Nebbia Holds: Part 1 of 4

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What Is A Nebbia Hold In Florida?

A Nebbia Hold or a Nebbia requirement are bail source hearing as it is often called is the ability for the court to inquire the source of the bail money. It oftentimes happens in drug trafficking cases where the accusation is for a large quantity of drugs with a large quantity of payment.  The rationale behind it is that the court feels that if you have a lot of money and it is easy to bond out that you will not come back for your court appearance. So the state attorney’s office often places a Nebbia Hold on the client and the client cannot bond out until a Nebbia Hearing has been scheduled.

At that Nebbia Hearing, it is up to the defendant to prove to the judge that a source of the bail money is from a legitimate source. The term Nebbia came from a court case, it is called U.S. vs. Nebbia and it is cited at (357 F.3d 303, it is at 2nd Circuit 1966). Essentially it involved several kilos of heroin and the judge ruled that because there was such a large amount of money that the defendant may not appear to court until legitimate sources of funds be used. So the name comes from a court case that basically dictated that the court does have the authority to inquire the legitimate source of bail money.

Why Are Motions To Reduce The Bond Often Filed In Conjunction With The Motion To Lift A Nebbia Hold?

Oftentimes on drug cases or fraud cases, there is essentially a pretty high bond. So, an experienced criminal trial attorney is going to ask to reduce the bond and to expedite the process. We are also going to ask if there is a Nebbia Hold to lift the Nebbia Hold.  What that does is that expedites the process to get our client out sooner. The bond hearing is usually held within three to four days of the client being arrested and we know that no matter how low the bond is reduced, if there is a Nebbia Hold that is not addressed, the client is not bonding out and is not going anywhere.  So if there is a Nebbia Hold, your attorney will need to file the motion to lift the Nebbia Hold and have the bond reduction at the same time.

What If The Funds For The Bond Premium Or The Collateral Have Been Borrowed?

It is up to the client to show that the sources of bond money or the collateral being used or borrowed for the bond money is from a legitimate source. The courts take a pretty liberal view of that, so any type of tax returns, financial statements or real estate records of owning property, anything that you and a bondsman use as collateral will be sufficient to lift the Nebbia Hold. The Nebbia Hold is important to have a financial statement just to show that the source of the bail money are from legitimate sources and are not being used from illegal gains such as drug trafficking or from the theft in cases involving fraud.

How Common Are These Nebbia Holds?

The Nebbia Holds are not very common in state non-drug cases. They are more common in federal cases and they are more common in bigger drug trafficking cases usually involving the state wide prosecution. The lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. have done several of these cases both as a former prosecutors and as a defense attorneys.

Is The Term Nebbia Proffer The Same As A Nebbia Hold?

Nebbia Proffer is very similar. The Nebbia Proffer is just to proffer the evidence or show the court the evidence that the bond money is from legitimate source, your tax returns, financial statements or your real estate holdings. It is important also that it does not have to be from the client that if a friend or if a family member is also bonding them out, and then they need to show that it is from a legitimate source. But you do not have to prove to the client that it has all of the legitimate funds but a friend, a family member, or anyone that they have legitimate funds or the collateral to bond the client out.

How Does Someone Discover That They Have A Nebbia Hold Against Them?

They would have to look at the warrant involved, so it would be filed with a clerk’s office. It is going to clearly state that there is a Nebbia Hold and there is probable cause to have a Nebbia Hold.  As your attorney, we have access to this and we can look up those records.

For more information on Nebbia Holds In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 286-6141 today.

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