How Federal Bail Bonds Differ From Local Bonds

If you are arrested on federal criminal charges, the crime is generally worse, and the penalty, if you are convicted, is going to be higher. Federal bail bonds are also different than a state bond because of the severity of the charges that go with them. Understanding the difference is essential if you are charged with a federal crime.

Bail Percentage Fees

Most bail bond companies have a fee of about ten percent of the bond to process your paperwork, post your bail, and get you out of jail. While that is not set in stone everywhere, you can expect a number within a percent or two of that with most bondsman. The percentage can change if your charges are high and you have a history of fleeing after an arrest. 

Federal bonds are different because of the amount of work the bondsman needs to do. Often, federal bond rates are closer to fifteen percent of the face value of the bond and could be higher, depending on the bond company. 

Collateral Requirements

Often when a defendant is looking at federal charges, the bond process will require a hearing to determine the legitimacy of the assets used to guarantee the bond. During this hearing, you will need to prove that all assets you are using as a guarantee is legally owned by you and were not gained illegally. 

The collateral may include properties, income, bank statements, or anything that shows enough value to cover the bond if you do not come to court. If you present a house valued at five hundred thousand dollars to the court, but you have a mortgage with a balance of three hundred thousand, the court may accept it, but as two hundred thousand dollars in collateral, not its five hundred thousand dollar value.

In many cases, the collateral pledged for the bond goes to the court, not the bond agency, but you or your bondsman must present them to the court to review. If the court does not accept the collateral, you may not be able to bail out of jail, even with a bondsman involved. 

Choosing a Bondsman

Not all bondsmen can work in the federal system, so finding one that can is important. It is essential to be clear that your charges are federal when you contact the bondsman, so they know what they are getting involved with. The bondsman may decline the business, and if they do, move on to the next one on the list. Most jails, including federal facilities, have a list of bondsmen that work in the area that may be helpful if you do not know who to call.

To learn more, contact a company that specializes in federal bail bonds