with bail or do so yourself. In federal law, there is no such procedure. The judge may decide whether to post bail but has the ultimate goal of the continued court appearance of the accused. It all depends on whether they find that the accused will, in fact, show up.

What happens when you can’t pay bail?

Person in Jail who cannot pay bail

Post Incarceration

After being arrested and incarcerated, you think how and what do you need to do to get released. Posting bail is how this is accomplished, and hopefully, you haven’t been arrested on a Friday or a holiday. If it is a Friday or holiday, a judge will establish it the next business day, with the exception that some jurisdictions have a standard bail schedule for certain crimes.

In rare occasions, on a holiday or weekend, or off-hours for court, a bail commissioner who has been given powers of a judge in bail setting can hold an emergency bail hearing and set bail for the accused. 

How long do you stay in jail if you can’t make bail?

The bail process seems to take a long time when you’re behind bars waiting. In most cases, it takes a bail bond company several hours to turn the bond over to the jail, and then a few more hours as the jail processes the bond. All of this only gets started after you have posted bail for a bond.

There are some bail bond agencies that offer an emergency bail to speed up the process of the arrest to be released from jail. An emergency bail is basically the bail bond agency paying the bail for you, trusting that you will be forthcoming in repaying the bail and not skipping out. For a first-time offender, emergency bail is usually easy to gain.

Can you bail someone out with no money?

Once you’ve been arrested, you’ll see the judge who will set your bond that will get you out of jail until your court date. If you can’t afford the amount of bail required by the court, you have the option of turning over real property valued at the amount as collateral. If you have nothing to offer as collateral, the judge may consider releasing you on your own recognizances, a PR bond, or a Signature Bond. The following explains each of those: 

Your Own Recognizance 

The judge will consider the following factors before determining if you can be released on your own recognizance:

  • Are you a flight risk?
  • Are you a threat to yourself or others?
  • The seriousness of your crime
  • Your criminal background

A Signature Bond 

When a judge deems that you do not appear to be a flight risk, your attorney can negotiate a signature bond, which is similar to an Own Recognizance bond but doesn’t require a co-signer or any payment.

PR Bond 

If you have a non-violent criminal history, a judge could issue a PR bond to release you from jail. This will come with some stipulations, like attending classes associated with the crime you’ve been accused of or attending therapy. These stipulations must be adhered to in order to avoid going back to jail. 

What If Those Options Aren’t Possible? 

If the judge doesn’t feel that any of these methods of bond are acceptable, there are bail bond agencies that have their own programs and may work with you in filing an emergency bail. As we mentioned earlier, the bail bondsman will trust you to repay the bail and show up for your court date.

Do all bail bonds require collateral?

The traditional amount a bondsman charges is 150% of the bond. There are exceptions to this and is up to the decision of each bail bond agency. The 150% is charged by many bail bondsmen is collateral equal to the amount of the bond and, sometimes, exceeds the amount.

While these companies are in the business of post bonds for the accused, they understand that cash is not always accessible for most of us. There are bail bond agencies that will loan the money for the bond, or work with loan companies that provide emergency loans for bail. A family member or friend would need to complete and emergency bail application.

handcuffed person

What can you use as collateral for bail?

After a person is arrested and bond has been, the accused, a family member or friend can post bail so the accused can be released from jail until their court date. Few people have the resources to pay that bond and require the services of a bail bondsman, somebody that makes a living co-signing a bond.

Another option for and the emergency bailout is to provide collateral of value that is equal or more than the bond. There are five things that are most used as collateral:

A Vehicle of Value

A vehicle can be offered as collateral, from a car, an SUV or a truck is of value can be used bond security. Other vehicles that offer enough value for bond security are all-terrain vehicles, boats, campers, motorcycles, motor homes, snowmobiles, or trailers. If the accused does not show up for appointed court date and forfeits their bond, they forfeit ownership of the vehicle used as collateral. The vehicle is kept until the court has released the accused. 

Real Estate

Type of real estate that can be used a bond collateral can be a house, any viable structure, land, or natural resources found on the land such as crops, livestock, minerals, water. Even if the property is not paid in full, if there is adequate equity to match the bond, you can use it as collateral. 

Items Worth Pawning

Taking items of value and pawing is another option for getting funds for posting bail. Computers, firearms, game systems, jewelry, stereos, televisions, etc. As with anytime that you pawn items for cash, they need to be in good condition to get enough for the bail. 

Jewelry and/or Other Precious Metals

Gold, silver or other precious metals, valuable stones such as diamond, emerald, ruby, or sapphire, that of significant value in terms of cash. The bail bond agency will have the piece(s) appraised for value on the current market to determine the collateral value. 

