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DUI Arraignment Process

Appearance at DUI Arraignment, Posting Bail, Taken into Custody

Prosecutors in the state of California use two main 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 drive with a BAC of .08% or higher. Most are charged with both statutes.

DUI Arraignment Process in California

Vehicle Code 23153 VC defines the crime of driving under the influence 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 drive 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 DUI's on your record,
  • if somebody was injured,

You have to contact the DMV within 10 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 as injured, and whether you have prior DUI's on your record.

There are some types of California DUI convictions that will normally result in some jail time. In most cases, a defendant can still drive their vehicle, but will first be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID).

If you were arrested for a DUI, fighting the case is normally a much better option than just pleading guilty. For example, there are a wide range of reasons that can cause a DUI 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 a roadside DUI investigations after a traffic pullover. Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers will review below

Bail in California DUI Arrest

A lot of people don't realize that just because the police let you go on your own recognizance, or even if you put a bail up on a DUI case, when you appear in court, the judge has the authority under the appropriate circumstances to put a bail on you. 

If that happens, what ends up happening is, you get taken into custody until you post that bail or your case is resolved.

A lot of times what gives you an idea of whether or not a judge is going to set a 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 was because the higher your blood alcohol level, the more likely it is that they're going to want some sort of a bail and take you into custody.

DUI Arraignment in California

In fact, in a lot of arraignments that I do, what ends up happening is, the judge asks the prosecutor what was the blood alcohol level on this? 

If they decide not to take you into custody, a lot of times they'll say, if your client wants to get released on their own recognizance, then they're going to need to do one AA meeting everyday while they're out or one AA meeting a week. 

They make a lot of decisions based on helping the public and making sure 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 almost 30 years. 

I'm going to anticipate a potential bail change and be ready to argue to the judge the factors that the judge is looking at in deciding whether to raise your bail up 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 DUI's are not going to be a flight risk and were able to 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 as it relates to bail is going to be public safety.  So, if we can do something that makes the judge feel comfortable that you're not going to be a problem public safety-wise, then we're in a pretty strong position to avoid you being taken into custody and having to post a bail.

Defenses to Keep You Out of Custody

There's all sorts of different weapons that can be used to 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.

Defenses to Keep You Out of Custody After a California DUI Arrest

A lot of times that works because the scram bracelet will 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, rather you're not going to have to post some huge 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.

Contact Us Today

Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI law issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.