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How Does a Bail Bond Work?

The Bail Bonds Process Can Make Circumstances Easier for Defendants

How Does a Bail Bond Work?

Bail services play a crucial role in the justice process. While paying bail to get out of jail may seem like a straightforward process, there are some nuances that should be understood. The essential idea behind bail is that someone else pays money to a bail bondsman in exchange for the jailed person’s freedom. State laws are used to determine what bail amounts are appropriate for each crime and whether or not police can release a defendant without them posting bail. Because the process is based upon prescribed laws, such laws dictate the actions of the law force, including the presiding judge.

What Does a Bail Bond Mean?

Bail or bond are the terms used to describe the amount of money in cash, property or surety that is used for the purpose of ensuring that a defendant attends all appearances in court. The bond process ensures that the defendant will be released from jail as soon as they have completed all of their mandatory tasks. 

How Do Bail Bondsman Make Money?

During the bail process, the suspect or defendant pays the bail bond company a fee of ten percent of their bail in order to be released from jail. As long as the person shows up in court as scheduled, the bail bondsman is refunded the money that they put up for the defendant. The bail bondsman will be entitled to keep the ten percent that the defendant gave them as their fee.

Do You Get Bail Money Back if Guilty?

In circumstances where the defendant paid cash bail to the court, the money will be returned to them after the defendant has arrived on time and on schedule for all appearances in court. In scenarios where the defendant is found not guilty, the bond is discharged. When the defendant pleads guilty the bond is discharged at the time of sentencing. 

Do You Get Your Money Back When You Use a Bail Bondsman?

The bondsman is not responsible for returning any money for bonding the suspect or defendant. It does not matter whether or not the defendant is guilty. If, on the other hand, the defendant paid directly to the court, he or she will receive a full refund. When a bail bondsman is involved, the full refund will be reduced. In order for the bail bondsman to acquire the money, he or she will have to keep an eye on the suspect’s case.

Can Bail Bonds Check for Warrants

Bail bonds in Clearwater, FL can greatly assist defendants who are seeking a respite from jail. If you do have a warrant attached to your name, it is entirely possible for a police officer to arrest you at a traffic stop, regardless of whether or not you are committing a crime at the time. If you believe you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you can easily contact your local bondsman to determine whether or not you have a warrant out. If there is a question, it’s always a safe idea to request confirmation. 

Are Bail Bonds Open on Weekends

If you have been arrested on a weekend, and need bail bond assistance, there is assistance. Unfortunately, not all bail bond companies are available after hours or on weekends. Thus, it will be important to do an internet search or ask for a referral from a friend or colleague. A 24/7 bail bond agency may also be available on holidays, however, it will be important to call and confirm that they can provide the necessary assistance.

Bail Bonds Are A Process Supported by the Justice System

What are 24 Hour Bail Bonds

If a defendant is detained by law enforcement, it will be important to contact a bail bond agency as soon as possible. If you have been arrested early in the morning or in the darkness of night, a 24-hour bond agency can provide help. After all, the sooner that a defendant can get out of jail, the sooner they can begin to work on their case. When a defendant spends time and effort on their case, they have a higher likelihood of receiving a favorable outcome.

Bail vs Bond Difference

There are some distinct differences between bail and bond. Please browse through the following list to find out more.

  • Bail is described as the money that a defendant or suspect must pay in exchange for their freedom from jail.
  • Bond is the term used to describe what has been posted on a defendant’s behalf. If the defendant fails to appear in court or violates the terms of their release, the defendant must forfeit the amount of money they paid for their bond.

Our company can help you with your bail bonds. Our staff at James Brennan Bail Bonds are ready to take your phone call at __PHONE__. Discover more about what our bail bonds in Clearwater, FL can do for you!

Will I Go to Jail for First Offense Petty Theft?

Theft Charges are in Store for Pick-Pocketer

What are the Different Types of Theft Charges?

