The cash bail system, along with other aspects of the criminal justice system, is irretrievably broken. In a 2017 article on the Duval County justice system, an unidentified judge admitted to using high bail demands to pressure defendants into cutting a deal – taking a plea bargain to get out of jail. The tactic is designed to effectively punish those arrestees who are unable to make bail.
Judges seem to feel that arrestees don’t have as much leverage if they’re not coming in the courthouse door with a criminal law attorney at their side. This amounts to punishment for poverty as defendants who can obtain bail will receive better treatment and feel less pressure to make a plea bargain and clear the dockets. This patent unfairness is it driving cash bail reform initiatives at the city, county, state, and federal levels.
But that doesn’t help you where you are right now.
Getting Bailed in Sarasota
Being arrested and jailed in Sarasota can be a traumatic experience. Jails all over Florida are overcrowded with those who have already been sentenced, those awaiting trial, and new arrestees. For this reason, obtaining a criminal law attorney to argue your case is a huge factor in being able to walk in the courthouse door instead of the jailhouse door.
Public defenders are overwhelmed with their caseloads, and like the judges, want to clear their dockets. They’re doing the best they can in an overburdened and underfunded system, and they are experiencing pressure from the judge, prosecutor’s office, and often from the defendant to simply get them out of jail and let them go home.
Don’t Give In!
If you have been arrested and charged in Sarasota, it is in your best interests not to buckle to this pressure. Whether you plead to a misdemeanor or a felony, you will be saddled with a criminal record. Get in touch with an experienced criminal law attorney who will defend your best interests.