Florida County Raises Bond Fees for DUI

Brevard County, Florida has updated its bond fees, increasing the cost of posting bail. A bond schedule is a guideline that judges rely on when setting the cost for being released from jail while waiting for trial. The previous Brevard bond schedule was one of the lowest in Central Florida, which prompted complaints that the fees were outdated and allowed repeat criminal suspects to easily gain jail release.

The new bond schedule raises the bail for non-violent felonies from $4,500 to $15,000 for first-degree charges, $2,000 to $5,000 for second-degree, and $1,000 to $2,000 third-degree. The fees are still lower than other area counties, which charge up to $50,000 for first-degree non-violent felonies.

The bond schedule also adds eight offenses to a list that requires an appearance before a judge in order to determine the amount of bail. Those crimes include Florida DUI manslaughter and DUI fourth offense.

Proponents feel that higher bail for dangerous felonies will make the county safer. The panel that devised the new bond schedule said it was a challenge balancing constitutional rights, public safety and jail overcrowding.

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