Were you arrested for a federal criminal case? Is it possible to stay out of custody while your case proceeds through the court?
This is a big question on many people's minds because either they have been arrested or they're thinking they're going to get arrested or a family member and trying to figure out how to get their loved one out of custody.
Some people who do know how bail works at the state level don't realize it's an entirely different scenario at the federal level.
Most people are not familiar with the process where the United States Department of Justice files a federal criminal case. Criminal cases alleging a violation of federal laws can only be handled in federal courts.
Common federal crimes include offenses committed on federal property, drugs trafficking, money laundering, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, extortion, child pornography, health care fraud, RICO, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank robbery, etc.
Local state-level courts handle most crimes in the United States, but violations of federal laws are investigated and prosecuted by the federal government.
The penalties for a criminal conviction carry hefty fines, restitution, and prison time. Further, Congress eliminated parole for convicted defendants, which means they will usually have their full prison term.
When charged with a federal crime, the process any defendant faces depends not only on the complex federal rules of criminal procedure but also on federal code provisions, local rules, and court officials' peculiar practices and customs.
So, staying out of federal custody after being arrested is typically a top priority. Our federal criminal defense lawyers will review this question below.
Satisfying Bond Condition in Federal Court
At the federal level, you're never going to see a bail bond company get involved. The way somebody would get out would be to satisfy certain bond conditions.
The government can argue that the person should be detained, meaning they would stay in custody while their case is pending.
The defense can undoubtedly say no; the person should get out. They've got family. They've got a job. They've got no record. Whatever the best mitigating arguments are, the judge would ultimately decide.
So, the answer to the question is absolutely, the person who is charged with a federal crime can get out, but it's going to depend on how good their attorney is at convincing the judge when they make their initial appearance, that:
- they are worthy of getting out; and
- if they are worthy of getting out, they will have to be able to satisfy certain conditions.
For example, let's say that the judge feels confident that they'll let the person out if they can do a property bond, which is a scenario where they post their property or somebody else's property for a certain amount of money.
For example, let's say the judge says he'll let your client out on a $100,000.00 property bond. That means some property of somebody willing to give their property would be burdened by the court for $100,000.00.
So, if you had $200,000.00 in equity on your property, you gave it to a person charged with a federal crime, that property is deeded over to the federal government.
At least the $100,000.00 part of the equity for posting the $100,000.00 property bond — and then if the person doesn't show up for court, the court can then foreclose on the property and get the $100,000.00. That's where the rub is so to speak, and sometimes people don't have property.
Another type of bond that can be used to get you out if you've been arrested for a federal crime is a signature bond.
That's basically where somebody — it could be you, a family member, a friend — agrees to sign for a certain amount of money, saying if you don't show up, they have to pay that money. So, let's say the judge says he'll release you on a $25,000.00 signature bond signed by your father.
Then your father would sign a bunch of paperwork, basically indicating if you don't show up for court when you're supposed to for all of the court appearances, then your father is going to owe the court $25,000.00.
That's probably the best scenario because long as you're going to show up, no one will have to pay money, and you won't have to go through a bail bond agent, and obviously, you get out.
There are many different scenarios/combinations that can be done. I just got somebody out on a serious case on a $750,000.00 combination property bond/signature bond. I just got another person out on all signature bonds from five different people on a very serious case.
Best Criminal Lawyer for Federal Offenses
When facing federal criminal charges, the best advice you can get is to retain experienced legal representation.
Our federal criminal attorneys have a record of success defending clients across the United States against the most serious federal charges. You need a defense lawyer with experience navigating the federal system.
So, there are ways to get people out. You've got to get a little creative sometimes, and obviously, you need an attorney who not only knows how to get creative but knows how to get you out of custody.
So, if you're looking for a federal criminal defense attorney for either yourself or your relatives, you know bail is going to be an issue, pick up the phone.
Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I've been doing this for nearly 30 years, and I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles County, and we serve people in California and throughout the United States. We offer a free case evaluation.