Believe it or not, there are many different types of theft charges. These charges range in seriousness and circumstance. Robbery is a theft that involves the use of violence, intimidation, or threats to obtain property. Armed robbery involves the use of a gun, knife or another weapon to obtain property. Embezzlement is known as white-collar crime and is the theft of assets (money or property) by a person who has been entrusted with those assets. Fraud is stealing that involves convincing the victim to surrender their money or property under false pretenses. Shoplifting involves stealing goods from a retail establishment.

How Much is a Theft Charge?

The penalties and sentences for theft vacillate from minor to severe. Inevitably, a number of different factors come into play. Where was the crime committed? Depending on the state where the crime was committed, the punishment will vary. The more severe the crime, the more severe punishment, and associated penalties.

Do First Time Offenders Go to Jail?

As previously stipulated, depending on the severity of the infraction, the defendant may or may not go to jail. If it is the first offense, the punishment may be as lax as a diversion program, probation, or community service. Since petty theft is, at the very least, a misdemeanor, it can be a fine and up to one year in jail may be levied.

What Happens When You Get Charged with Theft?

When the defendant is charged with theft, the seriousness of the offense will impact whether or not fines and jail time will be levied. At a level of five theft, or if the stolen property is valued at over one-hundred thousand dollars, the defendant can safely assume that they are going to jail.

Can Petty Theft Charges Be Dropped?

In order to get petty theft charges dropped, it’s important to consult a criminal defense attorney. He or she will be able to inform you about your chances of getting a petty theft charge dropped, or expunged from the record. If, for instance, the theft was accidental, such as placing the sunglasses in a pocket instead of a shopping cart, your attorney may be able to safely argue on your behalf. Once again, the severity of the crime and the evidence of intention will either be for your benefit or to your disadvantage.

Theft Charges for Shoplifting

Theft charges are no laughing matter. Petty theft, and by extension, the crime of shoplifting, are considered misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are crimes but are not as serious as felonies. This means that if a defendant is convicted, they face the possibility of jail time. Jail is not the same as a state prison, which is reserved for more serious criminals. Convicted defendants may also face a fine of up to one or two thousand dollars.

Theft Charges by Amount

Depending on the severity of the amount taken, the theft charges vary. The three main categories of theft include petty theft, grand theft, and grand felony theft. Petty theft is executed in cases where the property of relatively low value is stolen. The specific dollar figure ranges from state to state, but the upper end is $500 to $1,000. Grand Theft is the next tier. Grand Theft exceeds the dollar amount of petty theft. Grand Felony Theft is based upon the determination that the threshold dollar amount has been met or exceeded. Once again, the variances depend on the state where the crime was committed. Grand Felony Theft means that the defendant is being charged with a felony, wherein the other two categories the defendant can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Theft Charges and Employment

A retail theft conviction does not necessarily mean that an employer won’t hire you. However, the relationship between yourself and your employer needs to be established on a basis of trust. Displaying that such infractions are behind you and that you have learned from them will help you go far in terms of becoming employed once again.

Theft vs Larceny

There are some significant differences between theft and larceny. Please consult the following bullet points about how larceny is defined to learn more. Larceny involves four elements:

  1. An unlawful taking and carrying away.
  2. The property belongs to someone else.
  3. The property was taken without the other person’s consent.
  4. Larceny is an attempt to lastingly deprive the owner of their property.

In addition to these four distinctions, larceny crimes are usually filed according to the fair market value of the personal property that has been stolen. If the value is small, the crime is titled ‘petty larceny.’ If the value is large, the crime is titled ‘grand larceny.’

If you have theft charges in Clearwater, FL, call James Brennan Bail Bonds at 727-531-5000 to speak with our staff about making an appointment today!

What’s a DUI Charge?

Man Driving Drunk About to Be Charged with a DUI Bail

Dealing With a DUI

Driving drunk is a serious offense for several important reasons. Here in Florida, and in most states, a driver considered to be deprived of all normal faculties is to be considered under the influence. Without normal faculties such as observation, perception, and reaction you pose a life-threatening risk to yourself and others. In recent years, Florida lawmakers have begun cracking down, issuing great punishments and penalties for driving under the influence. If you have been arrested for a DUI charge and need assistance with a DUI bail in Clearwater, FL, contact James Brennan Bail Bonds. We provide 24-hour service for our clients. Call (727) 531-5000 or more information.

Image of Gavel, Alcohol, and Car Keys for a DUI Bail Charge

What is a DUI and Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

A DUI, driving under the influence, is a charge against drivers that are caught driving under the influence of alcohol. When stopped, if a driver is suspected of being drunk, they will be asked to participate in a breathalyzer test. If your BAC, blood alcohol content, is less than .07% then you may get off with a warning, but anything higher than .08% will result in an arrest and charge.

Being charged with a DUI is a very serious offense. In the state of Florida, that charge will never leave your record. It will remain there for 75 years, affecting background checks, insurance premiums, and more. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI and need bail services, contact James Brennan Bail Bonds. We can help if you or someone you know is in need of bail for a DUI or even for a theft charge bail. The only time we can’t help you is when there is a DUI without bail. Our goal and our services are to provide you a chance to get back on your feet so you can better defend yourself in court. We are in no position to judge you or condemn you for your actions. We just want to make sure you have a fair chance in court.

Many want to know, can you refuse a breathalyzer? The test is voluntarily, but there are serious consequences for refusal. In Florida, refusing to take the test will result in a mandatory license suspension. If you have any previous suspensions on your license, then you run the risk of facing misdemeanor charges on top of the suspension. We highly recommend taking the breathalyzer test.

Bail for a DUI Charge?

If you are stopped for driving drunk and your BAC is .08% or higher, then you can be arrested, jailed, and charged in the courts. How much is DUI bail? In Florida, your penalty for driving drunk can get all the way up to $1,000. If it is your first offense and you are only being charged for drunk driving, and nothing else, then your fine may only be around $500. For help with bail, call James Brennan Bail Bonds. We ask for a small percentage to help get you out of jail. Once that is paid, we can help you with the rest.

It is important to note that these amounts and charges can change drastically if you are charged with another DUI while on bail for a current DUI charge. At that point, the state could view you as a threat to public safety and increase your jail time from 6 months to several years. We’ve said it once already, but DUI charges are serious offenses that need to be taken seriously.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens when you get a DUI for the first time? – You will be asked to take a breathalyzer test, arrested, processed, and jailed. Then a court hearing will be scheduled, for which you need to be present, where a conviction will be settled. During the hearing is when you’ll learn if your license will be suspended, what you owe in penalties, and more.
  • How long do you have to stay in jail for a DUI? – Jail time for a first offence is usually no more than 6 months, if your BAC is between .08% and .14%. If your BAC is .15% or higher, then jail time increases to nine months.
  • Do you always lose your license after a DUI? – In Florida, you will lose your license due to a DUI if your BAC is .08% or higher. Your license may not be suspended or revoked if your BAC is lower than that, but every circumstance is different.
  • What happens if you refuse a DUI test? – Refusing to take a breathalyzer test in Florida will result in a mandatory license suspension. You will also automatically be arrested, processed and jailed until bail can be posted. We highly recommend volunteering to take the breathalyzer test. 
  • How long is a DUI on your record? – In the state of Florida, a DUI will stay on your record for 75 years. It cannot be expunged from your record, either. A DUI charge will stay with you for your life.
Man Refusing Breathalyzer to be Charged With DUI Bail

Connect With James Brennan Bail Bonds To Address a Bail Bond Today

When you or a loved one is charged with drunk driving and is facing DUI bail in Clearwater, FL, look no further than James Brennan Bail Bonds. We are the bail bonds company that can help you 24/7. Reach out to us at (727) 531-5000 to get started.

How Do You Bond Someone Out of Jail?

Getting bailed out of jail usually requires the help of a bail bonds agent.

Bail process explained

Jail is one of the last places you want to be. But, if you’ve been arrested for a criminal offense and taken into police custody you will be booked and jailed. Once you are jailed, your release before you appear in court for your offense usually will depend on whether or not you can post bail, or the amount of money the court sets for your release.

