Florida Teen Flips At 30-Day Jail Sentence For Flipping Judge The Bird

According to the ABA Journal, 18 year old Penelope Soto of South Florida was sentenced to 30 days in jail for contempt after she gave the finger to Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat and told him “F— you.” Soto, who was accused of possession of Xanax, laughed off the hearing, which the judge responded to by setting bond at $5,000. After telling the Judge, “Adios,” the Judge told Soto to come back and raised her bond to $10,000. After hearing of the raise in bond, Soto raised her middle finger and told the judge, “F— you.” At that point, Rodriguez-Chomat called Soto back one more time and imposed a 30-day sentence.

Bail or bond is the monetary amount that must be posted before a person can be released from jail pending trial. One has a right to bail, unless one has been charged with a capital crime (i.e. carries a penalty life imprisonment or death) or one is facing a violation of probation. One may also have to agree to other conditions before the one will actually be released. Collectively, this process is known as Pretrial Release. imagescourt.jpg

Most if not all of the terms of one’s bond will be determined at a bond hearing. A Bond hearing is a court appearance in front of a judge. Many think this hearing is the arraignment hearing, however, the arraignment date will come later. In most cases, there is no plea of guilty or not guilty at the hearing.

In some cases, if one was arrested on a misdemeanor, one will have the option to plea out on either a guilty or no contest plea. One should gain the help of an experienced attorney before one goes to a bond hearing. Many times, entering a plea is not in one’s best interest.
If the court finds one’s charge is not a serious crime, or that one will appear in court when required, or that one has a responsible person in the community who will guarantee one’s appearance in court, such as a family member or parent in the case of juveniles, the judge has the option of releasing one without bail. This is called release on one’s own recognizance (ROR), or understanding that one will attend and comply with all court proceedings and procedures required.

Scheduling a bond hearing in Jacksonville on one’s own is no simple task. One should obtain an experienced attorney who can quickly determine the correct judge to schedule the hearing with depending on whether charges have been formally filed or whether the case is a misdemeanor, felony, or violation of probation charge, and will be able to speedily file a Bond Motion with the Clerk of the Court to work on one’s release.

In Florida, non-monetary conditions of release are supposed to be imposed if possible, but judges almost always require that a monetary bond be posted. In setting the bail amount, the judge must be convinced that one will appear in court when required and generally makes this determination by weighing ones ties to the community versus the likelihood of one fleeing if released.

Sometimes Judges imposes bails that Jacksonville’s citizen’s simply cannot pay for. An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney who can file a motion to reduce one’s bail showing one’s willingness to appear at all scheduled court dates during the first bond hearing, and requesting for a more manageable bail amount.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Laughing teen with jewelry ‘like Rick Ross’ gets 30 days for flipping off judge, Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal