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Attorney James Hope
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Attorney James Hope

A few basic concepts regarding Bail:

Fact: Everyone who gets hauled off to Jail wants to be back sleeping in their in their own bed tonight.  Therefore, if money is not an issue (meaning you have adequate funds available both to bond out and hire the attorney of your choice) then by all means go ahead and bond out.  Indeed, the saying in my office is, “You don’t have a legal ‘emergency’ if you can bond out.”  (I once prosecuted a man who bonded out by tendering a Certified Bank Check for $1,000,000.00 to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office; all the Deputies wanted their picture taken with the check.)  On the other hand, economic realities often do come into play:  Some people have a “No Bond” status, while other people have a Bond that is set too high for them to meet, and still other people know that even in a best-case scenario they will be spending a considerable amount of time in Jail anyway-- so they properly question the wisdom of bonding out in the first place.

“Bail / Bond” is a complicated subject, and so I would be more than pleased to discuss options and strategies with you during a free, no-obligation, office consultation.

Can I hire you just to ‘set’ or ‘reduce’ my Bond?

It is possible to hire an attorney for the limited purpose of helping you seek to establish a reasonable bond, but most often it is not cost-effective to do so.  By the time I meet with you, learn at least the basic facts of your case, prepare a Bond Motion, and attempt to coordinate matters with the Assistant State Attorney, Judge, Bailiff, and Clerk, we might as well think about me being your attorney for the duration of the case.  Remember: Although you might quickly bond out and go back to sleeping in your own bed at night, your entire legal problem still lies ahead of you, needing to be skillfully resolved by an attorney in whom you have confidence.   That is why I offer a free, no-obligation, office consultation.      

So how do I go about bonding out of Jail?

Although there is a statutory presumption in favor of non-monetary bail (such as merely providing your signature as your Bond), it is virtually a myth for any serious charge.  Most people who are booked into the Jail will either have to post a Cash Bond, or use the services of a professional Bail Bond Agent (commonly referred to as a “Bondsman”).  If you post a Cash Bond with the Clerk, you have to post the entire Bond-amount (i.e., $5,000.00 on a $5,000.00 Bond).  When the case is eventually concluded (often months down the line), the money is returned by the Clerk (minus any Fines, Court Costs, etc.).  On the other hand, if you use the services of a Bondsman, you will typically pay 10% of the Bond (i.e., $500.00 on a $5,000.00 Bond), and will likely have to make other financial arrangements (“collateral”) to assure the Bondsman that the full Bond will be protected if you fail to appear in Court.  As you might have assumed, the 10% fee paid to the Bondsman does not come back to you-- you paid the Bondsman that fee for services rendered.

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Law Office of James Hope
P.O. Box 1133
322 N. Barrow Avenue
Tavares, FL 32778
352-742-3488 ~ Email


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