Do You Have To Obey Pretrial Release Conditions?

Violating Pretrial Release Conditions

What’s the worst that could happen? Well, Adrian Peterson admitted that he “smoked a little weed” while out on pretrial release. Prosecutors are now asking the judge to revoke his bond and hold him in jail for violating his pretrial release conditions.

Pretrial release conditions always require that you don’t violate any laws while out on bond. That includes possessing or smoking marijuana, and so many courts require will you to submit to urine tests to make sure you haven’t, as Adrian Peterson put it “smoked a little weed.” So if you’re out on pretrial release, don’t violate it. If you do, you could be facing jail until trial.

Laws on Pretrial Release Conditions:

The purpose of pretrial release is to ensure two things:

  1. that the defendant shows up to court on later court dates; and
  2. that the defendant doesn’t violate any laws or become a danger to himself or the community.

In order to make sure these two things happen, courts will impose both a financial incentive (cash bond) as well as drug or alcohol testing to make sure the defendant isn’t out making trouble.

The Florida Constitution has the following to say on pretrial release conditions:

Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county ordinance shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions. If no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure the presence of the accused at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process, the accused may be detained. Fla. Const. Art. I, Sec. 14.

The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 3.131(b)(1)(F)) also says that a judge can impose “any other condition deemed reasonably necessary to assure appearance as required, including a condition requiring that the person return to custody after specified hours.”

What if I get Arrested Again?

Getting arrested for any new offense while out on pretrial release is a sure-fire way to land yourself in jail. Your bond on the first charge is automatically revoked, and you will have to ask the judge in that case to reinstate it. At best, you’re in for increased conditions, such as monitoring and possibly an increased bond, and at worst you will sit in jail until that first case is resolved.

So if you’re out on pretrial release, don’t violate it. You don’t want to sit in jail until your first case is resolved.

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