Bail Hearings (continued)
In certain serious cases bonds will not be granted by a trial court if proof of guilt is evident and the presumption of guilt is great; this standard of proof is set forth in the seminal case of State v. Arthur and hearings to obtain bonds in such cases (usually first degree murder cases and other serious crimes) are referred to as Arthur hearings.
Finally bonds may also be granted after conviction is certain standards are met ; specifically defense counsel must show after conviction of a felony that the appeal is taken in good faith on grounds fairly debatable, and not frivolous.
In the Federal courts the right to bail is governed by Title 18 United States Code section 3141 et. seq. A defendant in a federal criminal case may be released on bail or detained prior to trial; frequently therefor bail hearings in the federal courts are referred to as pre trial detention hearings.
Generally United States Magistrate Judges conduct most pre trial detention hearings; After a conviction either a United States District Court Judge or Circuit Court Appellate Judge may also grant an application for bond in appropriate circumstances.
When a defendant is charged with a federal crime a United States Magistrate Judge may release a defendant on his own recognizance, grant a bond with conditions or hold a defendant in pre trial or temporary detention.
In cases involving crimes of violence, drug crimes with certain minimum mandatory sentences, or other serious matters there is a rebuttable presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of a defendant and such person may be detained pre trial; It is up to skilled trial counsel to therefore present sufficient evidence to overcome this presumption and in an appropriate case try to obtain a bond for his client pending trial.
Counsel should therefore be conversant with the factors federal trial and appellate courts consider when granting a bond, much like the factors considered by state courts. These factors include the nature and circumstances of the offense charged the weight of the evidence against the person and the history and characteristics of the person including the person's character and overall criminal history. Additionally, taken into consideration of their present and past mental and physical state, occupational history, the amount of time residing in their current community particularly at the same address, connection to their family and the nature of these relationships, monetary assets, prior behavior if previously involved in court proceedings, the defendant’s overall past, relating to alcohol or substance abuse; summing it up whether the defendant can be labeled a community threat or flight risk.
In addition to the foregoing bond may be granted pending appeal or post-conviction if the defense files an appeal which is not filed for purposes of postponement and increases a considerable question of law or element probable to result in a reversal, a directive for a new trial, a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment or a reduced sentence.Criminal Law in Florida
Protect Your Constitutional Rights
When you need an experienced and committed defense lawyer you can trust in Southern Florida, contact the criminal defense law firm of Michael B. Cohen, P.A. online or call 954.928.0059 or 561.366.8200.