How did my bond get set so high?

Peter D Aiken 941-366-3506
Peter D Aiken

If your son, daughter or loved one has been arrested in Sarasota or Bradenton you may find that the bail bond set by the judge seems unreasonable and out of reach.

The purpose of bond is to guarantee a person’s appearance at a later Court proceeding.

In reality, some of the judges use bond as a form of punishment, even before a person is convicted. Prosecutors often recommend high bonds to keep a person in jail before a conviction. As a Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney, I handled a case not long ago where a local judge set a half million dollar bond on a doctor. Obviously, the local doctor was no flight risk. He had a home and practice here and was not even remotely going to fail to show up. The high bond resulted in the doctor having to post a clearly excessive bond or sit in jail for weeks waiting for a bond reduction hearing. The doctor ended up spending $50,000 in bond premium to a bondsman simply to get out.

If a loved one gets arrested, it is critical that they have a good lawyer at their first appearance hearing. Here in Sarasota, the first appearance hearings are held at 1:00 each day at the jail.  What should matter to the judge is a person’s ties to the community. How long have they lived here? Do they own property here? Have they ever missed a prior Court appearance? Do they have relatives here? Do they have a job?

I have seen local judges set unreasonable bonds in domestic violence cases, not because the person is a risk of flight but because of the nature of the charge. The person then has to either sit in jail or wait for a bond reduction hearing that can take a week or so. That is why it is critical that the bond is addressed at the very first hearing. I have been practicing for over thirty years and have seen the “bond” situation abused more times than you can imagine.

If a loved one just got arrested and you are talking to a bondsman about bail bond, call a lawyer first. Getting the bond set low can save you a bundle. Call Peter D Aiken at 941 366 3506