Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful, was released on bail last week while he’s pending charges in New York for sexually assaulting a housekeeper at a New York City hotel. As conditions of bond, Strauss-Kahn had to post $5 million bail, he will be on house arrest at his New York apartment with an ankle monitor tracking his whereabouts via GPS, he must have an armed guard posted outside his residence, and he was required to waive extradition should he flee to France while the case is pending.
The granting of any bond in this case was surprising considering Strauss-Kahn’s lack of ties to New York or the US, his wife’s immense wealth, and the fact that he was apprehended by police at JFK Airport, attempting to leave the country.
The purpose of bail or bond in a criminal case is to ensure that the defendant appears in court and to ensure the safety of the community. According to Florida Statute 903.046, Florida Courts consider a number of factors in deciding whether or not to set bond and what the amount and other conditions will be. Some of these factors include:
• The nature and circumstances of the crime.
• The weight of evidence against the Defendant.
• Family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition.
• Any prior criminal record and whether or not the Defendant’s ever failed to appear in court before.
• Any possible threat to the community.
• Whether or not the Defendant has any other open criminal cases.
It’s extremely important when a person is arrested and held without bond or at a very high bond to hire an experienced attorney who can file the appropriate motions to have a bond set or lowered. As we can see from Strauss-Kahn’s case, sometimes Courts are willing to release those arrested if special conditions are added, such as house arrest or GPS tracking. An experienced criminal defense attorneycan make all the difference in whether or not a person is granted a bond and released from custody pending trial.