Most drivers facing DUI charges for the first time find it hard to cope with the process that follows after the arrest. The process includes booking, arraignment, and posting bail before the arrestee is possibly released until a further date. It is essential to know what is expected and follow it through accordingly. You should also hire a professional DUI defense attorney who can help you if you are facing DUI charges. We invite you to get in touch with our attorneys at the San Jose DUI Attorney Law Firm to get the necessary help you need throughout your case.

Overview of DUI Booking in California

Booking is a legal requirement where every arrestee should fulfill once in custody of the police. It involves recording information about the arrestee by taking photographs and any other information about the person. Please note, anyone who is arrested or in custody is presumed to be innocent, and the constitution protects them in different ways.

The process of booking a DUI suspect also takes different times, depending on how busy a police facility is. However, the state expects the suspect to take at least two hours to answer the questioning, have his or her fingerprints taken, take photographs, and submit to any possible toxicology tests.

Initial Questioning

Police officers do not have any concern with coaxing confessions made by the DUI arrestee since they depend much on toxicology results. However, they ask basic questions to fill through a questionnaire as required by the law.

Therefore, suspects should answer the questions provided truthfully and cooperate courteously. However, it is essential to avoid anything that might incriminate you, although the Fifth Amendment protects you against any spontaneous admission or statements.

As soon the police officers have gathered the information that they need, they will continue running a couple of background checks on you. Please note, you can face additional charges if the background check reveals any open warrants and information about your prior criminal offenses. This kind of information is placed on your file and provided to the prosecutor to ensure that he or she pursues the case effectively. Also, the police officer does not interrogate the suspects and bring the results of the background check during the DUI case.

Fingerprinting and Photographing

The police department usually takes the fingerprints of a suspect and adds them to the database that is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This is a standard procedure that should not cause any alarm. The department will also take a mugshot or photograph that can be used to identify the suspect and show whether there is evidence of excessive force or abuse.

Additional Chemical Testing

Although the police officer would have taken a breath test during your stoppage, a further test may be taken while at the police station. This test is undertaken to provide more accurate blood alcohol readings. The kind of testing used in this process is quite sophisticated compared with the breathalyzer that is administered in the field. Also, the police officer might proceed into taking a blood sample in particular situations.

The Holding Cell

As soon the DUI suspect has been booked, he or she will be placed in a holding cell, awaiting some sort of prior arraignment. According to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, there is a limit of 48 hours to take the suspect to arraignment, which can be extended to 72 hours if the judge is not available or if it is a public holiday or weekend.

Possibility of Booking at a Later Date

There are cases where the police cannot arrest and book a DUI suspect. Such situations are common when the suspect has been involved in a DUI collision and has gone for emergency treatment. Once the suspect has been released from the hospital, he or she will receive an arraignment request letter at a later date. This is also common in a hit and run offense.

In such a case, the prosecutor will request the suspect to be booked as a condition of release or own recognizance. In this case, the defendant is given some paperwork to fill and submit to the police. The paperwork should include the defendant’s fingerprints and photo.

Failing to comply with this requirement might make the prosecutor consider this as a violation, and the defendant will be taken into custody for the booking process. This is common when the judge believes that you decided to avoid submitting the paperwork willfully. Please note that the paperwork should have the correct information about yourself, which should match with the real information needed for your identification.

Understanding Bail

Bail is an amount of money that you post with the court to have you released from custody. This is a way of ensuring that you get released from the jail and promise to attend your trial. Bail varies from one county to the other and from crime to crime. Particular factors prompt a judge to accept a bail posting. These includes:

  • Your criminal history
  • Your specific type of crime
  • The level of danger you pose to the society upon your release
  • The possibility of flight once you are released
  • The probability of attending your court trial
  • Whether there were any drugs involved in your DUI arrest
  • If anyone was seriously injured from your DUI offense

Please note, the judge has the discretion to decide on the bail depending on the above-stated factors. This means that you should not expect to get a direct bail once you are arraigned in court, especially with a subsequent DUI offense. Also, you can miss a bail release if you have a history of violating parole or probation in your criminal history.

Types of Bail

Once the court has accepted your bail request, you are at liberty to choose the easiest way, depending on the availability of the posted amount. There are four ways that one can use to post bail. They are as follows:

Own Recognizance

An own recognizance or release is a signed agreement that promises that a defendant will return for a court hearing without even paying up the bail. Such situations are common in California but only happen with misdemeanor cases. However, the court must be convinced beyond doubt that the defendant will attend the court hearing and does not pose any danger to the society as well.

