Bond Pending Criminal Direct Appeal

Florida: Bond Pending Criminal Direct Appeal

Can I Obtain Bond While My Criminal Direct Appeal Is Pending?

Many criminal defendants wonder if they can continue on bond, or obtain bond, while their direct appeal is pending with the State of Florida appellate court.  The answer is it depends.

Admission to bail after conviction is not a matter of right, but rests in the sound judicial discretion of the trial court. Younghans v. State, 90 So.2d 308 (Fla. 1956). A person may be admitted to bail on appeal from a conviction of a non-capital offense if he or she establishes that the appeal is taken in good faith, on grounds fairly debatable and not frivolous, and the person has not been previously convicted of a felony. Id., Fla. R. Cr. Pro. 3.691.

The Florida Supreme Court has set out a number of factors to be utilized by the court in determining whether to allow a defendant post-conviction bail pending a non-frivolous appeal: (1) the habits of the individual as to respect for the law; (2) his local attachments to the community by way of family ties, business, or investments; and (3) the severity of the punishment imposed for the offense, and any other circumstances relevant to the question of whether the person would be tempted to remove himself from the jurisdiction of the court. Id.

It is important to discuss with an attorney the availability of a bond pending the direct appeal.  It could mean the difference between being incarcerated or not incarcerated while the appellate court makes a decision regarding your appeal.

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