Los Angeles DUI Bail
If you're arrested for a Vehicle Code 23152 VC DUI in California, you will be transported to a local police station and booked and processed. Sometimes, you will be held in jail for several hours or overnight.
After you are booked, you could be released on your own recognizance (OR), meaning you don't have to pay any bail on your promise to return for a later court date.
An OR release is standard for first-time DUI offenders while their case is pending. They will be given a citation that shows an arraignment date in court where they can personally appear, or their lawyer can make the appearance on their behalf for misdemeanor cases.
You could also be held in custody until trial, but this is not common unless you have an extensive criminal history or have several failures to appear. The other standard option is to post bail and get released from custody.
Bail is money you pay the court to get released from jail. The full amount you pay will be returned to you as long as you appear at your court-ordered hearings, such as the arraignment and trial.
Some defendants might not be released from custody. If they were involved in a felony DUI or a hit-and-run or fatal DUI accident, they would typically be required to post bail to be released.
The bail on a felony DUI could be as high as $100,000. Usually, defendants will call a bail bond agent who will post the full bail amount in exchange for around 10% of the required amount. This means a $5,000 bail bond will cost you $500.
Any defendant who cannot post bail will appear before a judge for their arraignment while in custody. Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys will review this topic in more detail below.
How Much Bail Will You Have to Pay?
The bail amount is determined by a schedule set by local county law. While most DUI defendants will not be required to post bail, the Los Angeles County bail schedule recommends the following:
- $5,000 for a first-time DUI offense;
- $15,000 for defendants who have a prior DUI conviction within ten years;
- $25,000 for defendants with two or more previous convictions.
Further, the bail schedule recommends adding $10,000 for any traffic collision where they had a BAC of .15 percent or greater or when a defendant refused to submit to chemical testing.
In situations where there is a traffic accident, and their BAC is higher than .15 or a DUI refusal, the bail schedule recommends an additional $25,000.
For drivers charged with California Vehicle Code 23153 VC DUI causing injury, the Los Angeles bail schedule recommends $20,000 bail for a first-time offense and $50,000 bail if the defendant has a prior DUI conviction.
Each crime will have a specific bail amount attached to it. As noted, with driving under the influence, the exact amount will depend on whether it is your first DUI and other factors. Bail for DUI in Los Angeles typically ranges from $5,000 minimum to $25,000.
Even in situations where a defendant posts bail and is released, the judge could impose terms and conditions of release they will be required to follow while out of custody, such as the following:
- attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings;
- wear an alcohol monitoring device;
- enroll in an alcohol education program, or
- residential treatment program,
- install an ignition interlock device.
You can ask a judge to lower bail if you cannot afford bail. This is done by requesting a bail hearing, but you should have a DUI attorney representing you to give you the best chance of success.
How is DUI Bail Dealt with Near the Holidays?
When people are arrested during the holidays for DUIs, such as around Christmas, and they show up in court, you have to be aware that the judge can make you post bail.
Most DUI arrests result in a citation being issued after they hold the person long enough to feel safe to be put back on the streets if they get into a car again. But they're usually not going to make them post bail unless they got into an accident and hurt somebody.
However, they now show up in court, and depending on what their blood alcohol level was, whether they have a prior criminal record, or there was dangerous driving, many times what I'm seeing, especially during the holidays, is judges make them post bail.
So, then you get taken into custody until you post the bail. They take you right there in the court.
The other option that I've been able to negotiate in that kind of a situation is the judge can make you do AA meetings while you wait for your court date if they think that you have an alcohol problem and they're going to start thinking that.
If you blew a .20 or greater or double the legal limit, they would start thinking you've got an alcohol problem.
They would also think you're dangerous, especially during the holiday season when there are holiday parties, people go out with friends, they go to bars, clubs, and drinking and putting themselves in a position where they don't think about what the ramifications might be once they've had a bunch of alcohol.
Now they've got to get home. These thoughts have to come before you go out because that's when you're thinking clearly and will make the right decision regarding drinking and driving.
Charged with a DUI?
So, suppose you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, and you will have to appear in court. In that case, you want to get an attorney by your side to guard you against going into custody and being unable to get out.
I've been doing this now for 30 years. I've handled thousands of DUIs over that timeframe, all over LA and surrounding counties, so I know how these judges think.
I know how these prosecutors argue, and I will be prepared when we go to court to ensure you don't get snatched into custody.
I've worked for the district attorney's office. I've worked for a Superior Court Judge. I've worked for the State Bar of California, and now I can work for you.
I've been a criminal defense attorney doing DUI cases since the early 1990s. If you need the best, and I think you do, pick up the phone now.
Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you. We offer a free case evaluation via phone or contact form. The Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles, CA.