Savings Accounts and Investments

You can use a savings account with enough to match the bail as collateral or any valuable investment. Investments that can be included in this would be stocks & bonds or certificates of deposit. 

Keep in mind when deciding how to get funds for an emergency bail by arranging collateral for the bail, the accused must attend all court proceedings and follow the courts instructions on all matters in order to get the collateral back. Depending on the charges, the process can take a few weeks, a few months, even a year. Need help from a bondsman in St. Petersburg, FL? Call Al Estes Bail Bonds at 727-571-9999!

What is considered a drug offense?

drug exchange

Drug use and offenses

Drug use can have a huge impact on the life of the user, their family, and their friends.  When drug charges stem from that drug use, the impact is greater, more severe, changing the user’s life, and family and friends lives too. Over time, a drug user will begin having financial problems that will lead to more problems emotionally and socially. 

If a person is convicted of drug charges, they will have a criminal record the rest of their lives. That criminal record will follow them every step of the way from being employed, buying a house, losing the right to vote or own a handgun, even getting a credit card. 

What is the most commonly used drug?

Because marijuana has been referred to as a gateway drug and is the easiest to get, most experts consider it to be the most commonly used drug.  Marijuana being legalized in many states for medical and recreational use has caused a definite increase in the number of users. However, it is still illegal for most of the country and on a federal level and many are still serving time for drug charges.

Other drugs are becoming more common though, such as psychotherapeutics, or opioids. What makes this not a more commonly used drug is the need to have a prescription to get them. Cocaine is a drug that users will inject, smoke or snort and while its popularity has dropped, it is still a popular drug in many circles. In some parts of the country, methamphetamine is the drug of choice, and like opioids, it too is legal if got with a prescription. There is a wide channel of illegally produced and distributed use of this drug, resulting in many users and sellers facing drug charges today.

Is a drug charge a felony or misdemeanor?

Drug charges are crimes that can be a felony or a misdemeanor. There are factors that determine drug charges by amount and type of drug. Those two things may be coupled with other factors that can swing the drug charges either way. 

The Decisive Factors

Law enforcement may charge a person facing drug charges for a drugless dangerous or with a misdemeanor. However, if the person facing drug charges is shown to have the intention to sell the drug, they could face felony drug charges. Other factors that could aggravate the drug charges into felony drug charge include:

  • Possession of drugs at, near, or on school grounds
  • Possession of drugs in government housing, in public parks, pools, or other public places
  • Possession of drugs in or near any drug treatment facility
  • Possession of drugs in the presence of a child younger than 18 years old
  • Possession of drugs while committing a robbery
  • Has prior drug charges

What drugs are felony charges?

Drug charges are when a person has possession of any drug, drug paraphernalia or other legally prohibited intoxicating substance. Whether they intend to furnish it, sell it, or use it. The most common defense for those facing drug charges is to disprove the search and seizure process that stemmed from the drugs being found by law enforcement. 

What is the sentence for possession of drugs?

Drug charges and penalties vary by the states with a wide range of penalties when sentenced. In 1986, guidelines were enacted by Federal lawmakers for mandatory minimum sentencing. The guidelines were aimed at high-level distributors and have an effect on lower-level drug defendants too.  

A similar approach has been adopted by many states for drug sentencing. It bases the factors that determine which of the fixed sentences is handed down to a defendant on three factors:

  • Drug type
  • Drug weight
  • Prior convictions

Many states have instituted programs known as drug courts, customized for previous drug defendants facing more drug charges. A judge oversees these courts with a goal of rehabilitating the defendant, most are repeat offenders. This circumvents a trial process and the defendant that agrees to this court will spend twelve to fifteen months in treatment sessions and subjected to random drug tests. It requires them to appear before the judge regularly. 

The penalties for drug charges in several states are doubled if the incident occurred within a thousand feet of a school, making it an aggravating factor. If the drug charges are stemmed from an individual assisting an abusive partner with distribution operation, it may reduce their drug charges.   

police with lights

What is the mandatory minimum sentence for drugs?

Typically, prison time of five to ten years is the minimum sentence mandated for certain crimes. However, with drug charges that are sentenced, it is the drug, amount of drug, and prior convictions that determine the minimum.

Can a person face drug charges without possession? Yes, a person can have drug charges for possession of a controlled substance without having tangible possession of the drug. The “Constructive Possession” is a doctrine that provides law enforcement to charge you if the drugs are readily accessible by you. A person will not be arrested or face drug charges without physical evidence unless a law enforcement person has observed a crime because the evidence does need to be collected and submitted. If you are charged with drug offenses, you may be in need of drug charge bail in St. Petersburg, FL. Call Al Estes Bail Bonds today for help at 727-571-9999!

