How Much is DUI Bail?


Most people enjoy having a drink every so often, but whatever great feeling this leads to can dissipate quickly for a person arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Sadly, thousands of these arrests occur every single day, and most people aren’t even aware that they are over the .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) when they’re pulled over. If you should find yourself in this situation, however, it’s important for you to know the options available.

Penalties of Driving Under the Influence

The penalties of a DUI conviction can be extremely punitive. The consequences that a person faces, however, will differ depending on which state that they’re arrested in. Bail amounts can change by the city or county in which you are pulled over, but DUI penalties are uniform across an entire state. In California, for instance, a person arrested for their first DUI can face up to six months in jail and a $2,600 fine.

It’s important to keep in mind that these penalties will increase if a person has already been convicted of a DUI. The same California arrest will result in up to a year in jail for someone who has already received one prior DUI conviction. Fighting these penalties is essential, but a person first must get out of jail. Having an expert bail agent available from a reputable company like Bail Hotline can help to lessen your incarceration time, and get you back to your job and family so you can work on your defense.

Bail Amounts for Driving Under the Influence

Just like the corresponding penalties, the bail amounts can vary depending on the county in which you are arrested. When it comes to drinking and driving, however, many counties within a state will set their presumptive bail amounts (listed on each jail’s bail schedule) at a very similar amount. Within California, for instance, the counties of San Francisco, Sonoma and Los Angeles all set their DUI bail amount at $5,000.

There are times, however, when these amounts can increase for different localities, and even show huge variances. If a person is arrested for DUI and already has one drinking and driving conviction within ten years in Los Angeles County, for instance, they can face a bail amount of $15,000. The same person arrested in Sonoma on this charge, however, will face a $25,000 amount. Understandably, it can be hard to pay any of these amounts, which is why most defendants opt to contact an agency like Bail Hotline.

Paying Your Bail

A person arrested for DUI has a few choices to make on how their bail is paid. They can either pay the full amount, or submit property worth that amount, which is turned over to the court until the end of the trial; or they can find a bail bond agency to provide a security bond for their release. Using a bail bond agency is usually a better option for because they only charge a small percentage of the full bail amount – in California this number cannot exceed 10 percent.

Those who cover the bail amount on their own will have a large sum of money tied up throughout the trial. As mentioned, this money, or property, isn’t returned until the conclusion of the trial. Add this to the fact that if the court has control of these funds, they might be more likely to add miscellaneous expenses and fees which will be withheld from the total amount deposited.

Luckily, there aren’t many instances where a person will be denied bail for drinking and driving, and if they are, then another, much more serious crime, must have taken place. Knowing the issues related to bail is imperative, and this is especially true for those charged with a DUI. There are numerous possible defenses to this charge, even for those who failed a breathalyzer, so it’s imperative to get out of jail as quickly as possible to start building a strong case. 

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