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What happens if your charged with theft?

wallet theft

How bad is a theft charge?

The definition of theft can be summarized as the action of stealing, or a crime of stealing. The legal definition is a generic term for which a person intentionally takes the personal property of another person without their consent or permission for their own use. Is Theft civil or criminal? 

In the state of Florida, theft statute encompasses a wide range of criminal acts that include stealing cash or jewelry to embezzling money. The consequence a theft conviction can be serious and include imprisonment, fines, restitution, civil liability, and result in a criminal record.

In Florida, theft is defined as a person that knowingly obtains, uses, or attempts to obtain or use property of another person, either permanently or temporarily and proceed with either of the following:

  • deprive the person owning the property, or
  • convert the other person’s property to an unauthorized use.

Every state has different theft charges law with various limits and ranges, usually base theft charges by amount to fall within a classification of the charge. In Florida, there is petty theft and grand theft, with levels of severity within each of those.  A general breakdown of these charges and penalties are as follows: 

Petty Theft:  

  • First-degree Petty Theft for stolen property valued between $100 and $749

No more than one year in jail and no more than a $1,000 fine 

  • Second degree Petty Theft for stolen property valued less than $100

No more than 60 days in jail and no more than a $500 fine 

Grand Theft: 

  • First-degree Grand Theft for stolen property valued at $100,000 and up  

No more than thirty years in prison with a fine no more than $10,000 

  • Second-degree Grand Theft for stolen property valued between $20,000 and up to $99,999

No more than 15 years in prison with a fine no more than $10,000 fine 

  • Third-degree Grand Theft for stolen property valued between $750 and up to $19,999
  • Maximum of 5 years in prison with a fine no more than $5,000

The repercussion that is permanent is the lifelong criminal record that will follow you everywhere, no matter what classification the charges fall under and the punishment handed down.    

Do you go to jail for first time theft?

The specifics each case is handled differently based on the value of the merchandise stolen. Petty theft charges bail in Florida is typically $1,000 bail.  Most first-time offenders will face petty theft charges as a second-degree misdemeanor. This is punished by a maximum of sixty days behind bars. A second offense of shop lifting could face a first-degree misdemeanor, which can face punishment of one year maximum in county jail, twelve month probation, and/or a $1,000 fine.  

Can I go to jail for stealing from work?

Theft from your employer is never a good thing, regardless of what reasons you may have decided that was your best recourse. Your employer will have the right to press charges against you and depending on the value of what you stole, you could be facing petty theft or grand larceny. 

Either way, these are serious charges and could highly likely become public record. You could be facing time behind bars, fines, and legal fees. Or, if you’re fortunate enough, your employer could take another approach and not press legal charges. Your employer may offer to let you pay for or return the item in question. 

Once you have been caught in the act of theft, plead your case and follow these steps: 

  1. Apologize: By apologizing for your theft, you’re admitting it is wrong. This needs to be done in person and then send a written apology to follow up. Offer to pay for any out-of-pocket losses and offer your regrets for the theft. 
  2. Resignation: After being caught with a theft, request a private meeting with your direct boss and a member of the human resource department. Offering your resignation and plan to walk away quietly as opposed to be dismissed or fired by your employer. Refrain from listing this employer as a reference or anyone at the company as a reference. At this point, it’s probably best to resign and walk away from the situation.
  3. Do Not Sign Any Document: Yes, you were caught in the act of theft, and your employer may present you with a civil agreement that you’ll repay for the property you stole. Before signing this agreement, or any other document pertaining to your theft or employment, consult with a lawyer first. 

Theft of any size can have detrimental consequence to your career and future. Before you choose to follow through with an act of theft, consider the ramifications you could face afterward. 

arrested individual

What evidence is needed for theft?

If you are charged with the crime of theft, the State of Florida is required to produce evidence that is sufficient proof of each element in order to convict you. For example, a person charged with grand theft, the state will need to prove that the property is valued at $300 or more. Otherwise, the judge could dismiss the case stating theft false charges. You can be sure that the public prosecutor will review the case thoroughly with the person filing the charges and the detective assigned to the case before charges are pressed.

Theft is a serious crime, regardless of what was stolen and what reason you may have to justify the theft. Thinking the matter through before making that decision and walking away is always recommended. Call 727-571-9999 today for theft bail in St. Petersburg, FL.

