What Power Does the Court Have to Grant or Deny Bail ?
In State v. Paul, 783 So. 2d 1042 (Fla. 2001), the court accepted discretionary review to address whether a trial court has the inherent authority to deny a subsequent application for bail after a defendant breaches a bond condition, or whether the trial court's discretion to deny a subsequent application for bail is circumscribed by the parameters established by the Legislature in section 907.041.
The Court adopted the Fourth District's reasoning as explained in Paul v. Jenne, 728 So. 2d 1167 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999), stating:
The court's authority to deny bond pending trial is circumscribed by the provisions of Florida Statute section 907.041.
The legislature has specifically delineated and narrowly limited those circumstances under which bond may be denied.
We have no difficulty divining the legislative intent to curtail the court's power to deny bail, except in certain instances, in light of the constitutionally guaranteed right to bail.
To effectuate its express policy of assuring the detention of "those persons posing a threat to the safety of the community or the integrity of the judicial process," the legislature enacted a pretrial detention statute which sets forth a comprehensive list of conditions that will qualify a defendant for detention without bail.
By providing clear and reasonable guidelines for courts to follow in considering denial of this basic and fundamental right, the legislature may very well have been motivated by a desire to achieve uniformity and fairness in judicial determinations of bail entitlement, as well as to provide trial courts with a means of identifying persons whose criminal histories and patterns of behavior signal a danger to society. Paul, 783 So. 2d at 1051 (quoting Paul v. Jenne, 728 So. 2d at 1171-72).