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What do you do when someone you know has been arrested?

You have a few options depending on the charges. The good news, is that the majority of people arrested are able to get out, the bad news is it can take some time.

When a person is arrested, the police take them to the police station to fill out paperwork. This can take some time. Once the police have the paperwork ready, they will transport the person to the main jail. Every county in Florida has a main jail where all new arrests are processed. Once a person is to this jail, they are given a jail number, a case number and what is called a standard bond. This is when a person can first be bonded out of jail.

In State Court there are basically two ways to post a bond. Directly with the jail or through a bondsman. A bondsman will ask for a percentage of the bond from the person paying for the bond, this is generally not refundable. The bondsman will also ask for collateral for the bond. Collateral is basically lien on property for the full amount of the bond. It can be a house, car or other property. If the person arrested skips town, the bondsman will take the property to pay the bond. The benefit of a bondsman is you only have to pay part of the bond, not the full amount.

You can also bond a person out by paying the full bond, plus some fees, directly to the jail. The benefit of paying directly is that when the case is over, you will get your money back minus the fees you paid.

Many people will qualify for some form of what is called “pretrial release.” This is a way to be released from jail without having to post a bond. This may appear to be the best option since it costs the least, however many counties impose onerous conditions as a requirement for pretrial release. It may require weekly check ins, drugs tests or other conditions. Sometimes it is easier to just post a bond. The conditions can get expensive and be time consuming.

Sometimes, a person arrested will not be bondable. There can be a few reasons for this:

  1. The charges are so serious that they qualify for no bond. An attorney will be needed to ask for a bond hearing, commonly called an “Arthur Hearing,” to request a bond. This can take a few weeks.

  2. There is an immigration hold.

  3. The arrested person was on probation or had another case.

  4. The arrest was for a domestic violence charge, the arrested will have to wait to appear before a judge before being able to post a bond.

  5. A DUI arrest, by statute, the jail will hold the person for several hours before releasing them to ensure they have sobered up and won’t drive after being released.

  6. There is an out of state hold or a fugitive warrant from another jurisdiction.

If someone you know was arrested you can look them up here:

Warrant Search:

A warrant is issued when a law enforcement agency, or court, want someone taken to jail. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement allows people to do a statewide warrant search. A word of caution, not all warrants will appear in this search. Many warrants are under seal and will not appear in this search. Arrest warrants for a crime that has been investigated will not usually appear in this search. This database is limited to warrants reported to it.