What are the 3 types of immigration?

immigrations cards

How can I live in America legally?

Immigration is defined as the process that allows an individual to become a citizen or permanent resident of another country. Through time, the immigration process has been due to cultural, economic, or social benefit. It is a long process that can vary each person. For most people, immigration can be good on all those factors and more, depending on the country they have applied for immigration

Every country has people wanting to move in and move out, although for this article, we’re focusing on the United States of America.

For a non-citizen of this country to relocate to America, the first step is to participate in the Green Card Lottery. There are 55,000 lottery cars issued by the American government, and by applying and by being granted an American citizenship, you’re declaring your commitment and loyalty to the country.  To be eligible for the Green Card Lottery, the requirements to be met are: 

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older 
  • Applicant must have lived in this country as Green Card Holder for at least five years or for three years is married to a U.S. Citizen 
  • Applicant must have lived a minimum of thirty months of the previous 5 years in this country or eighteen months of the previous 3 years if married to an American citizen.
  • Applicant must have lived in the same American state the previous 3 months prior to applying for naturalization.
  • Applicant is required to pass an English test 
  • Applicant is required to pass a Civils test
  • Applicant must prove their understanding of the American Constitution.
  • Applicant must respect and uphold American laws
  • Applicant must show good moral character.

Can an illegal immigrant get a green card?

There are serious penalties for a person that enters America without the Department of State approving entry, with one being they can’t apply for a Green Card. Once they are back in their country, they can apply for American citizenship Green Card from abroad. An illegal immigrant that remains in America for 180 days or more will lose any opportunity to apply for a maximum of 10 years. 

American takes any illegal entry seriously, allowing few options for an undocumented immigrant to apply and obtain permanent American residency. The services of an immigrant attorney is advised to get the most updated process on the matter. 

How long does it take for an illegal immigrant to get a green card?

Permanent residency in American is adjudicated by the USCIS )U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), who also handles all immigration benefits.  They give a wide range of the estimated time for immigration applications to be processed, even with the current automated system. 

A permanent residence application, Form I-485, can take between seven to thirty-three months. This time frame can be dependent on the current load with the local office that one applied through and several factors. This automated system applies these forms of immigration: 

  • Application for Naturalization
  • Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

What is the 10 year immigration law?

The “Ten-year law” allows the Attorney General to cancel a non-permanent resident’s deportation from America with the following stipulations: 

  1. The immigrant has been current in the country physically continuously for ten years prior to the removal proceedings.
  2. The immigrant has been of good moral character for the past 10 years;
  3. The immigrant cannot be under criminal and security grounds, be part of marriage fraud, criminal grounds, or has failed to register, or falsified documents, or any associated grounds.
  4. The immigrant has established uncommon hardship to a qualified U.S. citizen.

Deportation relief is decided at an Immigration Judge’s discretion, with the exception of Withholding of Deportation. An Immigration judge has the final order which can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

immigration law

Can I be deported if I am married to a citizen?

Yes,  immigration enforcement marriage to a United States citizen doesn’t stop deportation if certain criteria isn’t met. Those criteria are legal entry, real marriage, a medical exam, and show proof of income. 

Fortunately, there is an immigration helpline established where questions are answered in English and Spanish. Dial 800-375-5283 for hearing impaired, TTY 800-767-1833. If your questions aren’t answered in a manner you understand, contacting an immigration attorney is the best option. 

As an American citizen, participating in inactivity to help an illegal immigrant can be met with legal punishment. Helping even a family member to enter American illegally is considered alien smuggling, a crime with serious consequences. This includes and not limited to providing false documents or money.  If the person helping is a legalized immigrant, they can have their American citizenship removed and be deported to their home country. Call 727-571-9999 today for your immigration bail assistance needs.

Do You Have to Get Bailed Out for a DUI?

A Man Drives With a Beer in Hand.

Do you have to get bailed out for a DUI?

While most people want to get out of jail as soon as possible after a DUI arrest, you might have a good reason to want to stay in jail. Some might not be able to afford bail. Others might just simply be too ashamed or embarrassed to call someone for bail. In Florida, you’re going to stay in jail until your BAC is at an acceptable level. Bail will be set after that. Moreover, DUI bail, or any bail for that matter, is never 100% guaranteed. Judges might decide not to grant bail in certain circumstances. If you have an extensive criminal record or several DUI arrests or convictions or if the judge believes you might be a flight risk for some reason, bail might not be granted. If you do, indeed, want to be released from jail and need DUI bail bonds in St. Petersburg, FL, you can get fast, reliable 24/7 help from Al Estes Bail Bonds. All you need to do is call 727-571-9999.

