Providing False Information on a Bail Application
If arrested in Florida, you will go before a judge who will determine two things about bail: whether it is appropriate for your case and its value. At this point, if the amount exceeds what you can pay in cash, you or a family will contact a bail bondsman. This person provides a service of paying the required bail amount to the court on your behalf—a portion of which is returned to you after the completion of your trial—and charging you a percentage of that amount upfront.
This process requires you to fill out a bail application with details about your job, home, additional contacts to keep track of your whereabouts, and more. Providing accurate information is crucial, and to purposely provide false information on your bail application is a crime. While committing this offense is not the same as perjury because you are not under oath, the consequences for this offense are severe.
Florida Law Regarding Use of False Information on a Bail Application
Whether it’s out of fear of going to jail or you don’t want friends and family to know about your legal predicament, when you provide false information on a bail application, you violate Florida Statute 903.035. To charge you with this crime, you must have committed the following actions on your bail application:
- Applied for bail or applied to modify bail; and
- Purposely used misleading or untrue information, even if by omission, on your application.
The criminal penalties for this offense can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on your original case charges.
Using false information or leaving out required details on your bail application is typically a misdemeanor if your original offense involves a first or second-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony.
If convicted, your sentencing could include any of the below punishments:
- Up to one year of probation
- A possible fine of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
Should your original case charges involve felonies in the first or second degree, or an offense that could bring a capital or lifetime sentence, intentionally providing false information in a bail application is a third-degree felony.
If convicted, penalties could include a combination of any of the below:
- Up to five years of probation
- A possible fine of up to $5,000
- Jail time of up to five years
The potential for increased jail time and stiff fines make it critical that you work with an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney if charged with providing false information in your bail bond.
Possible Defenses for Providing False Information in a Florida Bail Application
If you are facing charges regarding misleading or false information on your bail application, there are possible defenses for your actions that a skilled attorney can present to the court.
After being arrested, you may feel disoriented and overwhelmed with your situation. Under such stressful circumstances, a mistake on a bail application can happen and does not mean you were purposely trying to submit inaccurate information.
Protection from Double Jeopardy
If you did try to use false information on your Florida bail application and are now facing charges of both providing false information on a bail application and perjury, your defense attorney can rely on double jeopardy protections to get one of the charges dropped. This is possible because both of these offenses punish failing to tell the truth as required by law.
Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys Who Believe Everyone Deserves a Second Chance
At The Umansky Law Firm, we understand that people make mistakes because of momentary lapses in good judgment due to a variety of circumstances. Second chances are an integral part of our practice, and we believe it is unfair that today’s society makes redemption hard to find. In our practice, we strive diligently to give our clients another chance at life, to try and make sure that this incident does not haunt them for the rest of their lives
The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience and will support you through your criminal proceeding. As former Florida prosecutors at the state and local level, we have extensive knowledge regarding the criminal justice system and bail bonding. Work with our legal team to take control of this serious situation right away to avoid compounding more jail time and costly fees on your case.
To arrange your free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office or contact us online 24/7.