What is Bail?
Bail is defined as cash or bond to ensure a prisoner will return to court. If bail is allowed, the release of the driver is discharged from the custody of the DUI court with the expectation that they will reappear when required for their criminal court proceedings.
If a driver has been arrested for drunk driving in some cases they may post bail to be released. Posting bail allows a friend or relative to contract with a bail bondsman to post an amount of money to the court which guarantees the defendant will reappear in court at an appointed time. If the drunk driver fails to appear in court the co-signor on the bail agrees to reimburse the bail bondsman the full amount of the bail.
What Bail is not
Bail should not be used by the court as a means to create revenue and it should not be used to punish a drunk driver. It is strictly an incentive to motivate an arrested individual to reappear at the appropriate times.
How does the bail bond process work?
When a relative or friend contracts with the bail bondsman for bail monies they agree to generally pay 10-12% of the amount of the bail. This money is paid upfront and can generally be paid through a financing arrangement. After the “premium” is received by the bail bondsman they will arrange to post the bail at the appropriate facility and have the drunk driver freed from jail.
The process is fairly straightforward. The bondsman will require information upfront about the person in jail (name, date of birth, location of detainment, details of the criminal charge, and the booking number). They may also want additional personal information about previous DUI arrests.
Responsibilities of the bail bondsman
The bail bondsman requires collateral from the co-signor for the bond, but they have an incentive to ensure the drunk driver reappears in court. Because of this they may check on the defendant occasionally to make sure (after they are released from jail) they are not planning to leave town, jeopardizing the money the bondsman has paid to the court.
Many family members and friends wonder if they will get their money back that they have paid to the bail bondsman. No, although the obligation to pay the bondsman will be terminated after the defendant appears in court and is either convicted of DUI and returned to jail or is exonerated of the charges. The premium is considered a fee paid to the bail bondsman and will not be refunded even if the drunk driver is found not guilty.
When does a DUI defendant have to post bail?
Drunk drivers arrested for a misdemeanor DUI generally do not have to post bail but are released on their own recognizance. Some states, however, do require bail for drunk driving arrests if the driver refused a blood alcohol content test, if the driver’s blood alcohol content was extremely high, if the driver caused an accident or they were arrested for a felony DUI.
- California DUI – Fourth Drunk Driving Conviction (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Drunk Driving – Beating Arkansas DUI (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Drunk driving – South Dakota License Suspension (duiattorneyhome.com)
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