San Antonio State and Federal Criminal Defense
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court…”
These are the words most people hear (or should hear) after they have been arrested. But what happens next? And how do you get your loved one out of jail? That’s what this post will address.
Federal Preliminary and Detention Hearings
The Prelim. A preliminary hearing is where a magistrate determines if there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it.
Sometimes the feds secure an indictment before they arrest a defendant. In this scenario there will be no prelim hearing because a Grand Jury already made a probable cause determination.
The Detention Hearing. The Bail Reform Act governs federal bail hearings. It outlines when and how a person should be released on bail while his or her case proceeds through the system.
A defendant should show the following to be released on bail: : (1) that he or she will appear in court for future court dates; (2) that he or she will comply with all pre-trial conditions of release; (3) that he or she will not be a danger to the community; (4) for certain offenses, rebut the presumption for pretrial detention; and (5) has legal status to be in the United States.
Frequently, the magistrate judge will require a third-party (3P) custodian to sign an agreement that says the 3P will be responsible for paying a specific cash amount if the Defendant does not appear in court as directed. The 3P custodian should be a responsible person in the community who holds a steady job, is a U.S. Citizen or LPR, does not have criminal history and is not currently facing criminal charges, and has an otherwise stable life.
Texas State Court Bail System. The Texas state court bail system is more basic and primitive. It generally requires the Defendant to post a bond from either a bail bondsman or an attorney, i.e., the defendant pays cash to get out of jail.
Sometimes a defendant is arrested and “remanded without bond” (R.W.O.B.) or the bail is set too high. A defense attorney can help in these situations The lawyer can ask the judge to set a bond if a client is R.W.O.B. Or the attorney can file a motion or writ of habeas corpus to request a lower bond amount.
I Bonded Out…I’m Free Right?
Well yes and no. Physically, you are free, but you will be required to comply with conditions of pretrial release–especially in federal court. If you violate the conditions of pretrial release, then a warrant will be issued for your arrest and it will be difficult to get out of jail a second time.
The most common violations I see in Federal Court are defendants who fail drug tests. Failed drug tests are grounds to have your pretrial bond revoked. This means you will have to wait in jail until your case is resolved.
San Antonio Bail Hearing Defense
After you are arrested in federal court, the first step in the legal process will be your right to request pretrial release while your case gets resolved. This is a critical stage of your case because you will want to be out on bond while you fight your case.