Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Arrest and Bond

The consequences of a conviction in Florida can be life-changing. Even first time arrests can result in jail, prison, fines, criminal record, job loss, and deportation. The most important thing to do is get a lawyer who can start working to minimize the damage right away.
If you or someone you know has been arrested in Hillsborough or Pinellas County, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Many defendants will talk to the police after being arrested hoping they will get a better result if they explain. This is a common mistake. The job of a police officer is to make arrests and gather evidence against you! 
On some misdemeanors a police officer may provide a person with a “Notice to Appear” which will have a court date and time on it. In such instances you will be required to appear in court at that date and time. If you do not, a warrant could be issued for your arrest. A “Notice to Appear” is considered an arrest although you are not taken to jail, and the legal process begins.

If a person is taken to jail, getting them out may take some time, even for a minor charge. Be patient. If the arrest just happened, the process to get him/her out can start when he/she is booked in the jail and assigned a jail number. During booking, the person is fingerprinted, photographed, and asked basic questions to establish who they are. Once the jail number is a assigned a standard bond will be set unless he is nonbondable.

Bail Bond Process

If the defendant is eligible for a bond, you can immediately pay the listed bond amount directly to the jail or contact a bail bondsman.  A bail bondsman will post a bond on your behalf and will usually charge a 10%.  You may have provide collateral for the full bond, with the collateral sometimes being cash if the defendant resides outside the jurisdiction.
Alternatively, the defendant could go in front of a judge.  Every arrestee is entitled to a probable cause hearing within 24/48 hours of arrest.  At this hearing, the judge will review the arrest affidavit.  The bond can possibly lowered at this hearing or the defendant can be allowed out without a monetary deposit (pretrial release or ROR).  The defendant is entitled to counsel at this hearing and a prosecutor will be present.

A person may not get bond right away if:

  • The charge is considered so serious that it does not qualify for bond.
  • The defendant was on felony probation at the time of arrest.
  • The person has an immigration hold.
  • There is an out-of-state/county fugitive warrant.

If the defendant has no bond, a bond hearing will be set to determine if there will be a bond, and what the bond may be. A court may deny bond if it finds that the defendant will harm himself or others; the defendant may be a flight risk; or bond money may have come from criminal actions.
The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your chances of beating your case. Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Jhenerr Hines can be reached at  813-815-0291.

  • Free consultation
  • High Quality Representation
  • Flexible Payment

Monday, November 9, 2015

Arrest for DUI in Tampa, Florida

Florida Statute Section 316.193 provides for the penalties that attached to a conviction for driving under the influence (“DUI”) in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida for a first DUI offense.

  •  Incarceration: Up to six (6) months in the Hillsborough County Jail (if the BAL is .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle then the jail time is up to nine (9) months);
  • Term of Probation: Up to twelve (12) months
  • DUI School: Twelve (12) hour class which includes a substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow up treatment before any hardship reinstatement
  • Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service
  • Fine: The required fine for a first DUI in Florida is between $500 and $1,000 (with a BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. Court may grant community service in lieu of DUI fines if defendant is unable to pay);
  • Driver License Revocation Period: Minimum of six (6) months and maximum of twelve (12) months;
  • Hardship Reinstatement: In order to reinstate the driver’s license for hardship purposes such as “business purposes” or “work purposes” the driver is required to complete DUI school. You must show proof of liability coverage or FR-44 insurance, pay $115 administrative fee, a $60 reinstatement fee, and a fee for the Florida driver’s license.
  • Vehicle impoundment: Unless a hardship showing has been made, the  Court must immobilize any vehicle in the defendant’s name for 10 days after any jail sentence is completed.

 DUI defendants are not eligible for pre-trial diversion. Your best chances of avoiding these consequences are to hire a qualified attorney within 10 days of your arrest. Within that 10-day period, your lawyer can help you immediately reinstate you license. For a consultation call Jhenerr Hines at 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Theft Laws in Tampa, Florida

Petit theft in Florida is no petty matter. Shoplifting crimes are the most commonly prosecuted crimes in the State of Florida. The only difference between misdemeanor (“petit theft”) and felony (“grand theft”) is the value of the item allegedly taken.
  • If the value of the item taken was less than $100, then the offense will be charged as a petit theft in the second degree which is punishable by up to sixty (60) days in the county jail and a $500 fine plus court costs.
  • If the value of the item taken is more than $300, then the offense will be charged as a petit theft in the first degree which is punishable by up to 12 months (364 days) in the county jail and a $1,000.00 fine.
  • If the individual has ever been convicted to any two other theft offenses, then the person can be charged with Felony Petit Theft (even if the value of the item was only $1), which is a third degree felony punishable by five (5) years in Florida State Prison, and a five thousand ($5,000.00) fine plus court costs.
  • If the value of the item taken was in excess of $300, then the offense can be charged as Felony Retail Theft which is also a third degree felony.
If you have been accused of a theft crime, call Jhenerr Hines at