Cash Bond

Every county has its limits when it comes to bails for misdemeanors. Cash bail is an amount that the defendant should pay upfront to the court as a promise of honoring the court appearance. This is the fastest way to get out of jail. You do not have to deal with a bond company. Some courts might go ahead and accept a personal check or credit card as part of your bail if you do not have the cash upfront. Please note that the amount that you pay should equal the posted bail if you want the cash bond to work.

Surety Bond

Posting a surety bond involves a bond company and stands to be one of the common procedures used in California. In this case, the agents come up with a contract, which the defendant and a cosigner have to sign. The premium paid to the bond company is usually ten percent of the total amount needed to be paid for the bond. The bail bonds company does not pay back the premium if you honor all the required court proceedings. Also, it requires you to put up collateral, which is larger than the bond in case the defendant fails to show up for the case.

Property Bond

This is an uncommon type of bond that involves posting a property in place of the bond. It is quite long since it requires the property to be valued, and a security interest should be granted to the court as well. Also, the value of the bond should be at least twice the bond that one has to pay. This kind of bond is usually placed when the bond is quite high, and a family member decided to put up his or her home to ensure that the defendant gets the bail.

Responsibility of a Cosigner in the Bail Process

If you decide to secure a bond on behalf of another person, you become his or her cosigner. As a cosigner, you will be making a promise that you will guarantee that the defendant makes his or her court appearances as required. In this case, you will have to pay the premium or gather the amount from other people to post the bail.

Therefore, if the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond company will try and collect the collateral from him or her first before reaching out to you. If they fail to find the defendant, you will have to reimburse the bondsman as required by the law.

Conditions for Bail Release

Once the bail has been set, the court will impose some requirements that you need to consider. Your attorney can also try to suggest some conditions to convince the court that you will attend the court hearing as required.

The conditions imposed on you are routine, which are meant to reduce your bail or applicable to your case. Here are some terms that the court might impose on you.

House Arrest with Electronic Monitoring

An electronic monitoring device is a bracelet installed in your home that coordinates with a commercial cellular network or a phone and a bracelet attached to your ankle. If one tries to leave the designated area, the device will notify the monitoring agency, which in turn, notifies the parole officer. You have the responsibility of paying for the costs of the electronic monitor, although there is a subsidized fee for low-income home arrestees.

There are particular places that you are routinely allowed to go if you have an electronic monitoring device. These places include:

  • School
  • Counseling
  • Court-mandated programs

The court may also allow you to go to a gym or go to a grocery store within specific days or through pre-approved scheduled activities.

There are also other conditions that the arrestee would be subjected to. These conditions include:

  • Observe curfew-time within which the arrestee should remain in his or her residence. The curfew might be subjected during the day or at night hours
  • Subjection to random drug tests where the sheriff’s deputies randomly appear to your home to test for drugs or alcohol
  • Subjection to random search on your residence or the property that you are confined into
  • Scheduled meetings with the parole or probation officer
  • Restriction on the places to go, the hours required to be outside your residence, and the people you contact.

The Requirement to Wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM)

A SCRAM bracelet is an alcohol-monitoring device that is worn on the defendant’s ankle. The device tests the wearer’s blood alcohol content by testing his or her sweat. The device takes note of the offender’s alcohol consumption by sampling his or her perspiration after every thirty minutes to check for any alcohol content.

The device conducts alcohol alerts through the company responsible for its making. It notifies the agent supervising the offender once it detects alcohol content in the offender’s sweat. The SCRAM system usually costs between $ 50 to $ 1000 with additional monitoring fees. The cost depends on the average income of the defendant. If the defendant cannot raise the required amount, the court might have to pay up for the system.

Please note that you will have to wear the monitor until you complete your trial. The period might be increased based on your alcohol problem and whether you are a repeat DUI offender.

Attending AA Meetings

Although Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings are usually considered during probation, your defense attorney might file a plea to the court for such conditions to guarantee bail. AA meetings are voluntary fellowships of men and women who share the same alcoholic problem experience. The meetings are scheduled every day, mostly during the evenings and weekends. The only requirement that an attendee should have would be the desire to stop drinking.

