Can Bail Be Granted to a Juvenile?

A Judge Renders a Judgment

How Juvenile Bail Bonds Work

Getting in trouble with the law can be a confusing and scary situation for anyone. But when you’re a juvenile, it can be even more so for many reasons. In addition to being in trouble with the law, you’re in trouble with your parents, you’re facing an uncertain future with your education and the direction your adult life is going. 

As a parent, it is just as confusing and scary.  And for all of you, the confusion starts with seeing a judge who will determine if you’ll be allowed to post any type of juvenile bail bond.  The legal process for juvenile-committed crimes differs from how the process works for adults.  And in Florida, thanks to a change by the Supreme Court in 2013, parents are usually able to get their children home sooner thanks to the possibility of juvenile bail bonds.

What is a juvenile bail bond?

The Florida juvenile justice system necessitates the process be done in a speedy manner, so no juvenile doesn’t sit behind bars for more than 24 hours. If the juvenile bail bonds process is denied by the judge, the trial must be held within 21 days. 

At that first trial, a determination is made by the judge if the juvenile should be tried as an adult. Most times, juveniles are tried as a juvenile, but there are charges that could have them tried as an adult. Those charges include the following crimes: 

  • Violent crimes
  • Sex crimes
  • Other felonies that can be upgraded to an adult charge

A juvenile that is charged as an adult, depending on the crime, the child may be eligible for standard adult bail bonds. 

How does a juvenile bail bond work? 

Juvenile bail bonds in Florida are the amount set by the presiding judge and secures a pretrial release who will take the following for consideration for setting the juvenile bail bonds amount:  

  • The crime the defendant has been charged with
  • The evidence supporting the charges 
  • Defendant’s criminal background 
  • Any failure to make previous court appearances
  • Defendant’s community standing
  • Family, residence, current and past employment 
  • If the defendant is considered to be a risk to the public or self
  • If the defendant is considered a flight risk
  • Defendant’s financial resources 
  • Defendant’s mental condition
  • The source used to post bail

If the juvenile defendant’s crime involved any controlled substances or was a drug-related crime may determine or the likelihood of danger or intimidation to victims. Ultimately, the court may consider any factors it deems relevant. 

For juvenile defendants released on juvenile bail bonds, they must agree to certain contains that include: 

  • No criminal activity engagement
  • No communication with any alleged victim
  • Must comply with all additional court terms of their release 

What is the process for obtaining a juvenile bail bond? 

The best way to handle this process is to hire a defense attorney that handles juvenile cases. While this will cost, you’ll have their experience to guide you through this confusing process. And having an attorney retained will help during the trial process. 

However, if you can’t afford an attorney (and yes, one will be appointed), if the judge has agreed for a bail bond to be posted, you can contact a bail bond agent that handles juvenile bail bonds.

What types of bail bonds are available for juveniles?

Just as with adult bail bonds, there are two main types of juvenile bail bonds: 

  • Unsecured bail the defendant is released on their own recognizance with a signature. This will only be allowed if the juvenile is to be tried as an adult. 
  • Secured bail is where an amount of cash is put up, typically 10%  of the bail amount the judge set forth based on the crime committed. 

Who can post a juvenile bail bond?

Once the judge has determined if the defendant will be allowed juvenile bail bonds, in most cases, a parent or legal guardian is required to obtain the bail bond. If the juvenile is being tried as an adult, they will be allowed to obtain their own bail through an attorney or bail bond agent.

How do you know if juvenile bail bonds are right for a situation?

Juvenile bail bonds are not a given right as adult bail bonds because in most cases because juveniles are typically released to their parent or a guardian, often without a bail bond.

Hands Holding onto Jail Bars

A Last Question: What happens if a juvenile fails to appear in court? 

A juvenile defendant that fails to appear before the court as scheduled could be arrested and placed in detention until the courts ascertain why they did not attend. 

If no parent attended the juvenile’s court dates or trial, including the decision for the juvenile bail bond court hearing, may be ordered by the courts to appear for the next court date or could face being arrested for contempt of court. If you need juvenile bail bonds in Cocoa, FL, give us a call at (321) 631-2663.