Current and prospective clients who face federal criminal prosecution often ask us whether, after arrest, they will be able to go home by posting bail through a bondsman, just as someone would in state court. Much to their surprise, the answer is no.
Following passage of the Bail Reform Act of 1984, federal courts largely moved away from the cash bail system that remains in state courts, and judges now consider a number of factors to determine whether a defendant should be released before final disposition of a case.
To be sure, federal magistrate judges still can, and do, allow pre-trial release through the posting of secure and unsecured bonds, but unlike state court, the judge decides whether the defendant should even have the opportunity to post a secure or unsecured bond. It’s not just a matter of the judge setting an amount and the defendant coming up with enough money to pay a bondsman.
And, in most cases, the question is simply whether the defendant should be detained until the case is resolved, or should be able to live with a relative pursuant to certain terms and conditions of release.
In order to answer some, but by no means all, questions, we have written a free guide to securing federal pre-trial release. You can download a copy by clicking on this text or the image.
If you have questions about it, please feel free to contact us through the forms on this website, call us at (919) 833-1931, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.