If the defendant is arrested and accused of an interstate or federal crime, they might be eligible to be released using a federal bail bond. Examples of a federal crime would be if the defendant crossed a state line during commission of the crime, if the defendant defaced federal property, if the defendant was involved in FBI-investigated crimes, if the defendant was involved in drug trafficking, if the defendant was involved in federal tax evasion, etc.
Federal bail bonds are different from county bail bonds in three ways. The first way is that federal bail bond fee is usually 15% as opposed to the 10% of county bail bonds. This is mostly due to the higher risk and liability of the federal bail bond. There are more restrictions imposed on the defendants by the court under federal bail bonds, meaning there is a higher risk involved when issuing them. This accounts for the higher price of the bond.
The second way is that there is usually extra collateral necessary for issuance of a federal bail bond. The third way is there is often a bail sufficiency requirement of defendant to attend a special hearing called a bail source hearing or a Nebbia hearing. The hearing is required to ensure the court that the defendant and any co-signers of the bond are using money and collateral that comes from a legitimate source. Before requirements of attending a Nebbia hearing, a bail bond agent will produce a document called the Nebbia proffer, which is a summary of the assets that will be used as collateral to underwrite the bond. The Nebbia proffer is sent to the defendant’s attorney, to then sent to the prosecuting attorney. If the prosecuting attorney is not satisfied that the necessary requirements have been met, a Nebbia hearing will be set where the judge will decide on the matter.