Appearance at DUI Arraignment, Posting Bail, Taken into Custody
Prosecutors in California use two primary DUI laws to file charges against people for driving under the Influence.
Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol, and Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC makes it a crime to go with a BAC of .08% or higher. Most are charged with both statutes.
Vehicle Code 23153 VC defines the crime of driving under the influence and causing an injury. Penal Code 191.5(a) defines vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
For commercial drivers, it's a crime to drive with a BAC of .04% or higher. Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC makes it a crime to go under the influence of drugs, including marijuana and prescription drugs.
The vast majority of DUI cases in California are prosecuted as a misdemeanor crime, but the case can be filed as a felony under certain situations, such as:
- prior DUIs on your record,
- if somebody was injured,
You have to contact the DMV within ten days of your arrest and request a DMV hearing. If you don't, you will forfeit your right to a hearing, and your driver's license will automatically go into suspension after 30 days.
If you retain a California DUI attorney, they can request this hearing on your behalf.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, the punishments you will likely receive from the court will depend on different factors, such as whether someone is injured and whether you have prior DUIs on your record.
Some types of California DUI convictions will generally result in some jail time. A defendant can still drive their vehicle in most cases but must first install an ignition interlock device (IID).
If you were arrested for a DUI, fighting the case is usually better than just pleading guilty. For example, a wide range of reasons can cause a DUI to breathalyze to show false high readings.
Further, DUI blood testing is known to have errors, and police officers don't always follow a standardized set of procedures in roadside DUI investigations after a traffic pullover. Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers will review it below.
Bail in California DUI Arrest
Many people don't realize that just because the police let you go on your recognizance, or even if you put bail upon a DUI case when you appear in court, the judge has the authority to set bail on you under the appropriate circumstances.
If that happens, what ends up happening is that you get taken into custody until you post that bail or your case is resolved. Often, what gives you an idea of whether or not a judge will set bail on you is how dangerous you were on the road related to your DUI case. In other words:
- did you get in an accident?
- did you hurt somebody?
- was your speed very high -- 100 miles an hour?
Another thing the judges look at is what your blood alcohol level is because the higher your blood alcohol level, the more likely it is that they're going to want some bail and take you into custody.
DUI Arraignment in California
In fact, in many arraignments that I do, what ends up happening is that the judge asks the prosecutor what the blood alcohol level on this was?
If they decide not to take you into custody, they'll often say, if your client wants to get released on their recognizance, they'll need to do one AA meeting every day while they're out or one AA meeting a week.
They make many decisions based on helping the public and ensuring that whatever they do is a move towards preventing the person from catching another DUI or putting somebody in danger.
Another big thing is preparation. That's why you hire an attorney like me who's been doing this for almost 30 years. I anticipate a potential bail change and am ready to argue the factors the judge is looking at in deciding whether to raise your bail in a DUI.
In addition to how dangerous you were, he's going to be looking at public safety and also whether or not you're going to be a flight risk.
Most times, people who have DUIs are not going to be a flight risk and can get rid of that issue by showing that they've got family here, they've got property here, and they've got a job here, and it makes no sense for them to run away.
The issue in DUI cases related to bail will be public safety. So, suppose we can do something that makes the judge feel comfortable that you're not going to be a problem public safety-wise. In that case, we're in a pretty strong position to avoid you being taken into custody and having to post bail.
Defenses to Keep You Out of Custody
There are all sorts of different weapons that can help you. If it's a close call, then one thing that I've been able to do is to get what's called a scram bracelet on somebody, and they're ordered not to consume any alcohol while their case is pending.
That works because the scram bracelet will often go off and detect alcohol. Other times, we've had people on home arrest. There's a whole host of things that can be done.
Of course, these are only done in the most serious of cases. Most times, if it's a first-time DUI, you didn't have some ridiculously high blood alcohol level, then you're not going to go to jail; instead, you're not going to have to post some massive bail if it's handled the right way.
So, if you're concerned about bail related to your DUI, you've come to the right place. Take the first step. Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you. Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles County, and we offer a free case evaluation.