After you are jailed, you will go through a bail process to get released. You’ll first be booked into police custody, where your personal information, fingerprints and photographs are taken, and the offense is recorded. After that, you’ll go through arraignment. During the arraignment, you are read formal charges and given a chance to arrange your release. Authorities primarily want to know if you will show up for court dates. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, your record, or whether you are a danger or flight risk, you may be released on your own recognizance.

For some cases, the written promise to appear in court needs to be backed up with bail, as a financial guarantee to appear in court. In some cases, if you have violated your probation you will be ineligible for bail. However, if you have a probation violation in Clearwater, FL, James Brennan Bail Bonds may be able to help.

How is bail set?

Bail proceedings may differ somewhat for each court, but bail is generally determined through a similar process like that listed below. A bail hearing is held and during the hearing the court will determine bail based on these factors:

  • Seriousness of the offense
  • Physical and mental condition
  • Financial resources
  • Family ties
  • History of drug and alcohol
  • Criminal history
  • Previous record for appearing at court
  • How long you’ve lived in the community

Can you bail yourself out of jail?

Yes. If you are able to pay cash, you can bail yourself out. You can also post bail yourself with a property bond. Both can be forfeited if you fail to appear in court. If you make all court appearances, your bail will be refunded.

Cash bail process

Bail must be paid for in cash or with a money order or cashier’s check, so to bail yourself out you must have the bail amount available in cash on hand.

A bail bond agent charges 10% to 20% of the bail amount as a fee.

How does a bail bond work?

If you cannot afford to post bail yourself, you usually have to go to a bail bond agent who helps you finance your bail. To find an agent, you may need to do some research online for someone nearby.

Bail bonds process

Usually, your bond is posted by a friend or family member. The bond agent usually charges 10% to 20% of the total bail as a fee and agrees to the pay the court if you fail to appear in court.

If you have good credit, are a long-time resident of the community, have a stable job, and this is the first offense, you can also pay a bail bond yourself, but the bond is usually posted by a friend or family member.

Do you get money back from bail bondsman?

Normally, when you bond out of jail with a bail bonds agent, the bondsman will write a surety bond, which pays a percentage amount of the bail. The percentage you pay to a bail bondsman is non-refundable. It is the fee the bondsman receives to ensure you make all required court appearances.

Your bail will be returned if you pay cash and make all court appearances. If you fail to show up, the money you’ve paid is forfeited. Similarly, if you’ve secured a property bond for the bail, if you fail to make your court appearance, the property will get seized by the court.

What happens if you bond someone out and they run?

Anyone signing a bail bond contract to bail someone out of jail is held legally responsible, along with the bail bonds agent, to see that the defendant shows up to all required court appearances. While a failure to appear for problems such as car trouble can usually be resolved with a phone call. However, if the defendant willfully fails to show or goes on the run, you and the bonding agent are responsible for getting that person to court.

Bonding agents can enlist a fugitive recovery person or bounty hunter to apprehend someone who has run. If the defendant hasn’t been apprehended in a certain amount of time, you are responsible for paying the full amount of the bond, along with any expenses the bond agent has incurred trying to apprehend the defendant.

Bail process timeline

Once you post bail, a defendant is usually released from jail within 6 to 8 hours. Bail hearings can also be delayed, especially if the defendant is arrested on a Friday or weekend.

Call us for help

Anytime you need help bailing someone out of jail in Clearwater, FL, give James Brennan Bail Bonds give us a call at __PHONE__.

Which is Worse a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

Felony misdemeanor charges stay on your criminal record for life.

No one wants to face a criminal charge. When it comes to convictions, many people will be faced with a felony or a misdemeanor charge, depending on the severity of the crime. If you or a loved one is dealing with any misdemeanor felony cases, it’s important to take the correct steps. Contacting a bail bondsman is critical to making sure you or your loved one is out and able to access the correct resources for defense. In the Clearwater, FL, the only bail bondsman you want to call is James Brennan Bail Bonds.

The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor has to do with the length of time served and the fee due.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

You may be wondering what the difference is between a felony and a misdemeanor. We hear them so often on the news and in cop shows, but rarely does anyone actually know what they mean. Or, more importantly, what the punishment is in regards to a felony or a misdemeanor.