How much does it cost to bail out of jail for DUI?

In Florida, for a first-time DUI offense bail will be set at $1,000. A second offense is $5,000. But, don’t expect to get out of jail immediately after a DUI arrest. You’re going to have to sober up first. You’ll likely remain in jail for eight to 12 hours as your BAC levels drop to a level acceptable for release.

How likely is jail time for first DUI?

In Florida, if you’re convicted of DUI, it’s not unusual for even first-time offenders to receive a jail sentence. Jail time is especially likely if you refused to take a breath test or a crash was involved.

Jail sentences for first-offense DUI include:

  • With no crash involved up to six months when you refuse a breath test or your BAC is below 0.15. You are considered DUI if your BAC is 0.08 or higher.
  • A sentence of up to nine months is possible for a BAC of 0.15 or higher or if you had a minor in the car.
  • If a crash was involved, you can receive up to 12 months of jail time.

A DUI arrest in Florida will have you waiting in jail for several hours as you sober up before DUI bail can be posted.

Will a first time DUI ruin my life?

While a DUI, like other criminal offenses, can impact your life in some negative ways, your life will not be ruined. Although you could end up in jail, even for a first-time offense, or even lose your license, you can get past this charge, especially if you stay out of trouble and fulfill all obligations set down by the court if convicted, especially attending any court-ordered rehab sessions.

After you’ve posted DUI bail, if you don’t have an attorney, you should get one to help you with your case. Attorneys can help you get charges or sentences reduced and can guide you through the process. With an attorney on your side, you have a better chance of getting the charges dropped in certain circumstances.

If you’re seeking employment and the charges come up in a background check, you should always be honest with your potential employer. Most people will understand that DUIs especially are mistakes in judgment most people are able to get past and move forward with their lives afterward.

Does a DUI make you a bad person?

Having a DUI on your record doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. DUIs are fairly common and often the worst offense your average person commits. What this means is that you made a really terrible decision that, hopefully, you’ll never make again. This does not mean others won’t judge you. They may, and it could affect aspects of your life from personal relationships to jobs.

DUI released without bail

While in Florida, you will have to remain in jail until your BAC has reached an acceptable level for your release, a judge will set bail after that. For a first-time offender, DUI bail is normally set at $1,000, but a judge also has an option to release you without bail, or on your own recognizance. This means you’ll sign an agreement to appear for all court hearings. You will also have to follow certain conditions set down by the court which might include maintaining employment or even beginning alcohol rehab. Recognizance releases are entirely up to the court.

DUI while out on bail

If you’ve been bailed out of jail for any offense, and then are arrested for another offense, it’s very likely your bail will be revoked. This is especially true for a DUI because avoiding alcohol or drugs while out on bail is often a condition of your bail agreement. Moreover, not only will you have to make it to your court appearance for the first offense, but you’ll also have to appear in court for the second offense. Depending on the circumstances, it’s harder to get bail for the second offense or if bail is granted, the amount will probably be much higher than normal and the conditions much stricter.

Bail for DUI manslaughter

When you drive under the influence, crash, and kill someone, you’ve committed a very serious offense—DUI manslaughter. At the very minimum DUI bail for this offense is $20,000. It’s often set much higher.

A Man Arrested for DUI.

DUI bail in Florida

If you’ve been arrested for DUI and need help fast with DUI bail in St. Petersburg, FL, you can always rely on Al Estes Bail Bonds. We will get you the help you need and we’re available 24/7. Give us a call at 727-571-9999.

What are the 2 types of arrests?

arrest and fingerprints

What is an arrest and when does it occur?

The word arrest can be scary for most people, regardless why.  So many things start going through the arrested person’s mind, depending on where they were and who they were with.  Being under arrest or detained at work, at home, at a traffic accident, and if your kids are with you, what are thinking? You’re scared, imagine how a child feels when they don’t understand what’s happening. 

For something minor, you have to wonder was an arrest necessary, is an arrest not mandatory? Can law enforcement arrest without warrant? So many questions, so many concerns, that small word, arrest. It can create a lot of issues, but then if you weren’t doing something against the law, it wouldn’t be an issue, right? 

