State vs. Federal Bail

State Bail Bonds vs. Federal Bonds

State bail bonds, and Federal bonds are very different, and should never be confused, although they often are.  State bail bonds are regulated by the actual state, and rely on the setting of a bail schedule.  In most state cases, a defendant may be granted their freedom if they qualify for a state bail, even before having to attend their trial.

When a defendant has been charged with a federal crime, they must appear before a Magistrate before a bail can be set.  A Magistrate has the power to release a defendant on their own recognizance, unrestricted bail, or even on bail with restrictions.  Some of the restrictions that could apply include, being prohibited from travel, made to seek employment, mandatory drug and/or alcohol testing, and even submitting to psychological, psychiatric, or even medical testing.  Federal bonds do not have a set bail schedule, like state bail does.  The set bail is totally at the discretion of the Magistrate.  It is natural to assume that a federal bail will be somewhat higher than that of a state bail.

Currently, there are over 4,500 crimes that can cause 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 very few of the crimes that will automatically cause federal charges.

When someone has actually been arrested for a federal crime, it is normal for their bail bond to cost 15% of the entire bail amount, unlike the 10% in most 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.