Criminal defense attorneys in Atlanta, like lawyers all around the United States, all know how important it is to try and get a bond for their clients, and get the defendant out of jail early in a criminal prosecution. The recent criminal prosecution of the rap artist T.I here in Atlanta on firearms charges is a great example of how the whole process works in a federal criminal case. My law partner Carl Lietz and I have handles hundreds, if not thousands, of such cases, and we recognize how incredibly important it is to our clients and their families to remain free while they fight against a federal criminal case. Not only do we realize how crucial this is, we also know from vast experience how to “work the system” during this early phase of a criminal case.
First, let’s talk about the law. Something called the Bail Reform Act was enacted by Congress in 1984. Readers might remember from an earlier post that this was the same time that Congress enacted the unfortunate Sentencing Guidelines, and all in all, Congress made some very unwise choices when these laws were created. Anyway, under the Bail Reform Act, a prosecutor can try and hold a defendant in jail with no bail or bond whatsoever, something we call “detention.” Before that can happen, there has to be a “detention hearing”, which generally takes place in front of a Federal Magistrate Judge. The prosecutor can put off this detention hearing for up to three business days, which means that some of our clients are held over a weekend just because a prosecutor claims he or she will later win at the detention hearing.