State vs. Federal Bail

Federal Bonds vs State Bail Bonds

State bail bonds, and Federal bonds tend to be very different entities, and should never be confused. State bail bonds are regulated by each individual state, and rely upon each respective state’s set bail schedule, which is set up on an annual basis. In the majority of state cases, the accused can be granted freedom if they qualify for a state bail.

In the case where a defendant has been arrested for a federal crime, they must appear before a Magistrate who will in turn, determine the amount of the bail. A Magistrate has the complete authority to release an accused on their own recognizance, issue an unrestricted bail, or even a bail with a number of restrictions. Some of the restrictions could include, being prohibited from travel, made to seek employment, mandatory drug and/or alcohol testing, and perhaps even submitting to psychological, psychiatric, or even medical testing. Federal bonds do not have a set bail schedule like state bail does. It is up to the complete discretion of the Magistrate. It is natural to assume that a federal bail will be much more expensive than that of a state bail.

There are actually over 4,500 crimes that can result in federal prosecution. Some examples of federal crimes include:

  • Customs Violations
  • Kidnapping
  • Tax Evasion
  • Bank Robbery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Mail Fraud
  • Organized Crime
  • Importation of Illegal Drugs

These are just a handful of the crimes that will automatically result in federal charges.

In the case of a federal arrest, it is normal for the bail bond to cost 15% of the entire bail amount, unlike the 10% in state bail bonds cases. For example, if $50,000 is the amount set on the federal bail, then a federal bail bond will cost $7,500.  Federal bail bonds normally take longer to process than state bail bonds, and therefore require much more work from the bail bondsman, or bail bond agency. The rate that a federal bail bonds company can charge is regulated, the same as state bail.

If you or someone you know is charged with a federal crime, it is imperative that you contact a reputable, and experience bail bonds company. Federal charges are not something you should attempt to handle on your own.