Why do Defendants Get Taken into Custody In Federal Criminal Cases and Cannot Bail Out?
This is a common question and I see where people are being detained in federal cases and cannot get out. People aren't used to this, because in state cases, a person is almost always entitled to some sort of a bail, even if it's a high bail, you could use a bail bondsman and bail out if you have enough money and enough equity.
But in a federal case, the government actually has the ability to argue to the judge that you should be held in custody without any type of a bail or a bond. The reason they are able to do that is because that's just simply the way the federal system is set up.
Flight Risk or Danger to Public
The way you avoid getting taken into custody, obviously, is mounting a good argument through a great attorney that you're not a flight risk and you're not a danger to the community.
One of the big issues that is looked at when we talk about a flight risk is, whether or not you're facing a lot of time in federal custody.
That's one factor people don't usually think about when they're assessing why there's a chance they might get detained. Why would they do that?
They don't realize that, if for example in a drug case, you're facing a 10-year mandatory minimum, then the prosecutor has a pretty strong argument with the judge that you might never come back to face the case because you might be concerned that you're going to get 10 years or more in federal prison.
That's a pretty good argument to keep you in custody.
Argument You Have No Criminal Record
On the flip side, if you have no criminal record, you might be able to argue what's called a “safety valve” or some sort of a 5K departure.
You may have the argument through your attorney that you're not likely to get that 10 years because you're safety-valve-eligible, you have no criminal record, you didn't use any violence, you didn't use any weapons.
There's a whole bunch of arguments that could be made on your behalf so you can avoid getting that detention and staying in custody and not being able to get out.
I think the first thing you need to do is hire an attorney who is familiar with federal criminal cases. I've been doing this for 26 years.
Arguments to Federal Judge To Get Released on Bail
What we'll do is start to gather information right away from the family, from the defendant, about whether or not the person really is a flight risk or not.
We're going to find out about their job, about where all of their family lives, whether they've ever had a bench warrant issued against them before.
We're going to look at the charges against them and what their role was in the charges. These are all things that are relevant and that the judge is going to take into consideration when it comes to posting bail.
If you ended up getting taken into custody and at your initial appearance, the person, either you or your loved one was detained, all is not lost.
There still could be a motion to reconsider filed both with the magistrate that detained the defendant and with the judge who ends up getting the case.
Typically, these judges that are getting the case are going to say, if you have any new evidence then I'm not going to hear it. You're going to go back to the magistrate judge and present that new evidence there.
Call an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If on the other hand, you don't have any new evidence and you're basically just wanting the judge to review the magistrate's judge's rulings regarding your bail, they will do that.
Then you can file the motion there and make your argument, and hope that that judge overturns what the magistrate judge did, which is obviously not easy to do.
So, if you or a loved one has a federal criminal case pending against them, they're either detained or you're afraid they're going to be detained when they appear in court, pick up the phone.
Make the call. Ask to speak to Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0994.