The Release of Inmates Due to COVID-19
By Attorney Daveta Williams
As the coronavirus continues to spread, and the numbers continue to increase within the State of Florida and throughout the U.S., many families are concerned and on edge as it relates to the incarceration of their family and loved ones. Families of incarcerated inmates are left worried, concerned, and unsure of what protocol is being followed as it relates to correctional facilities dealing with the virus. During this time of great concern, the Florida Department of Corrections advised that they are taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus. However, families are still concerned and are unsure of what their next step is in helping their loved ones.
Throughout the State of Florida, many counties have enacted or are beginning to administer orders that call for the release of inmates and have issued orders to law enforcement agencies to avoid certain arrests, such as driving while license suspended and other low-level (nonviolent) arrests. Counties such as Orange County, Hillsborough County, Volusia County, St. John County, Lake County, among others, have begun to release inmates who are charged with low-level (nonviolent) offenses in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If you have a loved one who is currently incarcerated and specifically, incarcerated and unrepresented, I am sure you are wondering what it is that you can do to help your loved one or family member.
When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they appear before a judge for initial appearance who will determine probable cause and whether to issue a bond. It is important during this time to have representation. There are different types of bonds that a Court can issue, such as monetary and nonmonetary bonds. Nonmonetary bonds are conditions such as release on his/her own recognizance (“ROR”) or pretrial release (“PTR”). Oftentimes, a person may be released ROR if probable cause was not established at the initial appearance. A person may be released PTR, and without the need to post a monetary bond, if the person has a lack or no criminal history, the arrest is a low-level (or nonviolent) offense, and the court considers other factors, such as ties to the community.
Here at Gans Law, we can make an argument on your family member or loved one’s behalf via a bond motion. If your family member or loved one does not have a bond due to a violation of probation, or as a result of obtaining a new arrest while out on release for pending charges, we can still be of assistance to you through alternative methods. Not only are we here to help you by filing a Bond Motion, but we are here to assist and zealously advocate on behalf of your family member or loved one through the closure of their case.
If this is your situation and you find yourself not sure of what to do next for your family member or loved one, or if you wish to discuss alternative options and representation, we are here to help.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is subject to change as things continue to progress or digress with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Court procedures are constantly changing, and each case is assessed on a case by case basis. To receive a consultation as to an individual case, in real-time, please contact our office.