Law is not black or white, it's grey


Bail bond in Federal Court, Detention hearing

How do I post bond or get bail in a federal criminal case? (called a detention hearing in federal court)

Clients all want to know if they will be able to post a bond or get out of jail.  Your one and only shot at getting out of jail on a bond in federal court is to win the detention hearing.  

The reality is some people in federal criminal court in Florida are held PTD or pre-trial detention.  In other words, they do not get out of jail before trial.

Theoretically, the judge can release you O.R. or on your own recognizance, release you on some type of conditions, which must be the least restrictive.  You may be detained before trial.  In federal court, it's called pre-trial detention.

Sometimes, the government will ask for pre-trial detention. The judge will consider whether you are a flight risk and a danger to the community. 

There is a presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will get you to show up to court and keep the community safe if you are charged with a drug offense or violent offense that is punishable by ten years or more. In Federal court, the AUSA usually says the “presumption applies.” However, this is a rebuttable presumption, which means you can overcome that by effective cross examination of the agents and possibly putting on witnesses yourself or proceeding by proffer (telling the judge what you think the evidence would show).

The detention hearing is sometimes held at the same time as the arraignment. However, your lawyer can ask for a continuance. The judge will usually grant the request, but for no longer than 5 days. The detention hearing is critical. The government may proceed by proffer.  That is, they may just tell the judge about the case and why you are a risk of flight and a danger to the community.  Typically, even if the government proceeds by proffer, they will have an agent (not necessarily the one with the most information) available for cross examination.  Your lawyer will generally get one chance (at the detention hearing) to cross examine the agent(s) before trial. The government will know how much of a fight your lawyer is going to put up based, in part, on how he cross examines the agents. A great cross examination at the detention hearing is usually your best shot at getting out of jail before trial. Your lawyer can also call witnesses to say you’re going to show up for court, and to testify that you are not a danger to the community. Your federal criminal lawyer may also proceed by proffer.  

Appeal of denial of bond/bail in federal court

If the magistrate judge (magistrates typically handle all the detention hearings) improperly denies bail/bond, you can appeal the decision.  A magistrate is not an article III judge.  

The appeal goes to the district court.  The district court must look at everything anew - called reviewing the matter de novo - and undertake a complete review of the matter and make it's own independent conclusion.  



"Law is not black or white, it's Grey"

Florida Bar board certified criminal trial lawyer Grey Tesh handles federal detention hearings, appeals denying bond bail in federal criminal court all across Florida and the United States.  A federal criminal trial lawyer based out of West Palm Beach, Grey can handle federal criminal cases where families want their loved one to get a bond at the detention hearing in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida, and can handle federal bond bail detention hearing issues anywhere in the United States pro hac vice.