Arrested? Suffering from a past conviction?

Call us or Click Here to schedule your free, in-person (weekends often available).

If our operators are busy, leave a detailed voice message.

Contact Us Now!

Bail for DUI cases

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are arrested for Driving Under Influence (DUI). First, several jurisdictions release people without having to post bail if they are sober and agree to show up to court. Second, it is important to know your rights and be aware of the consequences of pleading guilty or going to jail.

However, if the court requires you to post bail before being released while the case is pending, be reminded that: (1) Bail is set during a bail hearing; (2) Your bail might be set at a predetermined amount; (3) You may post bail with a bail bond; (4) Someone may post bail in your behalf; and (4) If you miss court appearances, your bail amount will be forfeited

Let us first define what “bail” means. Bail is money you must usually post with the court in order to be released from the custody of the law. The purpose of bail is to ensure that the accused person will return to court for their trial or other court appearances.

Bail hearing in DUI cases

After being arrested for DUI, a judge will usually hold a bail hearing to decide whether: (1) You need to post bail in order to be released from jail; or (2) You can avoid paying bail and get released on your own recognizance. If a judge decides that you have to pay DUI bail, he or she will determine the amount of bail. The amount of bail that a judge set will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime, the defendant's criminal history, and his or her ties to the community. For a DUI offense, bail may range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

The amount of bail required will vary per jurisdiction. For example, in Los Angeles County in California, first-time DUI offenders are charged with misdemeanor offense and bail is set at $500 to $1,000. [See Los Angeles County Bail Schedule for Infractions and Misdemeanors (2022).]

This amount, however, increases depending on the attending circumstances of your case. In Los Angeles County, bail is set at a higher amount if it was your second or subsequent arrest, the DUI was a felony charge or you were determined to have a blood alcohol content of above 0.15%. [See Los Angeles County Bail Schedule for Infractions and Misdemeanors (2022).]

What if I Can’t Afford to Post Bail?

In cases when the offender cannot post the amount of bail set by the judge, probably because you just don’t have enough cash at the moment, you generally have two options to address the situation, either: (1) post bail via bail bond; or (2) have another person, a friend, or family to post bail in your behalf.

In the event that you decide to post via bail bond, you just have to engage a bail bondsman to post bail in your behalf and pay a certain amount as premium. Premium payment made to a bail bondsman is non-refundable. The exact amount of the premium is a certain percentage of your total bail amount. [See, for example, Accredited Security & Cas. Co., Inc. v. State, for Use and Benefit of Hillsborough County, 383 So. 2d 308 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1980).]

The State, of course, does not preclude another person from posting bail in your behalf. It could be your friend or family. He or she can either post it in cash or secure a bail bond in your behalf. Take note, however, that if you post a bond in behalf of another person for DUI, you undertake the responsibility of securing his/her attendance to court. This circumstance creates a three-party contract between the DUI offender, the person who posted bail in the latter’s behalf, and the court.

Forfeiture of Bail in Favor of the State

As a standard procedure, the full amount of bail posted is given back to the offender or to whoever posted the amount. However, considering that the purpose of bail is to secure your appearance in court, your failure to appear in court scheduled hearing despite notice from court will result in the forfeiture of the amount in favor of the State. This is in addition to other consequences of your failure to appear which may include the issuance of a warrant of arrest against you.

Get in Touch with Second Chances Law Group

Schedule Your Free Appointment with Our Award-Winning Court Attorneys
Freedom at your Fingertips
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.
  • Must be checked