What Is A Detention Hearing?
By Dan Noll on November 12th, 2014 in
One of the proceedings in any criminal case is the initial appearance. At the initial appearance, usually a magistrate judge – you have federal district judges and then under the as functionaries are the federal magistrate judge. We will appear on behalf of our client with our client. The US attorney will be there. The judge will check to make sure that our client is aware of whenever a complaint or indictment has been presented. We will be there present at this initial appearance.
The judge will set bond. Quite often in the federal cases, the US Attorney’s Office will ask that there’d be no bond at all. Absolutely no bond. That for whatever reason because of the seriousness of the defense, or the likelihood that the defendant may flee or that the defendant is a threat to the community because of violent crimes or criminal history. They will seek to be detained and a detention hearing can be held at that time at the initial appearance, or you can delay it for several days if you’re the defense attorney in order to get witnesses together.
The two criteria really that the judge looks at is: Number 1- is the person a threat to society, or a threat to the community. 2- is the person a threat to himself. If you have somebody that’s suicidal the court will want to make sure that they’d not be allowed out on bond. Detention is really unique to the federal system. You see extremely high bonds in the state court which in effect detains somebody because they just can’t make $1 million bond.
Detention is unequivocal. It’s not a question of the bond amount. You can be the richest person in the United States and if you’re detained, you’re staying incarcerated during the entire process and trial.