Monday, February 06, 2017


We've looked at methods to stop the grand jury process, establishing there's been grand jury abuse and how to make direct challenges to a grand jury indictment. But unfortunately even when a grand jury indictment may be subject to a later challenge once a federal grand jury produces an indictment against a defendant who has not already been arrested for the allegations he will face immediate federal arrest. Within hours or a few days of the arrest the defendant will face a federal magistrate judge in a federal courtroom who will make important determinations as to whether the defendant should be released while awaiting trial and if so what restraints and limitations may be required such as giving up of passport, gps monitoring, drug monitoring or ankle bracelet.

 Eliminate Your Flight Risk
Unlike the way criminal cases move forward in Florida's state criminal court system it's unusual for a bail bondsman to be involved in the federal bond process as the magistrate is apt to either allow a property bond subject to forfeiture or to grant a signature bond if release before trial is deemed appropriate. The magistrate judge's primary objective is to secure attendance to future court hearings and trials by eliminating any flight risk from the defendant. Factors a judge takes into account for federal bond and detention include the nature of the offense, the prior record of the defendant, the violent nature of the offense and statutory requirements such as the necessity to view any drug trafficking offense as a presumptive threat to the public.

In the Middle District of Florida most federal prisoners await their first appearance at the Pinellas County Jail which is often overcrowded with unsafe conditions. After the initial hearing with the magistrate the Florida federal cases proceed quickly compared to Florida state cases and in a manner of months are usually resolved by plea or trial.

The most important decisions made by federal defendants are often made very early in the federal criminal process sometimes well before the grand jury even deliberates on the allegations of misconduct. In federal cases where smart decisions are made early the likelihood of future success are enhanced so it's important to work with your federal criminal defense lawyer to gain the best results.

No comments: