If you’ve paid attention to the headlines in the past week, you probably know that a federal judge has revoked Paul Manafort’s bail.
When a judge revokes bail in the federal court system, the defendants do not pass go, they do not collect $200, and in most cases, they’re taken into custody by the US Marshal’s Service before they have a chance to walk out of the courtroom.
If you’re wondering why this is so significant, or how federal bail is different from bail bonds for state cases, you’ve come to the right place.
Manafort’s $10 million-dollar mistake
The biggest difference between the federal and state bail bonds, is while state bail guarantees the defendant will go to court, federal bail bonds not only guarantee court appearance, they guarantee all terms and conditions of the defendant’s release.
In Manafort’s case, the court agreed to allow him to be “released” to home detention (with the stipulation he’d need to wear an ankle monitor) after he posted a $10 million bail package. In this particular instance, the “package” involved putting up property (valued in excess of $10 million) with the court.
As part of his release, the court indicated he’d need to abide by a laundry list of terms and conditions, including:
The language in the document goes onto say, that the bond may be forfeited if Manafort did not comply with the agreement. Should that happen, the court could immediately order the amount of the bond surrendered to the United States, including the security of the bond, if Manafort failed to comply.
Ultimately, since Manafort’s bail was revoked because he’s facing additional charges, the court could move to seize the property he put up to guarantee the bond.
Know what you’re being asked to sign
If you have a friend or family member that is facing federal charges and you’ve been asked to cosign for their bail bonds, you should have a full understanding of what you’re getting yourself into before you sign on the dotted line.
In the federal system, judges have several options when it comes to releasing a defendant on bail bonds. They can opt for a personal surety bond, which will require the court examine the assets of the cosigner to make sure they can cover the cost of a potential forfeiture.
The court could also ask for a cash bond, where the full amount of the defendant’s bail is put up with the court in the form of a cashier’s check. In some cases, the judge will allow for a property bond (as was the case with Paul Manafort), and in some instances, a judge will allow for a corporate surety bond (which is essentially a fancy term for federal bail bonds) to be posted.
Regardless as to the type of bond the court wants, the cosigner will be guaranteeing both the defendant’s court appearances and that they’ll abide by all the terms and conditions of release.
If you don’t have full certainty that the defendant will abide by the conditions that have bee set forth by the court, you may want to think twice about signing your name to the bond packet.
There are a few ways to build a bail bond business in Orange County, but none easier or cheaper than hiring inmates inside the jail to refer you fresh customers every day. “Capping” , as it’s known, has been going on inside every jail in California for decades and the illegal activity shows no signs of slowing down.
Here is another example of the so called “PARS” program at work…..or rather, FAIL to work, as the case may be.
In January of this year the defendant, Samantha Marcial, (case #16CF0430, see attached) was entered into the PARS program and released from custody after being charged with felony burglary and grand theft. She since has picked up another grand theft/receiving stolen property case and has been a fugitive since March. Because there is no bail bond agency and co-signers incentivized to have Ms. Marcial appear in court, she will more than likely remain a fugitive. This means justice goes unserved (so sorry victims) or if by chance she gets picked up again, it’s the tax-payers that carry the costs of apprehension and incarceration.
The testimonial below demonstrates why choosing the right bail agent is so import and why professionalism, honesty and integrity outweigh the perceived benefit of illegal discounts offered by inexperienced and dishonest bail agents."It’s been 6 years since my family and I were led to Jason. I have been out on bail for over 6 years. Jason has been a man of his word and kept my bond. My case has already been through trial and is awaiting a retrial, if I had picked another bail bonds company I would have been charged a yearly fee that would have put my family in financial ruins. I can’t express to anyone who is looking for a bail bond person, how great Jason has been, a real God send!!!!. I’m so grateful for Jason’s hands-on help. To anyone who is looking for a bail bonds company without hesitation use Jason, he can do the impossible. Thank you Jason for your help and understanding."-- Shaine Lavoie
By Diane Bass, Criminal Defense Attorney, Orange County, California
Bail Bondsmen play a completely different roll in Federal Court. The federal court does not accept bail bonds in the same way that they do in State Court. Bonds in Federal Court are either Signature Bonds which are unsecured bonds very similar to a promissory note, usually signed by a responsible third party. The other type of bond used in Federal Court is a Property Bond or a Bond that is secured by property, almost always real estate.
There is much confusion surrounding bail in the Federal court criminal justice system and very few have the knowledge and background to assist you, or even explain it clearly. Unlike state court, it’s not a simple process of having a local bail agent run to the jail to have a loved one released. There are several possibilities for bail in Federal Court and most take a few days or even weeks to submit. Determination for bail is always made by the Judge or Magistrate handling the case.
If you are appearing in Central Court on a warrant or your current bail may go higher, be sure to have a qualified bondsman with you, otherwise you will be sent to jail. The new policy states that if at any point a judge“remands a defendant to the custody of the Sheriff”, they will no longer accept a bail bond in court and the defendant will be sent to Orange County Jail.
A new comprehensive report released last month from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) shows once again that having defendants released from custody by way of a bail bond is the most effective and economical method when compared to government funded unsecured release. This detailed report quantifies and clearly defines the performance differences between Surety Bail Bonds vs. unsecured releases. This report found:
As an ExpertBail member we strongly support changing the way the public views our industry. The stereotypes portrayed in television and films could not be farther from the truth about bail bondsmen, the types of people we help and how we conduct business on a day-to-day basis. ExpertBail is at the forefront of this “rebranding” effort and Bail Bond Professionals is extremely proud to be associated with this exclusive group of the finest bail agents across the country.
In the month of September the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), aka Pretrial Services, put out a scathing anti-bail propaganda document named “Bail Fail” depicting the bail bond industry in America as a complete failure which has led to more crime, more jail overcrowding and is a broken system that needs to be eliminated. JPI declared September as the “War on Bail” month by spreading their report to anyone who would listen, including Judges, District Attorney’s, Bar Associations and the like. Needless to say, “Bail Fail” fails miserably to tell the truth about what bail agents do, how we do it and what benefits we bring to the criminal justice system, the states we operate in and society as a whole.