How Bail Works in Federal Court

If you are wondering if federal cases have bail, you are not alone. The short answer to this is yes, you can be released on bail in a federal court case. Bail, in federal cases, is completely different than bail in state cases though. One of the reasons why is because a bail bondsman is not used in a federal case. Instead, when you appear in federal court for your first appearance, a detention hearing is held. After, depending on the charges and potential sentence, the government either recommends detention (meaning no release on bail) or some sort of bail.

Explaining Bail in Federal Court

Before your attorney can make an argument for bail, you will be interviewed by the pretrial services office. You will be asked about your background, your ties to your community, your family, your criminal history, your education, your employment, and other additional information to be able to make a recommendation to the court. After, when you appear in front of the judge, your attorney will make an argument to keep you out on bond.

You would be under supervision by pretrial services during this time, so you will need to report to them. You may not be able to use drugs and/or alcohol during this time. You are also not allowed to have any firearms in your possession, and, depending on the circumstances of your case, there could be other restrictions, such as travel restrictions. You may also need permission from the court to travel.

Bonds in a Federal Case

A bond can be two different things:

  • Signature signed by you or a responsible third party (it will state that they will pay a certain amount of money if you do not show up for court)
  • Property bond (You will need to find someone with equity in their home if you do not have equity in your own home)

In the event you do not show up for court or violate any of the terms of your release, you will either pay a certain amount of money or the house listed in the property bond will need to be forfeited to the court. You can use a bail bondsman for the process of giving the house to the court; however, that is not necessary. Once that is completed, the court will set the conditions of release.

If you or a loved one is charged with a federal case, contact our office online to schedule a consultation.