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How long does it take for a person to be booked and charged for a federal crime of conspiracy of methamphetamine?

South Gate, CA |

The person was arrested yesterday morning and family has yet to hear from him, a lawyer, or any officers. When calling bail bonds that deal with federal issues the arrested does not appear in any of their systems.

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Attorney answers 4


Give it a few days. Booking should happen immediately after the arrest. The US Attorney is probably completing the investigation phase now. He can't be held an unreasonable time but there is some flexibility as to arraignment in federal court.


Probably Tuesday or Wednesday.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Southern California Criminal Defense
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


The process is different, very different, in federal court than in state court. Typically the arrested are arraigned the same day at 1:30 p.m. or the following day, if we are talking about Los Angeles. So I expect the person to be arraigned no later than Monday. With that said, bail is also different. There are no bondsmen like in state court. Bail will be set either with a signature bond, where the person will sign that if the jump bail they promise to pay a certain amount to the government, or by collateral, assets equivalent to the bail amount. The bail amount is typically under $100,000, and is determined by the the crime, the person's criminal history and their capability to travel, specifically overseas. Pretrial services will make the recommendation to the court, but the AUSA (prosecutor) may object and the person's attorney may object. (Has the person met with pre-trial services?) In addition, if the person makes bail their travel is restricted to the district in which the case is heard, so if you are in the Central District (Los Angeles), there are no trips to San Diego, Vegas, etcetera without pretrial services and the court's permission. There's so much to discuss. My suggestion is to contact an attorney that does practice in federal court. Many reputable federal attorneys offer a free consultation.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


The defendant will be processed (or "booked") by the US Marshals Service on the date that he or she is arrested, and pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5(a)(1), the defendant must be brought before a judicial officer "without unnecessary delay." Normally, that initial appearance happens on the date of arrest or the day after. However, at the initial appearance, the judicial officer only informs the defendant of the charges, and in less-serious cases, bond is set. However, in drug cases, the Government may request that the defendant be detained, and may delay that hearing not to exceed three business days; the defendant may request a delay not to exceed five business days.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

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