If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), one of the first things you’ll need to do is post bail before you are released. Although the exact amount of your bail will vary based on your criminal record and the laws in your jurisdiction, drunk drivers are typically charged anywhere from $150 to $2,500. Plus, along with these immediate expenses, you must also fulfill the future obligations that go along with drunk driving bail.
Future obligations? What does that mean? In simple terms, when you post bail, you enter into a legally binding contract with the court—and to meet the terms of that agreement, you must attend all of your future court dates. In most cases, these proceedings include your arraignment, preliminary hearing, pretrial, and official trial. As long as you show up for these events, the court will refund your bail costs. However, if you fail to appear, your bail will be forfeited and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
If you can’t pay the full amount of your bail, you have two options: you can ask a friend or family member to post it on your behalf, or you can use a commercial bonding service. Also known as a bondsman or bond agency, a commercial bonding service will post bail for you, but they will charge a fee to do so (typically about 10% of your entire bail costs).
When another person posts your bail—whether it’s someone you know or a commercial service—they become responsible for your actions. This means that if you fail to appear for a scheduled court appearance, the person who bailed you out will be the one who loses money rather than you.
Of course, there are many other consequences of drunk driving besides your bail costs. Depending on the laws in your area, a DUI conviction may carry a number of stiff penalties, including fines, a license suspension, and even jail time. To improve the odds of successfully resolving your DUI case, it is important to obtain legal representation immediately after your arrest.
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence and are looking for an attorney to represent you in court, make sure you select someone who practices exclusively in the drunk driving defense area. Unfortunately, general practitioners do not have specialized knowledge in DUI defense—which can substantially limit your chance of successfully resolving your case.
For more information on drunk driving laws in your area, and to receive a free, no-obligation consultation with a local DUI defense attorney, complete our online form today.