Do you need a lawyer for a probation violation?

Lawyers making plan

Dealing with a violation

Getting arrested and going to jail is a traumatic event, especially if it is your first time. Once you’re released on bond, that doesn’t mean your legal woes are over, especially if the judge places you on probation. Probation is defined as being released from custody, then being subjected to a supervised period of good behavior. Within that period, you need to be aware and conscious of any possibility of committing a probation violation. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself back in jail.

Depending on a person’s criminal history and the crime committed, the judge can sentence the accused to probation vs jail sentencing, or a combination of both. While probation and parole are similar, meaning, they are both an alternative to serving time behind bars; they are different.

Typically, probation transpires prior to or instead of serving time in jail or prison. The judge will give parole to a person who is released from prison. In either case, the person on probation or parole will have requirements to follow specific restrictions and under the supervision of a court-appointed person, usually meeting with a parole officer on a set schedule.

If that person were to have a probation violation, they were re-arrested and placed in jail again. It will be the court’s decision if it requires them to pay a fine, such as a probation bond before being released again. In most cases, it will extend their probation period it will add a longer period and more restrictions for them to follow.

For anyone that has never found themselves in this legal predicament, there are many questions. We have answered some of the most common questions here, intending to provide helpful information. 

What happens when you violate probation for the first time?

Probation violation is when the accused breaks the conditions and terms of your probation. There are the judge considers several factors when determining the punishment. Those factors include: The nature and seriousness of the probation violation

  • The accused’s previous record and prior violations
  • Any circumstances that may appeal to the severity of the probation violation

Sentencing will transpire immediately after the hearing that determines if the accuser is guilty of a probation violation. The penalties for probation violation may include the probation extended, the judge could implement additional terms to the probation, heavy fines, jail time, any of or a combination of these. 

What happens at a probation violation hearing?

The first thing that will is the judge will preliminarily consider if the probably should be revoked due to probable cause.  This will include reviewing the police report and/or testimony by the arresting police officer.

If the judge finds that there was probable cause support a probation violation, he/she may do one of the following:

  • Issue an arrest warrant
  • Issue a bench warrant
  • Issue a detention order

This is to be a temporary suspension with a formal hearing on probation revocation to follow. This does not mean the probationer is free from probation, they still to follow the restrictions originally set in place.

Next is the formal probation revocation hearing. While there is no right to a fast hearing, the courts must hold this hearing as soon as convenient. This is to ensure that the information and resources are available and fresh.

At this formal hearing, the judge will take into consideration the earlier probation terms and the probationer’s conduct in relation to the probation violation.  If the judge rules there was a probation violation, he or she uses the following considerations to determine what steps are next: 

  • Nature of the probation violation – such as did it violate any of the terms of probation
  • If the public was in any danger or harmed
  • Any previous probation violations
  • The attitude of the probationer
  • Previous criminal history of the probationer

The probation may be reinstated by the judge with the original conditions and terms, if he/she feels they are still appropriate. They may add more fines, order community service, or sentence the probationer to serve time.

How long do you have to go to jail for a probation violation?

If the judge gives a reinstatement of probation or a new probation sentence for the probation violation, the judge will credit all the time served of probation. If the probationer has any time in incarcerated, it gives credit for that time. There is no overlapping of a jail sentence and a probation sentence. 

Can a probation violation be dismissed?

A probation violation does not mean the judge will return the probationer immediately back to jail. There is a court process that they must follow, just as it was with the original arrest. The only difference is that the hearing is in a probation court instead of a criminal court.

The judge or the prosecutor has the ability during this process to dismiss any probation violation charges. The probationer’s lawyer can assist their client by requesting the probation violation charges be dismissed.

Lady Justice

Can you beat a probation violation?

Often, offenders cannot follow probation orders and will commit probation violation. In this situation, the best way to handle the matter is to own up to the errors of one’s ways. Judges listen to defendants give excuses daily and have become numb to those excuses. It is usually not possible to persuade a seasoned judge.  

By taking responsibility and being honest with the judge, this action will show a positive character, and that will make more impact on a judge. Besides admitting fault, the offender should illustrate that they are working to fix the problem and prove that they will not repeat the offense.

Probation is an alternative to jail time. One of the intended goals of probation is to monitor the behavior of the offender. Another intention is to provide community protection. If it is demonstrated by the offender that they are not able to stay within the probation terms, i.e. probation violation, the punishment is a jail sentencing. If you are dealing with probation violation in St. Petersburg, FL and need bail, dial 727-571-9999 for Al Estes Bail Bonds today!