If you would want to seek a fellowship within your area, contact the Alcoholics Anonymous Central office through the phone directory or use their website. Once you join the fellowship, you will be asked to fill a questionnaire to determine whether you are an alcoholic.

Attending Alcohol and Drug Programs

If drugs highly influence you, the court might decide to impose a mandatory attendance to an alcohol and drug program. This is a form of rehabilitation that helps DUI offenders with their alcohol problem.

The program includes treatment such as behavior modification and therapy. The program is quite ideal not only to fulfill the conditions of the bail but also for the health of the offender.

Installing an Ignition Interlock Device(IID)

A DUI offender is usually required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) as a requirement for probation. However, a criminal defense attorney might also seek a plea for a mandatory installation as part of your request for bail release.

The device works like a breathalyzer connected to your vehicle, which restricts you from starting or driving under the influence. The driver is required to breathe into the device, which analyzes the results to detect whether there is blood alcohol concentration in the breath. If the defendant has any BAC, the vehicle does not start. Please note that the device has a log that records every breath results.

If the driver tries to start the vehicle with a “ positive” BAC result, the device will automatically warn the driver by starting up an alarm, which includes horn honking, lights flashing, among other options. This disapproves of a common misconception that the device automatically switches off the vehicle if it detects alcohol in the driver’s breath.

Restricting You to the State

Once the state accepts your bail, you will be required to remain in the state until your court hearing kicks off. Therefore, your information will be available in every state agency database to ensure that you maintain yourself within the state. Some of the other considerations that the state might make are:

  • Ensuring that you report to your monitoring agency every day
  • Ensuring that you surrender your travel documents
  • Putting you under house arrest electronic monitoring

Avoiding Contact With the Victim

DUI suspects are required to keep off from their victims once they are guaranteed bail. This is to prevent any chances of jeopardizing any investigations that might be underway. It also avoids any type of settlement that the defendant might settle with the victim, which is outside the legal requirement.

If the court finds out that you have been contacting the DUI victims, it might decide to recall your bail and put you under custody.

Consequences of Failing to Appear in a Court after Posting a Bail

There are serious consequences that may follow if one fails to appear in court after posting bail. For instance, if you were facing a misdemeanor DUI offense, failing to appear in court might appear to be another misdemeanor offense. If you were facing a felony DUI offense, you would be putting yourself at risk of another felony offense. As a result, the court might issue an arrest on you.

Also, if you fail to appear in court and you had a bail on hand, you will be putting yourself at risk of forfeiting your bail amount to the court. The same situation occurs to the bond company, where it will lose the whole amount that it had posted for your bail. Please note, if you have put your property as collateral, the bond company might decide to sell it if you forfeit the court. If there is no collateral to sell, the bonds company will hire a bounty hunter to look for you.

The bounty hunter gets a percentage of the bond if they deliver the defendant on time. There is a timeline that the court provides for such a situation or have the bonds company pay up the entire amount secured through the bond. Once the bounty hunter apprehends you, you will be returned to the authority that you were trying to run from and put an additional charge on you.

The court can vacate the order for forfeiture or exoneration of the bond if you appear within 180 days of the bail forfeiture and with a valid excuse. Some of the excuses that the court might consider are:

  • Injuries
  • An illness, with a valid medical report to support it
  • Custody in a different jurisdiction
  • Suffering from mental illness
  • You were disabled and could not attend the hearing due to the disability

Results of your Bail once the Court Session is Complete

Once you attend your DUI court trial, the court will release your bail. The release happens when:

  • Your case has been completed
  • The court orders a drug diversion program under Penal Code 1000
  • The court decides that you are incompetent enough to stand a trial
  • You are subjected to custody after an adverse verdict

Please note, if you had posted cash bail, the court would apply for the bond at your penalties after a conviction. This means that you will not be in a position of being reimbursed by the court unless the fines included in your penalty are way too less than the amount you had posted for your bail.

Find a San Jose DUI Lawyer Near Me

DUI booking and bailing might seem to be a simple process. However, it is tedious and frustrating, especially when there is no legal representative to your aid. That’s why it is advisable to seek a professional criminal defense attorney who can help you in these two processes and your court trial as well. You should consider attorneys who have a reputation for delivering excellent services to their clients. We at the San Jose DUI Attorney Law Firm are inclined to help you get the best legal services. If you are in San Jose, contact us today at 408-777-6630 for a free consultation.