In the state of Florida, felonies and misdemeanors are broken down into classifications to better help understand what the punishment should be. Generally speaking, the punishment for either a felony or a misdemeanor will result in time served as well a penalty fee due. The length of time and the amount due are what set these two apart.

What is a misdemeanor?

  • Generally a crime punishable by a year or less in a county jail as well as a fine of up to $1,000.

What is a felony?

  • A crime punishable by time served, between 5-30 years, in a state prison as well as fines of no more than $10,000
    • Third degree felony: 5 years in prison with a $5,000 fine
    • Second degree felony: up to 15 years in prison with a fine no more than $10,000
    • First degree felony: up to 30 years in prison with a fine up to $10,000

Not all misdemeanor or felony convictions will result in jail time, but felonies respectively carry the potential long imprisonment. Because of how imperative it is you know what you are facing, James Brennan Bail Bonds can help you get back on your feet to better the case for yourself.

Misdemeanor and Felony Examples

Misdemeanor examples:

  • Battery or assault
  • Theft
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Prostitution

Felony examples:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Theft of property
  • Sale of a controlled substance
  • Transmission of pornography
A person's criminal history can determine whether a felony charge is dropped to a misdemeanor.

What is a wobbler?

You may be looking at these lists of examples and thinking to yourself, “Some of those seem really similar to one another.” And you are correct. In the criminal court, there are felony misdemeanors known as wobblers. Wobblers are convictions that toe the line between felony and misdemeanor charges. That means that a misdemeanor/felony (wobbler) is punishable by time served in a county jail or state prison as well as a payable fine due. Now, this does suggest that felonies can be dropped to misdemeanor charges, which is true. Based on a person’s criminal history, if a judge believes the punishment for a felony charge does not match the crime committed, felony charges have been lowered to misdemeanor charges.

That being said, so can a misdemeanor turn into a felony. Again, based on someone’s criminal history, if there is repetitive criminal misconduct, a judge can decide to escalate the punishment as well as the charge. No matter which direction a charge sways, it does not change the fact that misdemeanor and felony charges stay on your criminal record permenantly.

How We Work

Dealing with any conviction is scary and stressful. James Brennan Bail Bonds wants to help alleviate as much of that stress as possible. Many find that during the conviction process, the numbers can really add up. Between bail, fees and fines, it can seem impossible to find the money to take care of it all. If you or a family member has been jailed with a bail set, contact James Brennan Bail Bonds as soon as possible.

All we ask is that you pay 10% of the cost of bail. In doing so, we can help you get back to your family and the resources to better defend yourself in court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many misdemeanors make a felony?

Typically, misdemeanor charges and felony charges are processed separately, however, based on a person’s criminal history misdemeanors can escalate to felonies.

Can felony charges be dropped to misdemeanors?

It all depends on the person’s previous criminal history. While it has been known to happen, this is not something to depend on as the final ruling can be at the discretion of the judge.

Does a misdemeanor mean jail time?

A misdemeanor conviction can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

What are the differences between misdemeanors and felonies?

The major differences come down to the length of time served and the penalty fee due.

Can charges be dropped after sentencing?

The short answer, no. Once a conviction has been issued and a plea determined, only a DA can drop the charges before or at a hearing. But nothing can be done after a sentencing has been ruled on.

Call James Brennan Bail Bonds at 727-531-5000 for any questions about felony charges in the Clearwater, FL. We have been serving our community for over 20 years, so we are the go-to people you want in your corner.

Staying Out of Trouble This New Year’s Eve

Celebrating Couple

Making Sure You Have a Plan On New Years Eve Is So Important.

New years eve, is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. There are a significant amount higher number of accidents on this day than many of the other days of the year. If you get a dui arrest on this day, it is almost always likely that you will spend the night in jail. Many states and counties have no refusal days where you will spend the night in jail if you are pulled over for a dui. These are the times that bail bonds companies won’t be able to bail you out, so it is important that if you plan to drink, that you stay off of the road. DUI charges seem to be a lot more strict on these holidays because more and more people are spending their time on the road after they have had too much to drink. There are no excuses for this action and arrest charges on new years eve are much more common than you think. Holiday safety is our number one priority this time of year so we will discuss a few tips that will be able to help you out this time of year. There is always a smarter way to do something even if you feel that there is no way that you will be able to get home without drinking and driving, there is always a better option.

