Many folks in the Tampa Bay Area were astounded and upset that Curtis Reeves was given a bond on July 11, 2014, based on an Order from the Second District Court of Appeals, overturning the trial court’s decision to deny him bond. This was not shocking to our Dade City criminal defense attorneys, based solely on the specific language of the Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 14. This provision of the Florida Constitution relates specifically to pretrial release. It provides that everyone is entitled to a bond in this state, unless, “charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by life imprisonment, and the proof of guilt is evident, and the presumption is great.”
In this case, Mr. Reeves is obviously charged with an offense which is punishable by life, as he is charged currently with murder. The issue, though, comes with the fact of whether the proof of guilt is evident and presumption is great. This is obviously an issue because of Mr. Reeves’ statements that he was defending himself, and/or his wife, under Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law. Mr. Reeves has a very talented and skilled defense attorney, as we’ve discussed elsewhere on our Dade City criminal defense attorney blog.
Further, the Florida Constitution permits a judge to hold an individual without bond, if “no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, ensure the presence of the accused at trial, or ensure the integrity of the judicial process, the accused may be detained.” Here, the evidence is seemingly to the contrary in that Mr. Reeves had a successful career as a Tampa Police Department detective. As far as we are aware, he’s never been charged with any other crimes involving violence. Given his stature in the community and actions thus far, it is totally reasonable to believe that he’ll continue to appear at court and trial. Lastly, there is no evidence that he would in any way attempt to attack or deny the integrity of the judicial process. It’s also worth noting, that apparently based on the Second District Court of Appeals opinion, the trial court failed to make any written findings regarding these issues. In light of the lack of written findings, again, we anticipated the Appellate Court requiring that he receive a bond.
Regardless of your position on whether Mr. Reeves was justified in using deadly force to defend himself or others, this will certainly be an interesting case for Dade City criminal defense attorneys to watch, as it pits a very crafty, skilled criminal defense attorney against a very aggressive State Attorney’s Office in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. If you have any questions about this case or a criminal defense matter, contact the Dade City criminal defense attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ll sit down with you and determine an aggressive strategy to protect your legal rights and your future. If you would like to contact one of our Dade City criminal defense attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper righthand corner of our website. If you’d like to use our “chat box” in the lower righthand corner of our website, one of our Dade City criminal defense attorneys will immediately contact you regarding the same. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our blog, and look forward to working with you in the future.