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How Does Bail Work in Federal Court?

If you’re in the middle of a federal court case you may be wondering whether bail might be available to you after your arrest. After all, you already know there are some significant differences between a federal case and a state one.

After your arrest, you’ll have a bail hearing. The judge has sole authority over what your bail will be, as well as over any other conditions of pretrial release. Your lawyer will have a lot less influence on bail in a federal case than they would have in a state case. 

Here are some of the major difference.

A Pretrial Services Officer gets the facts.

An officer of the court will speak to you, your family members, your friends, and members of the community you live and work in. They’ll basically be conducting a background check and getting all the circumstances in front of the judge. They’ll have their own recommendations about whether you should be released on bail.

You should always see your Pretrial Services Officer with your attorney. Do not agree to an interview without one. Pretrial Services Officers can trip you up just as easily as any other law enforcement officer can.

Cash is rare.

Instead, the judge is likely to create a contract, and is likely to require co-signers. The contract says you will go to all of your court dates and comply with any other conditions of the bond. 

The conditions could include supervision or electronic monitoring, drug testing, mental health services, restricted travel, surrendering certain documents, a curfew, or staying away from certain places, people, or activities. The court has a lot of discretion in deciding what the conditions will be. Staying away from airports, train stations, bus stations, and seaports are usually standard conditions.

If you don’t, the court can collect that bond, and your co-signers will likely be on the hook for paying it. Thus, community ties and your financial circumstances can play a big role in whether you’re granted bail.

On the other hand, you won’t be going to a bail bondsperson. 

In some cases, bail is a near-impossibility.

If the minimum sentence for the crime you’re being charged with is ten years or more then there is a presumption that bail should not be granted. Your attorney can rebut that presumption, but the odds aren’t necessarily in your favor there even if you have the best attorney in the world. 

At that point, most of your attorney’s energy should be going to the upcoming trial process. 

Are you in trouble? We can help. Contact Koch Law today to get an experienced federal attorney on your side.

See also:

How Does the Grand Jury Process Work in a Criminal Case?

How Long Do the Feds Have to File Charges?

Do Federal Cases Ever Get Dismissed?