Holiday Safety Tips

New year’s eve traditions always seem to include some kind of popping of the champagne or drinking every hour until the new year’s eve countdown begins. While this can be great fun, it can also be dangerous for those of you that do not have a plan in place to get home at the end of the night. So many people will drink on this night and then think they are okay to drive, when in reality, they are not. If you plan to be driving this night, make sure you have not been drinking; it is better to be safe than sorry. A few great tips that you should follow are: having a designated driver. Find yourself a friend that will choose to not drink throughout the night. This way you have someone who has a clear train of thought and will be able to get you home safely. You want to make sure that this person can be trusted though because many DUI stories start with, “he was supposed to be the DD, but decided to drink a few”. If you end up being the designated driver, take that responsibility seriously. Another holiday safety tip would be to plan to stay the night. If you plan to go somewhere that is not walkable to your home at the end of the night, ask to stay the night. Sleeping it off will allow you to get back to a sober state and then drive home in the morning, safely. Holiday safety tip number three, call a cab, Uber, or even places like AAA will often advertise for free pickup on new years eve. Take advantage of these types of services, they can save your life and someone else’s. A great way to avoid having to use a bail service this new years eve is to stay home. We know, we know, this sounds boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Have the party at your house and make a whole event out of it. This will keep you safe and your friends will know they have a safe place to stay if they need it. The biggest tip of all is to make sure that you have a plan. Whether you decide to go out or stay in, do not drink without having some kind of secure plan of action.

Benefits Of Staying Home

We know it might seem like the lame choice to stay home on new years eve, but when you consider the holiday safety tips above, it might just be easier to do it this way. Here are a few of our favorite reasons why you should stay home this new years eve.

  • You can go to bed as early as you want. Sometimes it’s just not fun staying up until midnight. Some people have kids or have to go to work the next morning and it isn’t all that exciting to be up that late.
  • You can drink as much as you want. When you are in the comfort of your own home, you can drink and not have to worry about making a fool of yourself or finding a reliable way to get home.
  • It’s a lot less crowded. Anywhere you go, it will be packed with people of all walks of life, so if you are not ready for that, stay home.
  • Your couch is way more comfortable than a barstool. It is great to go out and socialize with friends but on this particular night, chilling out on the couch with a movie marathon on tv can be pretty cool too.

If you end up drinking and driving and get arrested, make sure that you call James Brennan Bail Bonds at 727-531-5000 to help you out. Remember your holiday safety tips this new years eve in Clearwater, FL and have a safe new year!

Which Attorney to Hire?

When you have been charged with a felony, it’s never a good idea to go it alone. A criminal law attorney can help you mitigate your case and possibly decrease fines, jail time, and what goes on your record. But it can be difficult to find an attorney, especially if it’s your first legal experience. We’ve listed your top questions along with realistic answers that can help you find a starting point to begin getting out of trouble.

Gavel and Scale Found in Attorneys' Offices

Proper Attorney Selection is Key to Any Criminal Case.

Is an Attorney and a Lawyer the Same Thing?

When considering an attorney vs lawyer representation, rest easy. A lawyer is someone who can dispense legal advice and guidance as well as litigating in court. An attorney at law is a person who represents another in a court of law. In The United States, it is illegal to dispense legal advice without having a license to practice law. So, in this country, a lawyer and an attorney are the same things. When hiring an attorney, ensure that licensing and credentials are valid and up to date to prevent any discrepancies or hassle.

Which Attorney do I Need?

While all lawyers practice law, there are multiple focuses within the legal system for specialization such as traffic law, family law, corporate law, and many more. When you are faced with criminal felony charges, you will need the help of a criminal lawyer. These individuals focus on criminal cases only, so they are up to date and proficient on the state’s laws and guidelines. A criminal attorney is well-versed in previous cases and precedents and can guide your case in the most positive direction possible.

How do I Find an Attorney in my Area?

There are many ways to locate a good attorney in your area. Many times your bondsman can give you names of local attorneys that handle cases like yours. There are a variety of websites and programs that offer attorney location services and can help you find the best attorney for your needs. Sites like legalmatch.com guide you through an interview process to filter unhelpful matches and locate ideal options. Many people also use word of mouth to find helpful legal representation.

How do You Talk to a Lawyer?

Once you have chosen your lawyer, you will want to begin collecting facts about your case. Write down questions and concerns to bring with you each time you meet with your attorney so you can ensure you always know what’s going on. Once your attorney gathers information from you, court officials, and other members of your case, he or she will begin to explain possible scenarios and processes. These are good points to write down to keep from forgetting bits and pieces due to stress and worry. If you are unclear on a point your attorney makes, ask questions and discuss each topic until it’s fully comprehended.

Preparing for your Initial Consultation

Typically introductory consultations are 30 minutes or less and deliver a general overview of your case to the lawyer. The attorney will then discuss your possible options and avenues based on the information given. It’s crucial to deliver the most detailed and accurate information possible about your case in order to return accurate results from the lawyer. Always be prepared for our consultation and bring everything regarding your case with you.

Initial Consultation Checklist:

Attorney Visiting With a Client

Being Prepared for Your Consultation Ensure the Best Results Possible.

  • Bring copies of all documents. This may include receipts, release papers, bond agreements, or judge’s orders to name a few.
  • Take notes on everything the attorney says to ensure that details don’t get lost down the road.
  • Look Professional. Much like your day in court, dress for business.
  • Talking with your lawyer means full disclosure. Be honest and accurate when explaining the situation so your attorney can provide accurate advice.
  • Know your financial limits. When you discuss expenses, make sure the amount is doable. It’s never good to need a new lawyer in the middle of a case. Come into the meeting with a good idea of what you can afford.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away. Like your personal doctor, your attorney should be a good fit. You should feel comfortable and relaxed talking with your attorney which will help to promote accuracy in your case planning.

How do I Find a Pro Bono Lawyer?

While 24-hour bond service is convenient and can save you hassle, time gone from work, and many other problems, bonds aren’t typically cheap for felony charges. If you have found yourself in legal trouble without the finances to cover it, don’t worry. You still have options. In many cases, the courts can provide legal representation. However, there are other sites such as Super Lawyers or probono.net that can help you find a pro bono, or free of charge, lawyer in your area.

When You’re in Legal Trouble

When you find yourself the midst of felony charges in the Clearwater, FL area, the James Brennan Bail Bonds team can help you begin the process of putting it behind you. We will walk you through your bail process as well as discussing your options and pointing you in the right direction to get started. Call us today at __PHONE__ when you need bond service in Clearwater, FL.

Understanding Drug Charges and Associated Bail Pricing

Cops Talking at the Police Station

Drug Charges Can Lead to Either Misdemeanor or Felony Charges, Depending on These Factors.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for drug charge bonding in Athens, GA or Seattle, WA; drug charges carry scary consequences. When a friend or loved one is arrested on drug charges, it can create a confusing situation trying to determine potential consequences and related costs. Bail prices in particular can fluctuate based on the circumstances of the case and the substances involved. To help you make sense of the situation, here is a little guide on drug charges.

What are Misdemeanor Drug Charges?

Misdemeanor crimes carry lesser consequences than felony’s, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously. Penalties can include limited jail time, fines, and more. In every drug related crime, there are three major factors that are weighed when determining penalties and bail:

  • The Substance Involved (Type and Amount)
  • The Crime Itself (Possession, Distribution, or Trafficking)
  • The History of the Suspect

Misdemeanor charges are typically issued in situations with less tightly controlled substances, such as most prescription drugs. The only exception to this case is marijuana. First time possession charges for marijuana usually result in misdemeanors, assuming the suspect has less than an ounce on their hold.

