DUI Bail Overview

If you are arrested for a DUI, you will have to post a bond before you are released from jail.        

Posting Bail

There are 2 reasons why a person must post bail.  The first is to make sure the person shows up for their court date.  The second is for public safety.  In DUI cases, the court looks at the public safety.  The court has the authority to increase the amount of bail if they believe that the person is a risk to public safety.  Usually, this is in multiple offender or felony DUI cases.    

Bail Amounts

On first offenses, bail is usually $2500 to $5000, on second and third offenses it’s $10,000 to 15,000, and felony DUI’s are usually $50,000 to $100,000.

How Bail Works

There are 3 options for posting bail:  you can post a cash bond, put property up as collateral, or pay a bail bondsman a 7% to 10% premium to post your bond. 

Posting a Cash Bond

The cash bond you simply pay to the court the full amount of the bail in cash.  Cash bonds may be posted at the Court during regular hours or at the jail, after hours.  Cash bonds posted at the jail, must be paid with the exact dollar amount; the jail will not make change.  If the bail is $2500, you pay the $2500 in cash to the jail and you will be released.  At the end of your case when the bond is exonerated, the county will send you back your bail money or you can choose to apply it towards your fines and fees.  Sometimes the court charges a small administrative fee which is deducted from the refund.          

Posting a Bond through a Bail Bond Company 

A bail bond is a contract between the accused and a bail bond agent. Under the contract, you promise to appear in court when ordered and the bail bondsman promises to post bail for you. You have to pay the bail bondsman a specified premium, which is typically 8% if you have an attorney and 10% if you don’t have an attorney.  If your bail is $10,000, you would have to pay $800 at 8% to the bondsman to get you out of jail.  Even if your case gets dismissed, you still owe the bondsman the premium.  If you don’t show up for court, the bond gets forfeited.  This means that the bail bond company is responsible for the full $10,000 to the court.  When a bond is forfeited, you will have the bondsman actively looking for you and require any co-signors to come up with the $10,000.  After your court case is resolved, the bond is exonerated and the bail company no longer is responsible to the court for the bail.  If you still owe the bail company money on the premium you would still have to pay off the balance.     

Posting A Property Pond

Posting a property bond means you pledge the value of real property to the court to guarantee you will appear in court.  If you don’t come to court when you are supposed to, the court will take the posted property as if it were cash bail.  Before the court can accept the property as bail, there will be a hearing. At the hearing, the court will determine who is the legal owner of the property and how much it is worth.  Most courts require double the amount of bail in equity on the property.  If bail is $100,000, you would need to post a property that has at least $200,000 in equity.  At the end of the case when the bond is exonerated, the court will release its interest in your property.  Property bonds can be very time consuming and expensive to do because you usually need an appraisal of the value of the property and it requires a court hearing to approve the posting.   

Forfeiture of Bail Bond

When a defendant released on bond fails to appear in court, or violates a condition of their bail, the court can declare the bail bond forfeited. If a bail bond is forfeited, a warrant will be issued and you will be taken into custody when located. The cash bail or property posted with the court will now belong to the court. If you used a bail bond company, they will have to pay your bond. The court will usually give the bond company 180 days to locate you and bring you back to court before they have to pay. You can bet they are going to do everything to locate you and put you into custody.

Bail Bond company Revocation of Bond

If you don’t pay your bondsman or if they think you are not going to come to your court dates, your bondsman can revoke your bond. They will detain you and either present you to the court or to the jail to be taken back into custody. You would then have to find another bondsman willing to bond you out.

Reassumption of Forfeited Bail Bond

If your bond gets forfeited for missing your court date, you must clear the warrant and have the bond reinstated. First, you would need to contact the court to get your case on calendar. Next, you will need to contact your bondsman to have them provide you and the court a bond reassumption. Sometimes the court will charge a $75 fee for reinstating a forfeited bond.

Bond Co-signor

Co-signing a bail bond requires that you sign a promissory note or an indemnity agreement obligating you to pay the full amount of the bond if the bonded person does not appear in court.  If you co-sign for someone’s bond, you are financially responsible if they don’t show for court.      

Exoneration of bail Bond

When the Court exonerates a bond, it releases the bond poster of financial responsibility. If a Surety Bond was posted, the bond is returned to the Surety company. If cash was posted, then cash will be returned to the one who posted it. If property was posted, it will be reconveyed to the owner.

Bail Motion To Increase Bail at First Court Date

In felony DUI cases, the prosecutor will usually request an increase in bail at your first court hearing.    If you are not prepared for the bail motion, you will be taken into custody in court. 

Bail Release Terms

In some cases, because of either an accident, high BAC, or other aggravating factors or enhancements, the court may order “Bail” terms while your case is pending.   This could include a “no alcohol” term which includes no bars, no use and possession of alcohol, and search and seizure for alcohol including on your person, vehicle, or home.  You may also be required to attend self-help meetings or wear a SCRAM device on your ankle that monitors you for alcohol use.    

Supervised Bail Release

In some cases, because of either an accident, high BAC, or other aggravating factors or enhancements, the court may order “Supervised Release” while your case is pending.    You will be ordered to report to probation to be monitored for alcohol use and may include random testing for alcohol, having your house searched for alcohol, being placed on a SCRAM device, or be required to attend self-help meetings while your case is pending. 

No Alcohol Terms

In some cases, the court will order a “no alcohol” term as part of probation.  This means you will be on search and seizure for alcohol including on your person, vehicle, or home.  You will also be prohibited from using or possessing alcohol and will not be permitted to be anywhere where alcohol is the primary item of sale like bars.  You may also be randomly tested for alcohol by the probation department.

SCRAM Alcohol Monitoring

In some cases, the court may order a “SCRAM” as part of your release terms. The SCRAM device is an alcohol monitoring device that you wear on your ankle. It monitors for alcohol 24/7. Any alcohol violation will be reported to the court who will then revoke your release status and issue a warrant for your arrest. The SCRAM is usually ordered to be worn while your case is pending.

Self-Help Requirements

In some cases, the court may order “Self-Helps” as part of probation.  This requirement could include AA meetings, outpatient treatment, or counseling.       

You don’t have to plead guilty, contact our office today for a free same day consultation

We have successfully represented thousands of individuals accused of drunk or drugged driving. We have successfully obtained acquittals, dismissals and reductions of DUI charges and have had DMV suspensions set aside. Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 to speak directly to an attorney about your DUI case. We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.