Bail, Bail Bonds and DUI

Typically on a first DUI arrest in Los Angeles or Orange County, the arresting agency will release a suspect after a few hours on his or her own promise to appear in court on a future date. Normally, it is not necessary to post bail in these circumstances. However, if there is an aggravating factor such as an accident, a refusal to submit to a test, or prior DUI convictions, bail can be required before a suspect is released. Bail can be cash bail or a bail bondsperson can be used to post a bail bond. If cash bail is posted, the full amount is returned upon completion of the court case and exoneration of the bail. If a bail bondsperson is employed to post a bail bond, the bondsperson typically charges ten percent of the amount of the bond. This fee is not refunded at the end of the case.

Some arresting agencies have a reputation for requiring bail even on first offenses, including local police agencies in Orange County, and the Long Beach Police Department. Typically, bail on a first offense is between $2,500 and $10,000. On a felony DUI in Orange County, bail can be as much as $100,000.

Even if the arresting agency releases a suspect without bail, the Court will sometimes impose bail at the arraignment. This is common on a second or third DUI offense in Orange County Courts. This can come as a surprise to an unrepresented defendant or unprepared attorney. If bail is not posted immediately, the defendant will be taken into custody, pending the resolution of the case.

If you have any questions about the above, please call Gold & Witham for a free consultation.


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