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 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 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.

What to Do: Discovering an Outstanding Warrant


Make Sure to Pay Attention to the Dates and Locations of Your Court Appearances.

It’s more common than you know. Sometimes there’s a gap between when a warrant is issued and when it is served. If you’ve recently discovered an outstanding warrant for yourself or a member of your family, stay calm. With these three steps, you can take control of your crisis and address the problem in the best way possible.

Step #1: Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Attorney

Once you hear about the outstanding warrant, contact your lawyer immediately. Your attorney will make sure the warrant is valid and uncover important details about who issued it and when. Most importantly, your trusted lawyer will help you contact the court office and arrange an opportunity to meet with your court official. Sometimes this will allow you (or your family member) to avoid jail time beforehand, but your defense can also arrange the best possible time for your to go to the police (if necessary).

Step #2: Contact a Bail Bondsman

Depending on the severity of the alleged crime, you may need help from a bail bondsman. Once your attorney has informed you of your court date, ask if it would be helpful for a bondsman to join you when the bail price to be set. This will allow immediate payment of your bail and prevent potential jail time before the fee is paid.

Step #3: Take Special Note of Your Court Times

Protect yourself and your finances; make sure you arrive to your scheduled court dates on time. To do so, write down all the locations, dates, and times for your scheduled appearances, then ensure you have a trustworthy ride. Don’t forget to schedule time off with your employer!

You may feel scared about this outstanding warrant, but these three steps can help you make it through the process without any unnecessary stress. If you’d like more information about bail bonds or the arrest process, contact our team at __PHONE__.

What to Do When You Are Arrested

What to Do When You Are Arrested

If You Are Arrested, Make Sure to Consult with an Attorney as Soon as Possible.

An arrest is usually a traumatic experience. Even if the arresting officer is considerate, the stress of the occasion can lead you to make costly mistakes. Despite all the stigmas attached to an arrest, you must remain focused and pursue certain strategies to protect your freedom, innocence, and/or finances. If you’ve ever wondered what to do when you are arrested, the following tips are a good place to start.


Communication, or the lack thereof, stands as an important factor throughout an arrest. All arrested individuals receive protection under the Fifth Amendment. Beyond your name and address, or the provision of your ID, you have no obligation to speak to the police. In fact, in many cases, it remains highly beneficial to say nothing until you have an attorney present.

Remember the Details

Despite the chaotic circumstances that accompany many arrests, it will behoove you to try and remember as many details as possible. This becomes especially important if you feel the police have done something wrong. A violation of your rights or the use of excessive force can stand as important details that weigh in your favor.

Speak to an Attorney

You should make every effort to contact your attorney, or hire a new one, as soon as possible after an arrest. An attorney will help with a variety of situations, including interrogation, jail release, bail proceedings, plea bargaining, and more.

If you find yourself wondering what to do when you are arrested in Clearwater, FL, reaching out to James Brennan Bail Bonds for bail should rank highly on that list. To learn more about our services or arrange for bail, give us a call today at __PHONE__.

Posting Bail for a Friend: Reduce the Risk

Nobody likes to see a friend serve jail time. Depending on the nature of the crime, posting bail can be risky. Thankfully, there are ways you can minimize the risk to yourself. Here’s what you need to know when posting bail for a friend.

The Costs of Bail

A Lady Justice Figurine on a Bench

Lower the Risk of Paying Bail for a Friend by Driving Them to Court Appearances.

The cost of bail can vary from case to case. You’ll need to learn the details of the case, such as whether your friend has been accused of a felony crime or a misdemeanor. For a felony charge, the bail will be purposely set higher to avoid flight risks. Sometimes it can be difficult to cover the full amount of bail, so people often have to pledge personal assets or property as collateral.

Bail bonds companies have made the process more affordable for friends and family members wishing to pay for their loved one. While you do have to pay a non-refundable percentage of the bail, homeowners can avoid risking property or valuable belongings as collateral. If you are unable (or unwilling) to pay the full amount of bail, consider paying a percentage instead with the help of a bail bondsman.

Mandatory Court Appearances

Learning the location and time of all your friend’s mandatory court appearances can significantly reduce your risk. When possible, take a hands-on attitude and personally drive your friend to each of their court appearances. If your friend is scared of appearing in court, talk them through the process. It’s up to you to make sure they appear on time at court, or you may face paying the entire cost of bail.

