Federal Bail

As with any criminal arrest, one charged with a Federal crime is entitled to a review of whether pretrial release is appropriate. Under Federal Statute 18 USC 3142 a judicial officer must determine whether the individual charged should be released on their own recognizance, released on a condition or series of conditions, should be temporarily detained, or if they should be detained during the pendency of their Federal case. Depending on the criminal allegation and surrounding circumstances, there may be a rebuttable presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person accused or that the safety of the community can be ensured. If you’ve been charged with a Federal crime, it is very important to retain a Federal criminal lawyer well versed in Federal bail issues in order to give yourself the best chance at pretrial release.

Factors to be considered for Bond

Federal statute 18 USC 3142(g) lays out the factors a Court considers when determining what, if any, pretrial release condition is appropriate for an individual. The Court must look at the nature and circumstances of the offense, specifically whether the allegation is a crime of violence, is an act of terrorism, involves a minor child, controlled substance, firearm, explosive, or a destructive device. In essence, the Court wants to know what the charge is and what are the factual allegations. The Court will also consider the weight of evidence against an individual, the person’s history and characteristics, in addition to their character. Many common characteristics argued by Tampa Federal Criminal Attorneys are an individuals close ties with the local community they are charged in or the community from which they are from, their employment or schooling history, length of residence within their community, past criminal history or preferably a lack thereof, past history of appearing for court, any history of drug or alcohol abuse, and their mental condition. An extremely important consideration is whether the individual was on probation, out on release for a different case or if the person was on parole. An able criminal attorney will highlight the positives in their client’s case and attempt to distinguish why a negative that may have occurred in another case would not be an issue for the Judge to be apprehensive of in the current case.

Release on Recognizance or Unsecured Appearance Bond

This category of release is generally appropriate for those alleged offenders who have little to no criminal history and who are accused of crimes that have no minimum mandatory prison term as a penalty. It is not uncommon to see this variety of pretrial release ordered for those accused of a white collar crime or a Federal drug offense involving an amount of drugs not triggering a minimum mandatory term. Release on recognizance is release on the individual’s promise to live in harmony with the law while on release and to appear as required by the court. No monetary conditions attach, nor is there a requirement to put up collateral. If one is ordered released on an unsecured appearance bond they must make a written promise to appear in court and generally the bond requires the accused to promise to pay an unsecured specified sum of money for failure to appear.

Release on Conditions

When an accused has a minimal criminal history or if they have a track record of intermittent failures to appear before the court when required, the court may order that the individual be released on a condition or series of conditions to reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance or those that would protect the community from the individual. In imposing a condition or series of conditions, the Court must be sure to comply with 18 USC 3142(c)(1)(B)’s dictate that the least restrictive condition or combination of conditions is imposed to reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance and to reasonably assure the safety of any person and the community. Generally such conditions include maintaining or seeking employment, abiding by travel or living restrictions, avoiding contact with a victim, reporting regularly to a pretrial services officer, compliance with a curfew, wearing a GPS monitoring device, giving up all firearms and refraining from obtaining a firearm, executing a secured bail bond, executing a bond with solvent sureties, putting up collateral as security for a signature bond, amongst others.

Temporary Detention

If one is ordered temporarily detained, their chances of receiving pretrial release depends much on the reason for the temporary detainer. If it is shown that the individual was on pretrial release for another State or Federal case, is on probation or parole, is on release pending appeal of another case, on release pending sentence in another jurisdiction, or is an illegal alien, the Judge will order the individual to be detained for a period not to exceed ten days for the Government to notify the appropriate agency. Should that agency fail to respond within the ten days, the individual held temporarily shall be treated as any other individual seeking pretrial release. Practically speaking, if an individual is charged in Federal court and because of that charge, violates their probation in a State court or other Federal court, it is unlikely the Federal judge contemplating a bail will release the individual so as to not lose control of jurisdiction over them.

Detention

Per United States v. Xulam, 84 F.3d 441, 442 (D.C. Cir 1996), United States v. Rodriguez, 897 F.Supp. 1461, 1463 (S.D. Fla. 1995), and 18 USC 3142(c), pretrial detention is only appropriate if the Judge determines that no condition or combination of conditions exist which will reasonably assure the appearance of the person and the safety of any other person and the community. Detention hearings are appropriate in cases involving a crime of violence, a drug offense for which the maximum term of imprisonment is ten or more years, any felony if the person has been convicted of two or more offenses just mentioned or comparable State offenses. Detention hearings are appropriate after motion by the government if the defendant is a serious flight risk or a risk to obstruct justice. If any of the aforementioned is applicable, the Government enjoys a rebuttable presumption that detention is appropriate.

How Can We Help?

Federal criminal attorney Jason Mayberry is regularly in Federal court helping clients with all issues in their case, beginning with bail. Being well versed in Federal bail issues and having a complete understanding of Federal bail statutes, attorney Mayberry is often able to get bail conditions for his clients, thereby allowing them to live in their own home during the pendency of their case and to aid in their defense. If you’ve been charged with a Federal white collar crime or Federal criminal charge in general, contact the Mayberry Law Firm at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847.