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Federal criminal defense and bail bonds

Posted by Ann Fitz | Sep 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

In Florida, one major concern for defendants in a federal criminal trial is the bond and ball system. It plays an important role in determining how and when a person can stay at home instead of jail when awaiting trial and what conditions may apply.


A bond is a contract that specifies that a defendant will appear in court on a pre-selected date to begin their trial. A bond is a privilege and an opportunity that makes it easier to prepare a defense. To ensure that the defendant will appear, the federal court will set bail at a certain cash amount. The judge has the right to determine this number as well as to set additional conditions, like drug tests, travel restrictions, rules against associating with certain people, monitoring, and more.

To get someone released on bond in federal court, it is essential to find someone who can sign the Affidavit of Surety. This form testifies that they have a steady income and enough money to cover the cost of the bail bond if the defendant does not appear. This could be in the form of cash, equity in an asset like a house, or other financial resources. The person signing this form has to be ready to surrender that asset or money if the defendant fails to live up to their end of the bond.

Federal bonds can take a long time to settle, and they are a core part of pre-trial preparation for defendants who are awaiting trial. Understanding how they work means being ready to use the right resources to get the bond contract fulfilled.

About the Author

Ann Fitz

Attorney Ann Fitz Attorney Ann Fitz has 20 years of experience as a federal criminal attorney and appellate practice attorney.  She began her career as a prosecutor in 2003 and started her own federal criminal defense practice in 2007.  She is devoted to protecting the rights of the accused in f...


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