Federal Bond Hearings

Federal Bond Hearings

Federal Detention Hearings

(Federal Bond Hearings)

What Happens After Federal Agents Arrest A Person? 
After federal agents arrest a person, the agents must bring the person to a Federal Magistrate Judge without unnecessary delay.

What Is A Federal Detention Hearing (Federal Bond Hearing)?
When the agents bring an accused to federal court, a Federal Magistrate Judge will hold a federal detention hearing (also known as a federal bond hearing).

At the detention hearing, the Magistrate Judge will determine whether to release the accused or to detain the accused in jail pending trial.

During the detention hearing, a federal criminal defense attorney can present evidence (witness testimony and documents) as well as make arguments in favor of release.

What Are The Federal Magistrate’s Options at a Federal Detention Hearing?
The Magistrate Judge has a variety of options, including:

The Magistrate Judge could release the person on his or her own recognizance.

The Magistrate Judge could release the person on an unsecured appearance bond. When the accused signs an unsecured appearance bond, he promises to show up for future court proceedings, and he also promises that if he fails to appear in court he will have to pay a certain amount of money. However, the promise is not secured, or guaranteed, by any property.

The Magistrate Judge could release the person on a secured appearance bond.  With a secured appearance bond, the accused promises to appear at future court proceedings, and he also promises that if he fails to appear he will have to pay a certain amount of money or give up a piece of property.  The promise is guaranteed by money or collateral, which the court can take if the accused does not appear in court as directed.   Sometimes, a family member of the accused will offer their money or property as the collateral for the secured appearance bond.

The Magistrate Judge could release the accused on a bail bond.  With a bail bond, the accused (or his family) pays a bail bondsmen a premium, or fee, so that the bail bondsman guarantees to pay the amount of the bond if the accused does not appear for court.

The Magistrate Judge could release the person to the custody of another person, called a third-party custodian.  The third-party custodian is often a close relative or employer of the accused person.  The third-party custodian agrees to supervise the accused person while they are on pre-trial release, and report any violation of a release condition to the Magistrate Judge.

The Magistrate Judge could order that the person be detained in jail pending trial.

What Factors Will The Federal Magistrate Judge Take Into Account When Determining Whether Or Not To Grant Pre-Trial Release

The Federal Magistrate Judge’s job at a detention hearing is to determine whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the accused in court, as well as reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community.

The Federal Magistrate Judge will take the following factors into account:

  1. The nature and circumstances of the offense charged.
  1. The weight of the evidence against the person.
  1. The history and characteristics of the person, including:
  • The person’s character, physical and mental condition;
  • Family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties;
  • History relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history;
  • Record concerning appearance at court proceedings;
  • Whether, at the time of the current offense or arrest, the person was on probation, on parole, or on other release.
  1. The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person’s release.

If The Federal Magistrate Judge Decides to Release the Accused, Can The Judge Set Conditions of Pretrial Release?

Yes.  The Federal Magistrate Judge can order that the accused person:

  • Maintain employment
  • If unemployed, look for a job
  • Attend school
  • Wear a GPS
  • Follow restrictions on personal associations, place of residence, or travel
  • Avoid contact with an alleged victim of the crime and with potential witnesses
  • Report to a pretrial services agency
  • Comply with curfew
  • Not possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon
  • Refrain from excessive use of alcohol
  • Not use illegal drugs
  • Undergo medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment, including treatment for drug or alcohol dependency

If the accused violates the terms of release, the Federal Magistrate Judge can order the detention of the accused pending trial.

Are you looking for the best federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents people in matters related to federal criminal offenses.

Attorney Hardy is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. In the Federal Courts, he has handled a wide variety of cases including international extradition, drug trafficking, bank fraud, health care fraud, immigration offenses, aggravated identity theft, the misbranding of drugs, and firearms offenses.  He has represented clients in Federal Trial and Appellate Courts in Florida, Texas, and Georgia.

Attorney Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.  Contact Attorney Hardy for a free consultation.