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Why Can’t Some Defendants Bail Out in Federal Criminal Cases?

November 1, 2021 Federal Criminal Attorneys
Why Can’t Some Defendants Bail Out in Federal Criminal Cases?
It’s not uncommon to see those taken to jail on federal charges obtain their release on bail until their cases are resolved. The amount that a person must pay to be granted his or her freedom until a verdict is rendered depends largely on the type of crime the defendant committed. Other factors may include whether the defendant is a flight risk or if that person is likely to reoffend after being released. In some cases, a person is not given the ability to be released from custody pending the outcome of that individual’s case.

Wealthy Defendants Might Use Their Resources to Evade Capture

A defendant is unlikely to be granted bail if it can be shown that he or she might attempt to leave the country. For example, an individual may attempt to use a private jet to travel to a nation that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States. That person might also try to use a private boat to sail to another country to evade capture. Finally, a wealthy individual could use social connections to facilitate his or her exit from the country without anyone knowing about it before it’s too late.

The Government May Think That a Defendant Has Ties to Terrorism

If the government thinks that a person has ties to foreign or domestic terror groups, that individual is not going to be released from custody. In fact, a defendant who is believed to be part of a terrorist group might spend many years behind bars before his or her case makes it to trial. It’s possible that he or she will be placed in solitary confinement while awaiting trial to make it harder to communicate with others in that person’s criminal circle.

A Defendant May Refuse a Conditional Release

Individuals who are granted bail are generally required to surrender their passports, guns and other items that could make them a risk to others while free. They may also be required to wear a monitoring device or refrain from using communications devices while out of jail. If a defendant refuses to agree to these conditions, a judge may decide to deny that person the ability to be released on bail.

A Defendant Might Not Be Able to Afford Bail

In some cases, a judge will set bail at an amount that a person is unlikely to be able to pay without assistance. This is generally seen in cases where a person commits an especially heinous crime such as murder, arson or rape. This may also occur in cases involving money laundering or other financial crimes involving a significant sum of money. It’s not uncommon for a person to be required to pay in excess of $1 million to secure his or her freedom.

Some People May Prefer to Remain in Custody

There are times when people would rather remain in custody even if they might be able to afford bail. For instance, a person who feels as if he or she might be in danger on the outside may want to remain in protective custody until a threat passes. Those who have spent many years in prison may become institutionalized, which means that they simply don’t know how to function outside of the prison setting.

What Happens If You Can’t Bail Out?

If you are denied bail, it is in your best interest to talk to your attorney about asking a judge to reconsider his or her position. If you are granted a bail amount that you cannot afford, you should consider asking your attorney to petition for a lower amount. Your legal counsel may also be able to get rid of bail conditions that you might find to be particularly onerous or restrictive. In the event that you are taken to jail before being charged with a crime, you may want to consider asking for a hearing to determine the legality of your detention.

Unless you have ties to organized crime, have committed a heinous crime or have a lengthy criminal history, you should be granted bail in your case. If you are not, do not hesitate to ask for a hearing to reconsider whether or not this is appropriate in your matter.

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