Defending Your Rights
If you are arrested in Jacksonville, Clay County, Nassau County, or St. Johns County, the first priority is jail release. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to be at your first appearance to argue for you to be Released on your own Recognizance or for the judge to set a reasonable bond.
If your bond is already set, there are ways to attempt to get that bond lowered. Our Jacksonville Bond Attorney files Motions to Reduce Bond to get the bond amount reduced so you can fight your charges while out of jail. At The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A., we also attempt to get the state attorney’s office to agree with a bond reduction for you.
When you are arrested on criminal charges in Florida, you are entitled to be taken in front of a judge within 24 hours of your arrest. The state attorney’s office has a lawyer there as well as the office of the public defender. If you have hired a private Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, that attorney can be there as well. At your first appearance in front of the judge, the judge will advise you of the charges against you, tell you that you are not required to say anything and if you do choose to speak, anything you say can be used against you.
The court may require a bond, or payment, for you to be released. There are two reasons the court sets a monetary bond:
- To assure your appearance in court.
- To protect the community from danger.
The Court will consider the nature and circumstances of your criminal charges, the potential penalties, the weight of the evidence against you, your family ties to the community where you were arrested (Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County, St. Johns County), the nature and circumstances of your criminal charges, the potential penalties, the weight of the evidence against you, your family ties to the community where you were arrested (Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County, St. Johns County), our time living in the community, your employment history, your financial means, your need for drug treatment, your criminal history (if any), any prior failure to appear in court, and whether or not you are currently on probation in Jacksonville or anywhere else.
When you pay a bond, you are released from jail until your case is finished. Depending on the type of bond you post, you may also get the money you paid returned to you at the end of your case. The bondsman assumes, for a fee, the risk of failing to appear in court. Any failure to appear in court can effect your freedom and your pending criminal case. Also, if you do not come to a court date you are required to attend, the state attorney’s office can file a new crime of "Bond Jumping", a third degree felony.