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Alleged Auburn Oak Tree Poisoner Harvey Updyke’s Bond Revoked

Fanatical Alabama supporter Harvey Updyke had his pretrial release revoked yesterday after Prosecutors moved the Court to take him back into custody. Updyke is infamous for allegedly poisoning the Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner and later appearing on a high traffic Alabama sports radio program to boast about his deeds. At Updyke’s pretrial hearing Prosecutors showed Judge Jacob A. Walker III a video of a recent arrest of Updyke on a terrorizing charge in Louisiana after an altercation with Louisiana home improvement store workers. The video was shown to prove that Updyke violated a pretrial release term of not getting arrested while on bond. Despite Updyke’s lawyers lobbying to keep him out of jail by citing the notion that the Louisiana arrest was without just cause, Updyke’s bond was revoked and he was taken into custody. Updyke awaits trial on criminal mischief charges for the Auburn Oaks incident scheduled for April 8, 2013.

In Florida if one is arrested they will generally at the very least have a bond amount set. If they can post that amount or hire a bondsman to provide a surety bond they can get out of jail during the pendency of their case. With a Judge’s granting of a bond generally comes certain standard conditions pursuant to Florida Statute 903.047. An obvious condition is to refrain from criminal activity of any kind. If there is a victim of a crime, the defendant cannot have contact with them and for all those out on bond, they must comply with other conditions of pretrial release specially imposed. Any Tampa criminal attorney will have the coming to Jesus meeting with his client insisting that they absolutely not put themselves in bad situations in order to avoid criminal activity. As our Tampa criminal lawyers have often said, we can protect our clients against most things but we cannot protect them from themselves. In other words, if someone is hell bent on putting themselves in arrestable situations, there isn’t much the criminal defense attorney can do about it.

In Updyke’s situation, he has been arrested while on bond. Though his case is in Alabama, it is a general rule that if one breaks a criminal law and gets caught while out on bond from a different case, the initial case’s bond will be revoked. In Florida our Judges have that power under Florida Statute 903.0471 and can revoke bond on a motion by the State Attorney or on their own motion. All that is needed is for the Judge to make a finding by a probable cause standard that the defendant committed a new crime while out on bond. Pursuant to Parker v. State, 843 So.2d 871 (2003), the existing probable cause standard has been found to be Constitutional and not in violation of substantive due process. In plain English, the State only has to prove that it is more probable than not that the defendant committed a new crime. Not a very high standard is it?

So what happens if the Judge does revoke your bond? State v. Paul, 783 So.2d 1042 (2001) follows the Parker case and allows the Judge to forfeit the original conditions of the bond based on Florida Statute 903.0471 but does not forfeit the defendant’s constitutional right to bond altogether. Any refusal by the Judge to readmit a bond to the defendant must be subject to the limitations of the pretrial detention statute. So, despite losing the original bond there is a decent chance of a Tampa criminal attorney getting a new bond for the defendant on both the old case and the new charges. Despite the fact that a defendant could get a new bond, from a practical standpoint Judge’s aren’t happy doing it. This is often reflected in the very large amount of money ordered to be paid in order to bond out. Additional difficulty arises when the pretrial release violating arrest is for a crime that is the same as the original charge. For example, if one is out on bond on a pending battery charge and they are arrested again for battery, the chance at a new bond is less on the initial battery and if one is granted it will no doubt be considerably higher than originally imposed.

All in all, putting yourself in a situation that could lead to arrest or a violation of a pretrial release condition is never a good idea. Judge’s don’t take kindly to granting a new bond as they adopt the position that if you couldn’t abide by the earlier bond’s conditions why could you now? If you have questions about pretrial release, its revocation, or a current criminal charge against you contact the Tampa criminal lawyers at the Mayberry Law Firm today at 813-444-7435.

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