When you get arrested for a DUI charge, the authorities will detain you then later charge you in court. In court, the judge, at their discretion, will set your bail amount. The bail amount is influenced by several factors, like your past criminal history and the magnitude of your DUI charge. For many, paying the full bail amount is problematic. Therefore, the only way to avoid a prolonged stay in jail is to arrange for a DUI bail bond.
Once you’ve agreed to the bail bond conditions, your bond agent will deliver your DUI bail bond to the court, and you’ll be released pending your court hearing. However, before you agree to sign with your DUI bail agent, there are several things you need to know about DUI bail bonds.
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Understand How DUI Bail Bonds Work
A good number of DUI suspects arrested for the first time usually don’t know how bail bonds work. When a bond agent guarantees that you’ll appear for your court dates, they accept the liability if you fail to appear for your court hearing. The court will expect them to pay your full bail amount.
Therefore, remember you’re paying for their services when paying your bond agent their fee, which is usually around 10% of your total bail amount. Therefore, don’t expect you’ll be paid that money back if the court finds you innocent.
Before signing with you, the bond agent will ask for your credit rating or collateral in the form of securities or property. They ask for this to help recover their losses if they have to pay for your total bail amount.
Research Potential DUI Bail Bond Agents
After the judge sets your bail amount and returns to your jail cell, they’ll provide you with a list of bail bond agents. Before requesting a bail bondsman in Los Angeles, try to learn more about their reputation. You can ask your friends or family to do some research for you. You can also ask your jailer to recommend a good bond agent. Or you can call acquaintances who’ve been in a similar situation and ask for their recommendations. Thorough research will help you avoid dealing with characters out to rip you off.
Understand The Conditions Of Your DUI Bail Bond
Depending on the severity of your charge, your DUI bail bond will include some special conditions. As long as the conditions imposed by the judge are reasonable, you have a mandate to abide by them. For example, if you’ll retain access to your car after being released, the conditions set might require you to prove that you’re not drunk when driving. Fulfilling this condition will require you to purchase an ignition interlock device. You might also be required to submit yourself for regular drug and alcohol screenings which also cost money.
Don’t Overcommit Yourself To Your DUI Bond Agent
Very few people like staying detained in jail for an extended period. Therefore, during your brief jail stay, you might feel pressured to sign with the first bond agent that comes along. However, we remarkably advise against doing this. Remember that the court might set some conditions for you to follow after your release. These special conditions might require you to spend a hefty amount of money.
Your bond agent will also set up payment conditions for you to follow. Before signing, ensure you can fulfill the judge’s conditions for your release and your bond agent’s payment condition. Otherwise, it makes no sense for you to sign an agreement that might result in your failure to abide by the court’s unique conditions. And if you’re not aware, the court can revoke your bond for non-compliance and order your re-arrest.
DUI Bail Bonds Don’t Help You Get Out Of Your DUI Charge
You must understand being released after posting bail doesn’t mean your DUI charge has been dropped. All a DUI bail bond does is help you get out of jail and give you a better opportunity to prepare your defense. Therefore, you should remember to make an appearance once your court dates are set. If you fail to appear in court, you will be re-arrested and might also lose the collateral you handed over to your bail bond agent.
The services DUI bail bond agents offer are essential. They make it easier for DUI suspects to avoid staying in jail for long, even if they can’t raise the bail money immediately.