Florida Senator Jeff Brandes (R) is blunt, if not completely honest with his assertion that two of his senate bills (SB 1392 and SB 1218) could cripple the bail bondsmen business.
Senator Brandes recently stated that” they (bail bondsmen) are in the business of writing bonds, and their business will go down if more people get diverted to civil citations.”
Brandes’ bills appear to be nothing less than the equivalent to the now-debunked and controversial “catch and release” immigration policy of the early 2000’s. Much like federal agents did with illegal immigrants, the current senate bills would allow police to simply write criminals a citation, as opposed to arresting them for the offenses they allegedly committed.
Many of these misdemeanor offense arrests would leave a footprint for law enforcement to follow, but if there are no arrests made and only citations given, those arrests would not show up in a criminal background check.
According to the bill, misdemeanors would be reclassified as civil infractions rather than crimes. In other words, individuals who commit crimes like prostitution, simple battery, indecent exposure, reckless driving, vandalism, lewdness, and DUI/drunk driving, would only receive a simple citation instead of being arrested and having to post a bond.-(Source)
With that said, would many potential violent criminals fall through the cracks if they are only slapped with citations and not arrested on charges that could show a pattern of violence?
Take for example the Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old that shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida. Cruz committed a couple of arrest able offenses that would have prevented him from legally purchasing the weapon he used to commit the mass shooting.
Cruz got a pass because he was a minor, but even if he was a minor, the acts of violent aggression and the illegal possession of ammunition in a “gun free zone,” warranted an arrest.
The Broward Sheriff’s office, which is now being investigated by the FDLE, put forth
Brandes’ bill should pass in the senate, but all bets are off in Speaker Corcoran’s House chamber.