DUI and the Booking and Bail Process in California


DUI arrests can be challenged successfully with the right representation. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI arrest, you should know the rights you have and what to expect from the law. If there is probable cause to believe a driver is impaired, police officers can legally take them into custody after an arrest is made. Once in custody, the officer will confiscate the driver’s license and subject them to a breath, blood, or urine test to verify their intoxication level. However, prior to conducting any of the aforementioned tests, the police will inform you of your chemical tests rights which includes the consequences of refusing to consent to a test. The penalties of refusing to submit to a chemical test in California after being lawfully arrested are:

· increased penalties in addition to the standard California DUI penalties

· a mandatory driver’s license suspension that will occur regardless of the outcome in your DUI case

If the police fails to inform you of your rights, you may be able to challenge any penalties that result from a refusal.

What Happens Once You are Booked

After an arrest has been made, police officers book the suspect. This process generally involves:

· documentation of the suspect’s personal information

· a description of the committed crime, criminal background search

· a full body search, fingerprinting, and a mugshot

· confiscation of all personal belongings

· and placement of suspect in holding cell or jail

Bail Process

If a DUI suspect is placed in jail, they will usually be able to obtain pre-arraignment release through bail–an agreement to pay money in order to obtain release from custody. As part of the release agreement, the suspect agrees to appear back in court for all scheduled court appearances including pre-trial motion, preliminary hearings, arraignment, and if necessary, trial.

A DUI suspect is typically released several hours after being processed, however in the event that the DUI suspect is not allowed to post bail immediately, it is possible for a judge to later decide to allow release on bail at a separate hearing or the arraignment.

What Determines the Bail Amount?

Each crime has a specific bail amount attached to it. The amount of bail is determined by a schedule that is set by local law. Bail for DUI in California can range from $5,000 minimum to $25,000. With DUI, the exact money you may have to pay will depend on whether or not it is your first DUI offense amongst other factors such as:

· seriousness of your DUI offense in terms of possible injuries

· your age

· the threat you would pose to the community upon release

· the risk that you will commit another crime if released

Bail Bonds and Bail Agencies

If you are unable to afford bail a bondsman or bail bond is a commonly used alternative. A bail bond is a short-term loan to cover bail. Many local bail bond services are open 24 hours a day and can often get your bond approved in a timely manner. The only caveat is that you must typically pay interest of 10% on the loan. If you are unable to pay that percentage, you can request that the judge lower it. In order to go this route, you must first request a bail hearing. It is imperative that you have a good DUI lawyer representing you to increase your chances of bail reduction.

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