CS/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 in the act; preempting any
9conflicting local ordinances, orders, or practices;
10requiring that the defendant satisfy certain eligibility
11criteria in order to be assigned to a pretrial release
12program; providing that the act does not prohibit a court
13from releasing a defendant on the defendant's own
14recognizance or imposing any other reasonable condition of
15release on the defendant; authorizing a county to
16reimburse a licensed surety agent for the premium costs of
17a bail bond for the pretrial release of an indigent
18defendant under certain circumstances; providing an
19effective date.
21Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
23     Section 1.  Eligibility criteria for government-funded
24pretrial release.-
25     (1)  It is the policy of this state that only defendants
26who are indigent and therefore qualify for representation by the
27public defender are eligible for government-funded pretrial
28release. Further, it is the policy of this state that, to the
29greatest extent possible, the resources of the private sector be
30used to assist in the pretrial release of defendants. It is the
31intent of the Legislature that this section not be interpreted
32to limit the discretion of courts with respect to ordering
33reasonable conditions for pretrial release for any defendant.
34However, it is the intent of the Legislature that government-
35funded pretrial release be ordered only as an alternative to
36release on a defendant's own recognizance or release by the
37posting of a surety bond.
38     (2)  A pretrial release program established by an ordinance
39of the county commission, an administrative order of the court,
40or by any other means in order to assist in the release of
41defendants from pretrial custody is subject to the eligibility
42criteria set forth in this section. These eligibility criteria
43supersede and preempt all conflicting local ordinances, orders,
44or practices. Each pretrial release program shall certify
45annually, in writing, to the chief circuit court judge, that it
46has complied with the reporting requirements of s. 907.043(4),
47Florida Statutes.
48     (3)  A defendant is eligible to receive government-funded
49pretrial release only by order of the court after the court
50finds in writing upon consideration of the defendant's affidavit
51of indigence that the defendant is indigent or partially
52indigent as set forth in Rule 3.111, Florida Rules of Criminal
53Procedure, and that the defendant has not previously failed to
54appear at any required court proceeding.
55     (4)  If a defendant seeks to post a surety bond pursuant to
56a bond schedule established by administrative order as an
57alternative to government-funded pretrial release, the defendant
58shall be permitted to do so without any interference or
59restriction by a pretrial release program.
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 additional reasonable
64condition of release as part of release on the defendant's own
65recognizance or the posting of a surety bond upon a finding of
66need in the interest of public safety, including, but not
67limited to, electronic monitoring, drug testing, and substance
68abuse treatment.
69     (6)  In lieu of using a government-funded program to ensure
70the court appearance of any defendant, a county may reimburse a
71licensed surety agent for the premium costs of a surety bail
72bond that secures the appearance of an indigent defendant at all
73court proceedings if the court establishes a bail bond amount
74for the indigent defendant.
75     Section 2.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2011.

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