Is My Loved One in Federal Custody
Having a family member or loved one arrested can be a frightening experienced. If your loved one has been arrested, it may not be known if the individual is in federal or state custody. A pre-trial defendant is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals pending completion of a federal case. You can check online with the Federal Bureau of Prisons if the person is in federal custody (www.bop.gov/inmateloc/). However, the online database may take several days to update. You can also check with the local U.S. Marshals.
An individual may be arrested or detained by immigration. An immigration offense is different than a federal criminal case. Individuals pending removal or a hearing before an immigration judge are not in the custody of U.S. Marshals, but are held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Immigration detainees may be located online at http://locator.ice.gov
Bonds in Federal Criminal cases
Bonds in federal court are different than in state court. In state court, it is common that a bail bondsman is paid a percentage of the bond set by the court by a family member or friend. In the Southern District of California, bonds are typically personal surety or real property bonds. Attorney Leif Kleven has successfully had defendants released from custody pending resolution of their criminal case.
Personal Surety Bond
If a personal surety bond is set, then the judge will set conditions as to the amount and number of individuals that can set bond. For example, a bond of $50,000.00 with two (2) personal sureties will require that two people, individually have assets of $50,000.00. Often no money is required upfront. Rather, the sureties promise to pay the amount if the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of pretrial release.
A property bond requires that real property, typically a house, be used as collateral for the bond. A deed of trust is filed with the county where the real property is located. If the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of pretrial release, the U.S. Government may sell the property to satisfy the bond. Obtaining a property bond can be a lengthy process and often requires the assistance of a real estate agent or appraiser.