For any additional questions about posting bail for a friend, talk to one of our staff at James Brennan Bail Bonds. We’re happy to answer all of your questions! Give us a call at __PHONE__.

3 Basic Prisoner Rights

Bail Money: Prisoner Rights

If You Have Been Arrested and Is Waiting on Bail, Their Rights Are Protected by the Constitution.

If you or a loved one has been arrested on charges of a felony or misdemeanor, you may feel like you have no freedoms or rights in the situation. This isn’t true because the United States Constitution guarantees certain rights to all citizens, including those in jail or prison. The prisoner rights guaranteed under the Eighth Amendment covers prisoners who have been convicted and are serving their sentence and those who are waiting to post bail. If you’re waiting to post bail, contact the staff at James Brennan Bail Bonds to get help as fast.

Prisoner Rights You Should Know

The two amendments that address prisoner rights are the Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment. Here are the three most basic rights they protect.

Minimum Living Standard
Every prisoner has the right to the minimum lifestyle. This guarantees them time outside each day and nutritious food that is actually edible.

Just Punishment
Under the Eighth Amendment, prisoners are protected from cruel and unusual punishment. This means that the guards or other inmates are not permitted to add punishments to the prisoners time in jail.

Reasonable Accommodations
Prisoner rights guarantee that there will be reasonable accommodations made for prisoners with disabilities or serious health concerns. This includes prisoners with diabetes and all types of physical handicaps.

Knowing your rights is important, and if you ever find yourself arrested for a crime, don’t forget about your right to post bail. Call our office at 727-531-5000 and we’ll help you navigate that process.

When is Bail Set?

Gavel Keys Home

Get Bail and Get Home

States and local region courts decide when they will arraign a defendant. That means when bail is set depends upon where a person lives. Most places try to place that person before a judge within 72 hours or less. Of course, this time frame may change depending upon how busy things are, or if it is a holiday, or weekend. However, if the charges brought against the defendant are federal, then the law requires that the person be arraigned in under 48 hours. However, this can still differ on holidays and weekends, too. Why does this matter? This arraignment is when bail is set.

Getting Bail Set Soon

Once bail is set at arraignment, then that bail amount can be posted, which means that person can get out of jail. In some cases, a person doesn’t need to wait so long. There are cases in which the bail for the crime is pre-set. This is a bail schedule, and it means that bail is posted and a defendant gets out of jail prior to seeing a judge. Without this, however, that person has to wait until he or she can see a judge.

All people have a right to see a judge, and all have the right to representation. The time frame for all these processes depends upon the court’s time. However, there are cases in which knowing your rights and what to do can help you move faster.

If you’re arrested, know your rights. Contact someone and get help with bail immediately. Call James Brennan Bail Bonds at 727-531-5000 for bail in Clearwater, FL.

If Your Child is Arrested

For most parents, children are their lives. They love them and worry over them. Being a great parent is not simple, or easy. It doesn’t guaranty that children won’t make mistakes. Young people, particularly teenagers, are impulsive and struggling to adjust to strong emotions. They may make wrong decisions, and they may get arrested. If this happens, try to stay calm, remind yourself that you can both get past the situation successfully and move on, and try to take some advice on how to handle things if your child is arrested.

Stay Calm and Reasonable

Sad Teen Boy in Car

If Your Child is Arrested

If your teenager is arrested, it will be a very difficult situation. Though police and the courts understand children make mistakes, they must follow the law. It’s important to try and stay calm in the face of all that. In your fear and frustration, you might instinctively lash out. But, the people involved in the arrest are not your enemies. Take a deep breath and don’t put up a fight. Instead, stay calm and ask the right questions.

The Steps

If this is the first time that your child has been arrested, you will need to familiarize yourself with the system quickly. It will be time-consuming and emotionally draining, but you can do it. Take it one step at a time. First, go to the jail and speak with the booking officer. Get as much information as possible. Find out about requirements for bail and any upcoming court appearances. Once you have that information, you can contact a bail bondsman and get what you need to get your child out.

Finally, contact an attorney. If you can do this at any time during the other steps, the sooner the better. But, you will want legal assistance. The law is a complex thing; you can, and should research the judicial system and juvenile law. You still need representation, however.

We try to make the process of getting your child out of jail easier by offering superior bail services. If your child is arrested, stay calm and call 727-531-5000 for bail in Clearwater, FL.