If you or a loved one has been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Santa Rosa or Sonoma County, California, the driver may be released on their own recognizance (OR) for a misdemeanor charge, but they may be required to post bail if the charge is Felony DUI, if the driver refused chemical testing, or if the driver has a previous criminal record. The DUI attorneys at Wilber Law Offices, P.C. understand that a DUI arrest is an overwhelming experience, so they will guide you or your loved one through the legal process while fighting to keep the charge off your record.
Bail after a DUI Arrest is a guarantee that you will return to court. This may be in the form of cash, collateral, or a bond. Sonoma County has a standard bail schedule that specifies bail amounts for DUI and any other criminal charges you face. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects you from excessive bail, which means that bail cannot be used to raise money for the government or to punish the suspect for allegedly committing the offense.
Your California DUI defense attorney may ask the Court to impose Conditions of Release to have your bail reduced. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, SCRAM monitoring; house arrest with electronic monitoring; adhering to a curfew; maintaining employment; and obeying all laws.
Effective October 2019, you will not be able to post bail until after your arraignment if you are charged driving under the influence for the third time in less than 10 years.
If you pay cash for your bail and appear at your court hearings, the entire amount will be returned to you at the conclusion of your case, regardless of the outcome.
If you cannot pay cash for your bail, you can use a bail bondsman. The bail bondsman makes a financial arrangement with the Court on the driver’s behalf so that they can be released from jail until their criminal trial.
The driver typically pays the bail bondsman 10 percent of the bail amount as a non-refundable fee, and the bail bondsman secures the remaining 90 percent with collateral. If the driver does not have enough collateral to cover the difference, they may reach out to family members or friends to help.
If the driver appears in court as scheduled, the bail bond is dissolved at the conclusion of the case and any collateral is returned. The bail bondsman keeps the 10 percent as payment.
If the driver fails to appear in court, the Court will notify the bail bondsman that the driver failed to appear and the bail bond is in default. The Court requires the bail amount to be paid in full and will issue a bench warrant for the driver’s arrest.
The bail bondsman has 180 days to return the driver to the Court before the bail bond is forfeited. The bail bondsman may apprehend the driver themselves, or they may hire a bounty hunter, especially in high-bond cases. In California, a bounty hunter must complete fugitive recovery training and have a current license.
The bounty hunter must have documentation from the bail bondsman giving them the authority to arrest the driver. No more than six hours before the apprehension, the bounty hunter must notify law enforcement that they intend to apprehend the driver. A bounty hunter cannot forcibly enter any premises to make the apprehension.
After the bail bondsman or the bounty hunter apprehends the driver, they take the driver to law enforcement. The bail bondsman fills out paperwork and the driver is booked into jail. The Court does not require bail to be paid in full if the driver is apprehended within 180 days.
If the driver is not apprehended, bail must be paid in full. The bail bondsman will use the collateral to pay the Court. If the driver paid cash for their bond, the entire amount is forfeited to the Court.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI in Santa Rosa or Sonoma County, you need the right legal team to fight for you. Call the DUI defense team at Wilber Law Offices as soon as possible after an arrest to protect your rights. We will fight to have your bail reduced or to have you released OR, and then we will build the strongest defense for you. For a FREE consultation, contact us today online or at 707-527-3451.