Anyone new to the criminal justice system on the local level may find the bail bonds process confusing. Even more overwhelming are the ins and outs of federal charges. Are you or someone you care about facing federal charges? The following information can help you understand what federal bail bonds are and how they differ from state bail bonds in Angleton.
The definition of federal charges
Someone who is brought up on federal criminal charges is accused of violating both the laws of the state where the crime was committed as well as federal laws. However, some crimes are deemed solely a violation of federal laws, meaning state laws may not have been violated. So, how are federal charges brought against an individual? Either the person crossed state lines during the commission of a crime or a crime was committed on federal lands. These types of criminal cases will involve the United States government, and thus the criminal prosecution process becomes more complex.
Federal charges versus state charges
The main differences that separate federal charges from state charges are where the charges are coming from and who will be prosecuting the accused:
- State: When it comes to state cases, the individual state permits a prosecutor to bring criminal charges against the accused in a state court. Continuing on with the process, each state will then follow its own bail bond requirements and procedures.
- Federal: As for federal charges, they can only originate in federal court. The bail or bond amount is decided on and set by a federal judge—just like a state judge does with state charges. Facing charges in federal court may result in a higher bond amount than in state court for a similar criminal offense.
How federal bail bonds differ from state bail bonds
A major difference between federal bail bonds and state bail bonds is the bail amount. Federal bail bonds are most always more expensive than state bail, because federal courts set higher amounts for release on bond than state courts typically do. A person accused of a federal crime can expect to pay approximately 15 percent of the bond amount, not 10 percent like in state cases. This is because the federal bail bond system is more complex, and individuals charged with federal crimes tend to be greater flight risks. The amount of collateral is also increased to around 150 percent of the bond amount.
More court hearings associated with federal bail bonds
The federal government wants to be absolutely sure a person accused of a federal crime does not pay their bail or bond with funds acquired from criminal acts. Rest assured that the courts will go the extra mile to ensure the bond money has been legally obtained. For this reason, federal courts require an additional hearing (called a Nebbia hearing) to thoroughly analyze where the funds being used for a bond are coming from. The government must be able to verify that the funds are legitimate, otherwise bail will be denied.
Don’t hesitate to contact the knowledgeable team at Brazoria County Bail Bonds for more information about federal or state bail bonds in Angleton.