Question: How do bonds work in a federal case?

Benson Varghese: In a federal system, you cannot get out of federal custody after an arrest by simply putting up a monetary bond. In a state system, you can assure the court that you’ll be back to court at all future court settings by making a bail bond or putting up money as a guarantee that you’ll be back for those court settings. In Texas and in the federal system within Texas, the courts do not allow that. They will look at various factors to see if you can be released while the case is pending. Ties to the community, lack of prior criminal history, the fact that you have a job or you’re in school, the fact that you have a family or other representatives who will tell the court that they will essentially watch over you—these are all factors that the court will consider.

Things that will go against you and will lead a judge to not release you: first, if you’re charged with a crime; second, if you are charged with a drug offense. In drug cases in the federal system, there is a presumption against release, so you go in knowing that the judge is very unlikely to release you and if you are to be released, it would only be because your attorney put on so much evidence that it overcame the presumption against release in that federal drug case.