In most Pennsylvania criminal cases, a defendant will need to post ten percent of their bail amount in order to be released from police custody prior to their trial. Generally, anyone can act as the surety (person who pays the bond) without any concern from the court as to what the amount of the bond is or where the funds used to pay the bond have originated.
What Is A Nebbia Order?
In cases that involve large amounts of narcotics with significant charges against the defendant, it is usual for the government to request that a defendant’s family be prohibited from posting bail on their behalf until the source of the money can be verified as not having originated from illegal activities. Nebbia orders are intended as a counter-measure to the possibility that anyone facing significant charges due to involvement with a large scale drug operation had more than likely made significant monetary profits from such activities. As such, the government uses Nebbia orders in an effort to ensure that bail obligations are not satisfied with proceeds from illegal enterprise.
Satisfying a Nebbia Order
Once a nebbia order is in place the court will allow the defendant’s family to post bail only with proof that the money comes from a legitimate source. The court will require the person posting bail on behalf of the defendant to appear in court and provide documentation of the source of the bail money. Additionally, the person appearing will usually be required to testify under oath that they money they are offering for the bail is from a legitimate endeavor or source and not the profit of a criminal offense such as drug trafficking, money laundering and/or theft. The funds being used to guarantee the bail may be borrowed, if it can be shown that the loan will be repaid with legitimate funds.
A Nebbia Order Means Your Case Is Serious
When a Nebbia order is attached to a defendant’s bond it is a signal that the DA’s office is taking the criminal prosecution of the case very seriously. Nebbia orders are generally only used in cases involving significant charges, that have garnered a high amount of attention from the DA’s office. This means that is generally in a defendant’s best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney with significant experience in facing off against aggressive prosecutors.
How A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
A criminal defense attorney can file a motion to lift the Nebbia promptly to facilitate a more smooth and expeditious process for securing the defendant’s release from custody. Once the court has rescinded the Nebbia order, a motion for reduction of bail can be filed if the bail amount set by the court appears to be overly aggressive.
All of the criminal defense attorneys at DRK Lawyers are former assistant district attorneys. We understand criminal cases and defense from both sides of the courtroom. We use our trial experience and knowledge of the government’s tactics to help defend our clients every day in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are facing criminal and/or narcotics charges, please contact our team today.