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Federal Violation of Pretrial Release | Order to Show Cause Hearing

Posted by John Rogers | Aug 30, 2021

When a defendant makes their initial appearance in a federal criminal case, they will argue to be released pending trial. This is commonly referred to as a bail hearing. If the defendant is ordered released pretrial, they will be supervised by the U.S. Pretrial Services. This agency is a division of the court that is solely focused on monitoring defendants who have been released from custody, but are awaiting trial in their case.

A judge may order certain conditions of release. Release conditions may include enrolling in a drug treatment program, travel restrictions, wearing a location monitoring bracelet, or not to consume or ingest illegal substances.

If a defendant fails to complete a term or violates a condition of their release, the pretrial services officer will notify the judge of the violation. The judge will determine whether a hearing is warranted. If the judge believes that a hearing is warranted, the court will set an order to show cause hearing. This means that a hearing will be held where a defendant must argue why their bail/bond should not be revoked and return to custody.

The judge will consider arguments of both parties, evidence the parties submit, and in rare cases, the court will take testimony from witnesses. If the judge finds that a defendant violated a term of their release, the judge may remand the defendant or impose more conditions and/or restrictions of release – i.e., curfew, weekly drug testing, or more frequent home inspections.

Not all purported violations will result in a violation. If, for example, a defendant fails a drug test, the court may be more inclined to give the defendant a second chance and urge them to enroll in treatment.

If you have been charged or are under investigation for a federal offense, then contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

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John Rogers

*State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law *Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association *Selected “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine *Federal Criminal Defense Representation Nationwide *Personalized Attention & 24/7 Accessibility


Orange County federal crimes lawyer John Rogers is committed to providing exceptional representation all throughout California federal courts.

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