What Constitutes a Felony Drug Charge?

Possessing a tightly controlled substance like cocaine or heroin will most likely result in serious felony charges. The penalties are even worse for distribution and trafficking charges, which could result in many years of jail time. Repeat offenses and those involving larger amounts of the substance are also more likely to end in a felony.

Ask About Our Drug Charge Bail Service!

If you have a loved one looking for drug possession bail bonds in Clearwater, FL, we’d love to help you. You can learn more about our services at James Brennan Bail Bonds and the nature of drug charges by calling __PHONE__.

Can You Pay a Warrant Without Going to Jail?

Walkthrough Warrant

Warrants Can Be Issued For Many Reasons and Take You By Surprise.

No one expects to have to deal with a warrant during their life. However, it can happen to anyone. Warrants can be issued by your court for a number of reasons, including a missed court date, a misdemeanor, and even for traffic violations. While police may not actively seek you out for arrest, it can be embarrassing if you have not been notified of your warrant to discover that you have a warrant and are under arrest when pulled over during traffic. Being arrested can lead to long drawn out procedures to get you processed and even put in jail. You need your freedom to best plan your defense and get ready for your day in court. Luckily, there is a way to expedite a warrant and get you back to your life. Walk through service can expedite dealing with an outstanding warrant, getting you processed and out the same day.

What Is a Walk Through Bail Bond?

When you first discover you have a warrant out for your arrest, looking into walkthrough services can help you get yourself ready before you turn yourself in. A walk through involves contacting a few parties prior to doing so so that they can meet you at the station and handle certain aspects of the warrant beforehand, allowing you to walk in, be processed, and walk out. The people you will need to contact are:

  • A bondsman
  • A criminal defense attorney
  • Family
  • The police station

Contacting a local bondsman allows you to hash out the details of your bail bonds needs beforehand. They can gather information from you and from the police station to discover what your bail is set at and what the best option will be for you. A criminal defense attorney can also benefit you as having them there when you arrive will allow you to make your statement safely and return home. Letting your family know about what is going on allows them to plan and find the best way to help you with the situation. Once you have your affairs in order, contacting the police station will show that not only are you coming to handle your warrant but that you are ready to work with the police and put your best foot forward. Do you need bail bonds services in Clearwater, FL? James Brennan Bail Bonds‘s bondsmen are always available to assist you with your bail bonds needs. Give us a call at 727-531-5000 to get started!

Common Types of Probation Violation

Probation Violation

A Probation Violation Can Occur for a Number of Different Reasons.

If you’ve been convicted or plead guilty to a crime, probation represents an alternative to jail. Instead of losing your freedom for a set amount of time, you’re afforded the chance to remain free under certain conditions. While the terms and strictures of probation vary with every case, the kind of behavior that describes a probation violation remains the same. If you are on probation, you will want to familiarize yourself with the following.

What Is a Probation Violation?

A probation violation occurs when you break one of the rules of your probation. Your probation officer determines whether or not a violation has occurred, and reports the situation to the court. From there, it falls under the judge’s discretion what will happen. You will either have your probation revoked entirely, have it extended or modified with tougher measures, or receive a stern warning. If your probation is revoked, you will immediately be made to serve your original jail sentence, with no credit for your time on probation.

Common Types of Probation Violation

Missed Appointments: A common term of probation is that you must attend all scheduled appointments with your probation officer, in addition to any scheduled court hearings.

Failure to Pay Fines: If you do not or cannot pay your restitution fees, court costs, and probation payments, you risk violation.

Failure to Complete Community Service: Community service is a common condition of probation. A violation will occur if you do not complete your appointed hours within the given span of time.

Unemployment: Employment represents another common term of probation. If you cannot or will not remain employed, your probation officer could report this behavior to the court.

Failed Drug Test: Many individuals have random drug or alcohol tests as a term of probation. A positive test for a disallowed substance will typically be reported to the court.

If you have been arrested for probation violation in Clearwater, FL, call James Brennan Bail Bonds at __PHONE__ as soon as you can. If a bond has been set, you can count on our expert team to arrange for your release.