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How is Bail Determined in Federal Criminal Cases?

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What ends up happening is somebody gets arrested and then the US Marshals or the FBI or whoever is doing the arresting is typically going to take them into court.  In Los Angeles, they usually get you into court the same day in the afternoon for the 2:00 calendar

Then what happens is the pre-trial services officers are going to be evaluating you and they’re going to write a report for the judge and then the magistrate or the judge is going to decide whether or not they’re going to give you a bail or whether you’re going to be detained.

Types of Federal Bail Bonds

If you’re detained that means you stay in custody while your case is pending.  Depending on how many defendants, how big the case is, that could literally be for years, so this bail thing is a very important factor that we have to take into consideration.

The big key determining factors for the judge are, number one, they’re going to listen to what the prosecutors say.  If the prosecutors agree to let you out on some sort of a term, ,whether it be a signature bond, a property bond, a promise to appear, whatever the case may be, then that’s typically what the judge will do.

So a lot of time in cases, I’ll convince the prosecutors just to give what we want, like a signature bond for example, something we can do and then we’ll get you out.  That’s the easiest way and that makes the most sense.

But let’s say it’s a case where the prosecutors aren’t going to agree to let you out and they want you detained.  Maybe it’s a drug case and you’re looking at a 10-year mandatory minimum, they’re going to argue that this guy should be detained.  He’s looking at minimum 10 years in federal prison at 85% why should we let him out?  He might never come back again.

Evaluating Flight Risk

So, if you’re in a situation like that, the judge is going to say okay, is this person a flight risk?  Meaning if I let him out and I let him have a signature bond or a property bond, is there a chance they might never come back? How is Bail Determined in Federal Criminal Cases?

So, that’s one of the first evaluations the judge is going to look at — are you a flight risk and the type of things they look at to make that determination are, do you have property in the community?  Do you have your family in the community?

Do you have ties I the community?  Do you have a job in the community?  Do you have a passport?  Have you ever lived anywhere else?  They’re going to look to see whether you really might go somewhere else.  So, that’s consideration number one.

Evaluating Threat to Community

Consideration number two is, are you a threat to the community?  In other words, if you’re moving around millions of dollars’ worth of drugs and the community is ingesting it and people are dying, there’s an argument you’re a threat to the community.

If you’re committing a violent felony, using weapons, robbery, whatever the case may be, there’s an argument that you’re dangerous.  You’re a threat to the community.  You should just be put in custody while the case is pending so you can’t commit any other crimes.

So, we have to try to get around that danger to the community argument as well.  They’re also going to look at whether or not you have any failures to appear in the past, whether or not you’re on probation or if you have any prior criminal record.

There’s a whole host of things that the judge is going to look at in determining whether you’re going to get bail, and of course, probably the most important thing is your federal criminal defense attorney putting everything together making an argument using the pre-trial services report.

If the pre-trial services report gives information that you should be ale to get out for example on $100,000 property bond and you’ve got the equity in a property, your attorney’s going to make that argument, we’re going to get you out.

So, there’s a whole slew of factors that are looked at.  You need an attorney that’s able to marshal those factors, make the right arguments and sometimes you’re going to make arguments on the fly because the government and the prosecutors are going to be trying to keep the person in.  You have to make the arguments to get them out.

So, if you have a federal criminal case or your loved on has a federal case and you need help, pick up the phone, make the call.  We’ll stat working on it right away, and bail in federal cases is the first big step to taking the government on and getting the best result.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0994.

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Do I Need a Bail Bondsman If Charged with a Federal Crime?