Federal Detention Hearing
– by Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez
If you have been arrested for a federal offense you may be eligible for release on bond. A pretrial detention hearing in federal court is much like a bail hearing in state court. It is a hearing at which the court determines whether to detain a defendant without bail.
These hearings are typically held at the first court appearance and are reserved for certain kinds of cases, including:
- crimes of violence
- offenses carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison or death
- terrorism or drug offenses that have a maximum prison term of at least 10 years
- felony charges for defendants who have two or more convictions for the crimes mentioned above, and
- felonies involving minor victims, dangerous weapons (including firearms), or failure to register as a sex offender. (18 U.S.C. § 3142.)
A detention hearing is also required if there is a serious risk that the accused will flee or interfere with the judicial process in any way, including by intimidating witnesses or jurors.
In deciding whether bail is appropriate, the court considers whether there are any conditions (such as a particular bail amount or monitoring by the government) that will ensure that the defendant, if released from custody, will show up for court in the future. The judge will also consider whether the defendant’s release will compromise the safety of any particular people or the community at large.
Why should I contact a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you face a bail or detention hearing, seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The process is complex and requires someone with experience and knowledge concerning this very serious first step in a federal criminal prosecution.
What happens at a Detention Hearing in a federal criminal case?
The purpose of the hearing is to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate to the magistrate judge that there are release conditions that he or she can put into place that will insure your presence at future court appearances and the safety of the community. Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142 identifies factors the court will consider in making this determination. These factors include but are not limited to:
1 The nature and circumstances of the offense charged, including (among other things) whether it involves: a) a minor; b) a controlled substance; c) a firearm; or d) an act of terrorism.
2 The weight of the evidence against the defendant.
3 The history and characteristics of the defendant including the defendant’s: a) character; b) physical and mental condition; c) family ties; d) employment; e) financial resources; f) community ties; g) history of alcohol or drug abuse; h) criminal history; I) record for court appearances; and j) whether the defendant was under some other release condition at the time of the charged conduct.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
At Fernandez & Hernandez, the criminal defense attorneys are familiar with laws governing reasonable bail and have extensive experience dealing with release on bail and bond. Our attorneys have established a successful track record of results in obtaining reasonable bail.
Pretrial Motions for Detention: The Bail Reform Act requires the pretrial detention of a defendant only if a judicial officer determines that no conditions or combination of conditions exist which will reasonably assure the appearance of the person, and the safety of any other person and the community. Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(c).
Personal Recognizance/Unsecured Appearance Bond: Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(b) requires a judicial officer to order the pretrial release of a defendant on “personal recognizance” or upon the defendant’s execution of an “unsecured appearance bond” in an amount specified by the court.
Timing Of Detention Hearing: Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(f)(2) contains specific guidelines regarding the timing of detention hearings. Ideally, the hearing is supposed to take place immediately upon the defendant’s first appearance before the judicial officer.
Application of the Rebuttable Presumption: Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(e) contains three categories of criminal offenses that give rise to a rebuttable presumption that “no condition or combination of conditions” will (1) “reasonably assure” the safety of any other person and the community if the defendant is released; or (2) “reasonably assure” the appearance of the defendant as required and “reasonably assure” the safety of any other person and the community if the defendant is released. The rebuttable presumption relating only to the safety of any other person and the community pertains to those cases meeting the criteria of Section 3142(e)(1)-(3). The rebuttable presumption relating to both “risk of flight” and “danger to the community” pertains to those cases where the judicial officer finds there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed: (1) a drug offense when the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years or more; or (2) an offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c). 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e).
Burden of Proof At Detention Hearing: In a pretrial detention hearing, the government’s burden is to establish that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community and whether any conditions of release will reasonably assure the defendant’s attendance at trial (risk of flight).
Bail Application Following Pretrial Detention: When a defendant moves for release on bail following pretrial detention, the court must consider three factors: (1) the length of the pretrial detention; (2) the extent to which the prosecution is responsible for the delay of the trial; and (3) the strength of the evidence upon which the pretrial detention was based.
If you have been charged with a federal offense you may be entitled to release from incarceration pending trial. Fernandez & Hernandez can assist you. Criminal defense attorney Daniel J. Fernandez can help guide you through the process. Our firm has represented clients in numerous detention hearings. Many of these hearings have resulted in release on personal surety, bond or conditional release.
If you have been arrested for a federal offense and would like to be released from incarceration while awaiting trial, call Tampa criminal defense lawyer Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.
Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez
Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez provides legal representation for individuals in criminal cases. Our Tampa criminal defense attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you. Our Tampa Attorneys Daniel Fernandez and Martin Hernandez are bilingual.
If you have been charged with a federal offense in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa criminal Defense lawyer Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.
Call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229-5353 or read more at: www.CriminalDefenseLawyerTampa.com
#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer