After being arrested for a DUI, you’re brought to jail then booked. Do they release you after you sober up, or will you have to post bail? Remember the game monopoly? The concept of the game is that you get a “get out of jail free” card, which magically allows you to walk away from incarceration without paying any fees. But how likely is it that you can get out of jail free after a DUI?
What Is Bail?
Bail (bond) is cash that those arrested for DUI charges give to the court in exchange for their release from jail. Having paid bail money allows for a release from holding and helps ensure that the defendants appear in court for their arraignment. When a defendant does not show up, the court will keep the bail money and issue another arrest warrant.
When Bail Is Required
After DUI suspects are booked, or “processed,” one of the following occurs. Suspects are either:
- released on their “own recognizance” or OR
- allowed to post bail at the police station soon after booking
- brought in front of a judge, who will decide whether to allow their release on bail, or
- required to remain in jail (usually for suspects who are considered flight risks and have had multiple DUIs or were involved in an accident).
OR: Released on Your Own Recognizance: Do I get out Free?
In some cases, the judge in charge of a case may waive payment of bail on the condition that you appear in court when required. This is called being released on one’s own recognizance and is usually abbreviated as “OR”.
You’re more likely to see bail waived (get OR status) or see bail reduced if your DUI arrest was a first offense without a collision or injury, a borderline BAC (close to .08%), and you have ties to your community, a steady job, no previous record, and family members living nearby.
In today’s anti-drunk-driving world, it can be a challenge in some areas to convince the judge to release you on your own recognizance. You may have better luck to get out sooner if you call us now at (800) 571-2245 or at (714) 584-9164
How Much Does Bail Cost?
If a suspect has to pay bail, it’s either set from a “bail schedule” (a list of set bail amounts that correspond to the crime charged) or by the judge, who will consider the circumstances of the DUI arrest (especially whether there was an accident and injuries), the suspect’s DUI record and criminal history, and the suspect’s ties to the community.
According to many surveys, those arrested for DUI spent an average of $500 on bail. However, some reported paying as little as $100 while others paid up to $2,500. And remember, when a defendant’s bail gets set at, say, $25,000, a defendant who gets a bail bond and appears in court as scheduled will only have to pay a portion of that ($2,500, if the bail bond fee is 10% of the bail amount).