Florida Court Discusses Grounds for Imposing Pre-Trial Detention

One of the initial questions many criminal defendants have is whether they will be released on bail prior to their criminal trials. If a defendant is detained prior to trial, it may not only result in a loss of liberties, but it may also greatly impact the defendant’s ability to participate in formulating a compelling defense. Thus, a defendant that is detained prior to trial may ask the court to reconsider its ruling, but such reversals are not easily obtained. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida opinion in which the court recommended that the defendant’s pre-trial detention be sustained, in a matter where the defendant faced numerous gun crimes. If you are charged with a firearms offense, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney about your rights.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was arrested and charged with numerous gun crimes after he was observed in a crowded casino with a backpack containing loaded firearms. The defendant had an extensive criminal history that included numerous convictions for weapons offenses, theft, attempted robbery, and probation violations. Following his arrest, a pre-trial detention hearing was held, during which the court determined the defendant posed a danger to the community. Thus, an order of detention was issued. The defendant appealed, arguing the trial court erred in ordering pre-trial detention.

Grounds for Ordering Pre-Trial Detention

The court explained that if pre-trial detention is ordered by a magistrate judge or a person other than a court having original jurisdiction over the case, the defendant may file a motion with the court that has original jurisdiction, requesting a revocation and amendment of the order. In the subject case, the order was issued by a magistrate court. Thus the matter was filed with the district court.

The defendant argued that he suffered from multiple chronic conditions, had contracted COVID-19, and was at risk of contracting it again, and therefore should be granted release. The magistrate court noted that the defendant’s motion ignored the fact that he had a substantial criminal past and potentially could harm others, which was the reason the detention order was issued. Further, the magistrate court explained that there was convincing and clear evidence that no conditions of pre-trial release could reasonably ensure that the defendant would not pose a threat to the safety of the public at large. Therefore, the magistrate court stated that the defendant failed to establish that the order should be revoked, and recommended that it be upheld by the district court.

Speak to an Experienced St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney

It is beneficial for people charged with gun crimes to be released prior to trial, but in some cases, the court will deem pre-trial detention necessary. If you are accused of committing gun crimes, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer about your rights. William Hanlon of Hanlon Law is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can aid you in pursuing the best result available under the facts of our case. You can contact Mr. Hanlon via the form online or at 727-897-5413 to set up a meeting.

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