Federal bonds are for charges that originate out of federal district court. If you have been arrested on a federal criminal charge, and you don’t have the resources to pay for your bail, you must post a federal bond.
What to Expect with Federal Bail Bonds
- Judge sets bail. Just as in state court, a federal judge has the discretion to set bail on a federal criminal charge. Expect a much higher bond in federal court than in state court, due to the severity of federal charges.
- Defendant pays more. Because of the greater complexity and risk involved with federal bail bonds, the defendant generally pays a 15 percent fee instead of the 10 percent fee for state or local bonds. The bail bonds company will then seek collateral to cover the rest of the bond amount. Depending on the crime, federal bail can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. Many federal bail bonds companies will look for collateral worth 150 percent of the amount being secured.
- Additional hearing. The federal court judge or a magistrate will hold a hearing to make sure that the money or property a defendant is using to post bail is not the fruit of a criminal endeavor. Known as a “Nebbia hearing,” the defendant must prove to prosecutors that the money or property being used legitimately comes from savings or other proper sources. If the government suspects that money for bail comes from a criminal enterprise, then the bail will be denied.