An arrest is happening when law enforcement says, “You’re under arrest”, but the actions an officer can take are considered an arrest too. The determining factor of when somebody is being placed under arrest will be if evidence was seized or any statements made that will be admissible in a trial.  A court will consider any of the following four factors to determine whether a person has actually been arrested: 

1. A Reasonable Person Doesn’t Feel Free to Leave

The extent to which a person’s freedom of movement is curtailed by what degree and manner of force is used. 

2. Physical Restraint is Not Required for an Arrest

Physical restraint by law enforcement is definitely considered being arrested, as to the words “you’re under arrest”, there are other forms of arrest that expressed statement and physical restraint are not included. 

3. A Show of Force by Law Enforcement

Seizure justified by specific standards can become an arrest that may require probable cause if other than momentary. An example when an accused is ordered to halt and lie face down, would amount to an arrest, not temporarily detained. 

4. Passage of Time Converts Detained to an Arrest

The accused believes being detained for a period of time, not free to leave, could consider they are under arrest without force.

What do they say when they arrest you?

Usually, law enforcement will state something to the effect of “You’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. If you waive these rights and talk to us, anything you say can and will be used against you in court.”  Sometimes, the first sentence may be “You’re being arrested for ……” with the reason of the arrest stated and then remaining part of that about an attorney, any you say, etc., etc. 

What happens when you are under arrest? And What is the arrest procedure?

Being placed under arrest is scary and what takes place from your arrest to sentencing process can be confusing. Each city, county, state may have some different procedures. The cause and the timing of the arrest can vary as well, but these are the basics when a person is placed under arrest: 

  • When a person is stopped or approached by law enforcement, they maybe frisked by the arresting officer. This is often referred to as a “pat-down” where the officer pats down over the arrested person’s outer clothing in search of concealed weapons or other illegal matter like illegal drugs or paraphernalia, contraband, stolen items, or crime evidence. A complete search will typically take place once the person is being booked into jail. 
  • If the arrest happens after a traffic stop and the arrested person was driving, the vehicle is impounded. 
  • Once at the police stating, any personal property like jewelry and money are taken and secured, tagged with name, date, and case number or inmate number. The arrested person is asked to review the items and sign a statement of inventory if all contents appear to be what was on their person. 
  • After the arrest, the transport to jail, the personal items removed and inventoried, the person is then booked where the arresting officer or clerk will ask basic personal information such as name, address, and date of birth. The person is then fingerprinted and photographed. 
  • If the person is being arrested under suspicion of a crime, they may be asked to join a line-up. This is when a victim or witness is asked to identify a person that accosted, robbed, raped, or as part of a criminal act. A handwriting sample may be requested as well.
  • If a person is detained without being formally charged or booked within a reasonable time, a lawyer can request a writ of habeas corpus by a judge. This instructs the law enforcement agency to present the person before the judge and a determination will be made whether charges should be filed, or the person is free to go.  

The Process Post-Booking Process

  • After the arrest and booking is completed, the prosecutor is given the case and a decision is made from that office what charges are to be filed and pursued. The arrested person is guaranteed a right to a speedy trial under federal law. This gives the prosecution office 48 to 72 hours to file charges or release the person.  
  • Next, and arraignment is held. This is where the arrested person hears the charges being filed against them and they are giving the opportunity to state if they plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. 
  • The arraignment judge will then either set bail, deny bail, or in some cases, release the person based on evidence and situation.  A court date will be set, and the arrest person will be required to be present, with or without their attorney. (With an attorney is always recommended). 
arrested individual

Is Resisting arrest a misdemeanor or felony?

Currently, in the state of Florida, resisting arrest without violence, the conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty fine of $1,000.00  and up to twelve months in jail. Resisting arrest with violence, the conviction is a third-degree felony with a $5,000  maximum fine. If resisting arrest conviction is upheld, the penalty could be five years in prison or a maximum of five years on probation.

Arrest is not a word that anyone wants to hear, as related to themselves or anyone they know. It is a dramatic time that changes a person’s life as well as those around them. Seeking the advice of a criminal attorney should be the number one step taken when a person has been arrested. There are going to be many things that having an attorney present and representing can clarify and make sure the arrested person’s constitutional rights are honored and upheld. Call 727-571-9999 today for your bail needs.

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?

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.

misdemeanor

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

Employment

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.

arrested

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