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Risks Of Being Held On Bond in a DC Federal Drug Case

If a person is not released on bail or bond following a detention hearing, they will be taken to a detention center and held there.

At this point, the lawyer for the accused can file a motion to reconsider. A district judge can then take a fresh look at the case and make a decision about whether to uphold the decision to keep the defendant at the detention center or have them released until their trial date. In some cases, people get out following a reconsideration hearing, while in others they remain in the detention center until the date of their hearing.

Risks for Assets

A person’s assets may be at risk if they are not released on bond. There is a whole body of forfeiture law and it depends on the jurisdiction in which the defendant is in.

One of the key factors is whether or not the allegation of illegality can be traced to an asset such as a car or  home. In other words, there is some connection between the alleged illegal activity and the asset. For example, if a car or house was purchased from money derived from the sale of drugs then it could result in forfeiture or seizure by law enforcement in certain jurisdictions.

The defendant can fight the seizure or freezing of assets. There can be extensive litigation on those issues but it can get very complicated very easily, so it is important to have a lawyer dealing with those issues.

Risks for Family

If not released before trial, one of the potential risks to a family member is that law enforcement may believe the family member might be involved in criminal activity, because, for example, there are numerous phone calls between the defendant and the family member. If the family member shows up on surveillance or on recorded phone calls, law enforcement might believe that the family member is involved and could begin investigative efforts also.

There is also the potential danger when a search warrant or an arrest warrant is executed and law enforcement agents enter a home, accidents may occur or force used intentionally or unintentionally against others in the place where the accused is being arrested by law enforcement.

 Legal Services Exemption

There is an exception regarding frozen or forfeited assets for the payment of legal fees. The US Supreme Court recently announced a decision that addresses that situation. The primary issue is whether or not the funds can be traced to illegal activity. If they cannot be traced to illegal activity, there is a strong possibility that the frozen funds will be available to pay legal fees. If the funds can be traced to illegal activity, then it may very well be that they are not returned.

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