If you get arrested on a federal charge, you'll be held in federal custody. That means you may need to post a federal bail bond. Here's what you should know.
The Basics Are the Same
The basics of a federal bail bond versus a bail bond at your local jail are the same. A judge may require that you post bail before being released from jail to guarantee that you will come back to court.
You can either pay the full amount in cash or purchase a bail bond from a bail bond agent at a percentage of the full bail. If you opt for a bail bond, you don't get the bail bond fee back, but you also don't need to worry about coming up with the full amount of cash.
Federal Bail Is Usually Higher
Federal bail is usually higher than state bail. That's because federal charges are usually higher. For example, shoplifting is prosecuted in state court, while bank robbery is usually prosecuted in federal court. The federal government generally only handles serious charges rather than those that have a small local impact.
The purpose of bail is to make sure you go back to court. Since you face more time in prison for higher charges, there's less chance that you'll want to go back to court. Increasing your bail for higher charges is how the court system makes it more costly to skip court.
Federal Jails May Be Farther Away
Because the federal government has fewer crimes that it pursues, it arrests fewer people and needs fewer jails. If you get arrested on a state charge, you're usually taken to a nearby county or city jail. Federal jails are often only in major cities, so how far you're taken depends on where you live.
If you're farther from home, it may be harder to have someone come bail you out. That's where a local bail bonds agent can help.
You May Still Have State Bail
If you get arrested on federal charges, you may still have to pay state bail. For some crimes, you may get both state and federal charges. Other times, you may have separate charges from separate incidents.
Before you can be released, you need to post both the state and federal bails. If you just pay the federal bail, the federal jail will send you to the state jail instead of releasing you.
To learn more about federal bail bonds, contact a local bail bonds agent.