Florida Senate - 2011 SB 372 By Senator Bogdanoff 25-00440A-11 2011372__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to pretrial programs; providing state 3 policy and legislative intent; requiring each pretrial 4 release program established by ordinance of a county 5 commission, by administrative order of a court, or by 6 any other means in order to assist in the release of a 7 defendant from pretrial custody to conform to the 8 eligibility criteria set forth by the act; preempting 9 any conflicting local ordinances, orders, or 10 practices; requiring that the defendant satisfy 11 certain eligibility criteria in order to be assigned 12 to a pretrial release program; providing that the act 13 does not prohibit a court from releasing a defendant 14 on the defendant’s own recognizance or imposing any 15 other reasonable condition of release on the 16 defendant; authorizing a county to reimburse a 17 licensed surety agent for the premium costs of a bail 18 bond for the pretrial release of an indigent defendant 19 under certain circumstances; providing an effective 20 date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Eligibility criteria for the enrollment of a 25 defendant in a pretrial release program.— 26 (1) It is the policy of this state that only defendants who 27 are indigent and who qualify for the services of the public 28 defender are eligible to participate in a pretrial release 29 program. Further, it is the policy of this state that, to the 30 greatest extent possible, the resources of the private sector be 31 used to assist in the pretrial release of defendants. It is the 32 intent of the Legislature that this section not be interpreted 33 to limit the discretion of courts with respect to imposing on a 34 defendant reasonable conditions for pretrial release. 35 (2) A pretrial release program established by an ordinance 36 of the county commission, an administrative order of the court, 37 or by any other means in order to assist in the release of 38 defendants from pretrial custody is subject to the eligibility 39 criteria set forth in this section. These eligibility criteria 40 supersede and preempt all conflicting local ordinances, orders, 41 or practices. Each pretrial release program shall certify 42 annually, in writing to the chief circuit court judge, that it 43 has complied with the reporting requirements of s. 907.043(4). 44 (3) A defendant is eligible to participate in a pretrial 45 release program only by order of the court after the court finds 46 in writing that the defendant is indigent as set forth in Rule 47 3.111, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. 48 (4) If a defendant seeks to post a surety bond pursuant to 49 a predetermined bond schedule, the defendant shall be permitted 50 to do so without any interference or restriction by a pretrial 51 release program. 52 (5) This section does not prohibit the court from: 53 (a) Releasing a defendant on the defendant’s own 54 recognizance. 55 (b) Imposing upon the defendant any reasonable condition of 56 release, including, but not limited to, electronic monitoring, 57 drug testing, substance abuse treatment, and domestic violence 58 counseling. 59 (6) In lieu of using a governmental program to ensure the 60 court appearance of a defendant, a county may reimburse a 61 licensed surety agent for the premium costs of a surety bail 62 bond that secures the appearance of an indigent defendant at all 63 court proceedings if the court establishes a bail bond amount 64 for the indigent defendant. 65 Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2011.