HB 1379

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to pretrial programs; providing state
3policy and legislative intent; requiring each pretrial
4release program established by ordinance of a county
5commission, by administrative order of a court, or by any
6other means in order to assist in the release of a
7defendant from pretrial custody to conform to the
8eligibility criteria set forth by the act; preempting any
9conflicting statutes, local ordinances, orders, or
10practices; requiring that the defendant satisfy certain
11eligibility criteria in order to be assigned to a pretrial
12release program; permitting a defendant to post a surety
13bond pursuant to a predetermined bond schedule; requiring
14disclosure of certain fees; providing that the act does
15not prohibit a court from releasing a defendant on the
16defendant's own recognizance or imposing any other
17reasonable condition of release on the defendant;
18authorizing a county to reimburse a licensed surety agent
19for the premium costs of a bail bond for the pretrial
20release of an indigent defendant under certain
21circumstances; providing an effective date.
23Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
25     Section 1.  Eligibility criteria for the enrollment of a
26defendant in a pretrial release program.-
27     (1)  It is the policy of this state that only defendants
28who are indigent and who qualify for the services of a public
29defender are eligible to participate in a pretrial release
30program. Further, it is the policy of this state that, to the
31greatest extent possible, the resources of the private sector be
32used to assist in the pretrial release of defendants. It is the
33intent of the Legislature that this section not be interpreted
34to limit the discretion of courts with respect to imposing on a
35defendant reasonable conditions for pretrial release.
36     (2)  A pretrial release program established by an ordinance
37of the county commission, an administrative order of the court,
38or by any other means in order to assist in the release of
39defendants from pretrial custody is subject to the eligibility
40criteria set forth in this section. These eligibility criteria
41for admission into a pretrial release program supersede and
42preempt all conflicting statutes, local ordinances, orders, or
43practices. Each pretrial release program shall certify annually,
44in writing to the chief circuit court judge, that it has
45complied with the reporting requirements of s. 907.043(4),
46Florida Statutes.
47     (3)  A defendant is eligible to participate in a pretrial
48release program only by order of the court after the court finds
49in writing upon consideration of the defendant's affidavit of
50insolvency that the defendant is indigent as set forth in Rule
513.111, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, and that the
52defendant has not previously failed to appear at any required
53court proceeding.
54     (4)  If a defendant seeks to post a surety bond pursuant to
55a predetermined bond schedule, the defendant shall be permitted
56to do so without any interference or restriction by a pretrial
57release program. Each pretrial release program shall disclose in
58writing to each defendant at his or her initial interview each
59and every fee that will be assessed for his or her supervision.
60     (5)  This section does not prohibit the court from:
61     (a)  Releasing a defendant on the defendant's own
63     (b)  Imposing upon the defendant any reasonable condition
64of release, including, but not limited to, electronic
65monitoring, drug testing, substance abuse treatment, and
66domestic violence counseling.
67     (6)  In lieu of using a governmental program to ensure the
68court appearance of a defendant, a county may reimburse a
69licensed surety agent for the premium costs of a surety bail
70bond that secures the appearance of an indigent defendant at all
71court proceedings if the court establishes a bail bond amount
72for the indigent defendant.
73     Section 2.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2011.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.