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Florida’s Rules for Pretrial Detention

The accused can be detained on a pre-trial basis if the court believes that there are no conditions of release that can reasonably:

  • protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons;
  • assure the presence of the accused at trial;
  • assure the integrity of the judicial process.

Section 907.041(4)(g), F.S., provides that the state attorney has the burden of showing the need for pretrial detention.

Attorney for Pretrial Detention Hearings in Florida

If you are accused of a serious criminal offense or violation of probation, then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to represent you at the first appearance court or during any pretrial detention hearing.

Our criminal defense attorney represent clients at all stage of the criminal case including the pre-arrest investigation, first appearance court, during any Nebbia hearing to show the source of funds, at pre-trial conference, motions to suppress or exclude hearings, during pre-trial negotiations, at trial, during a direct criminal appeal or post conviction proceeding. 

Our main offices are located in downtown Tampa, FL, near the courthouse. We also have a second office in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL, across from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

Let us put our experience to work for you, call 813-250-0500 today.


When the Defendant Can Be Detained without Bond

The defendant may be detained on a pretrial basis if the court finds with substantial probability, based on a defendant's history, that any of the following circumstances exist including:

  • The defendant was on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence or on pretrial release for a dangerous crime at the time the current offense was committed;
  • The defendant, with the intent to obstruct the judicial process, has threatened, intimidated, or injured any victim, potential witness, juror, or judicial officer, or has attempted or conspired to do so, and that no condition of release will reasonably prevent the obstruction of the judicial process;
  • The defendant is charged with DUI manslaughter, as defined by s. 316.193, F.S., and that there is a substantial probability that the defendant committed the crime and that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community, which can be supported by a finding that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community based upon the presence of any of the following:
    • The defendant has previously been convicted of any crime under s. 316.193, F.S., or of any crime in any other state or territory of the United States that is substantially similar to any crime under s. 316.193, F.S.;
    • The defendant was driving with a suspended driver license when the charged crime was committed; or
    • The defendant has previously been found guilty of, or has had adjudication of guilt withheld for, driving while the defendant’s driver license was suspended or revoked in violation of s. 322.34, F.S.

An arresting agency is required to notify the state attorney when a person is arrested for a crime for which pretrial detention could be ordered. 

As provided in Section 907.041(4)(d), F.S., the law requires that the arresting agency notify the state attorney of the specified information related to the offense, evidence, and the defendant's criminal history and ties to the community.


The Prosecutor's Motion Seeking Pretrial Detention

The arresting agency is authorized to detain such a defendant for up to 24 hours before the state attorney files a motion seeking pretrial detention. The pretrial detention hearing must be held within five days of the filing by the state attorney of a complaint to seek pretrial detention and the defendant may be detained pending the hearing.

As provided in Section 907.041(4)(e), F.S., the defendant may request a continuance, but the continuance may not be more than five days unless there are extenuating circumstances. The state attorney is entitled to one continuance for good cause.

For the hearing to determine whether the defendant will be detained pretrial, the defendant is entitled to be represented by counsel, to present witnesses and evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses. The court may admit relevant evidence without complying with the rules of evidence, but evidence secured in violation of the Constitution is not admissible at the hearing.

Any testimony provided by the defendant cannot be admitted to prove guilt at any other judicial proceeding, but such testimony may be admitted in an action for perjury, based upon the defendant's statements made at the pretrial detention hearing, or for impeachment as provided in Section 907.041(4)(h), F.S.

The pretrial detention order of the court must be based solely upon evidence produced at the hearing and be justified by findings of fact and conclusions of law. The order must be made in writing or orally on the record within 24 hours of the pretrial detention hearing as provided in Section 907.041(4)(i), F.S.


This article was last updated on Friday, October 26, 2018.