ail is money or property posted with the court to guarantee a person arrested and charged with DUI or another crime will return on a specific date to appear before the court and respond to the pending criminal charges against them after being released from jail or police custody.
If the defendant returns to appear before the court as promised, the bail money posted will be returned to the defendant at the end of the case, even if the defendant is proven guilty. If the defendant does not appear in court when required, or violates the conditions of his or her bail, the bail money will be forfeited to the court and will not be returned.
At an arraignment hearing for Driving Under the Influence, a person charged with DUI, or drunk driving, is brought before a magistrate or judge for a pre-trial hearing, resulting in one of three possible outcomes:
1.Release on Own Recognizance: Otherwise known as "OR", a release from jail on one's own recognizance is a written promise by the accused to appear in court on the scheduled arraignment date. A release from custody on "OR" requires no cash deposit or security by real property or a professional bail bonds company. In San Diego, if a person accused of DUI fails to appear in court on the scheduled date, a bench warrant will be issued for the defendant's arrest and a failure to appear will be added to the pending criminal charges. The failure to appear will be "joined" with the DUI crime and the defendant will then have two charges to deal with.
2.Release from Jail on Secured Bail Bond: A release from jail that is secured by posting a cash deposit or a pledge of real property, often posted by a a third party such as a bail bondsman, assuring the judge that the defendant will appear in court as promised and abide by the conditions of their release. In the event the defendant does not appear for their court hearing for DUI, the judge may forfeit the posted cash bond amount or collateral assets. In the event that the bail was posted by a bail bonds company and the defendant fails to appear in court, the defendant will have a bounty hunter to contend with, a bench warrant for their arrest, and a failure to appear added and joined with the DUI charges.
3.Denial of Bail: No bail, or ineligibility for bail, is a denial to release the defendant from custody pending arraignment of criminal charges. A decision to deny bail and keep the accused in custody during court proceedings may be appealed by requesting the judge to re-examine the evidence, review the defendant's criminal history, previous failures to appear, connections to the community, as well as the likelihood that the defendant will appear in court as scheduled. Denial of bail is rare in San Diego cases so long as the defendant does not have an extensive of failure to appear, and the DUI did not result in fatalities and/or mass destruction or detriment to the community and/or human lives.
In San Diego DUI cases, it is sometimes possible to get a reduction of the bail amount originally set by the arraigning Judge, depending upon the severity of the charges, and various other bail setting factors. San Diego court officials tend to consider factors such as whether the defendant poses any threat or danger to the community, and whether or not the defendant is considered a flight risk.
A Bail Bonds company will usually require a fee of 10% of the amount of the bail required to get the defendant released from custody, which is non-refundable. Some San Diego discount bail bond companies will charge a rate of 5% of the total bail amount. The Bail Bonds company may also require collateral such as real property to secure the bond. If the defendant does not appear in court on the pending charges as required, the bond company will typically send a bounty hunter to apprehend the accused and bring them before the court.
Bail may be posted directly with the jail, court clerk, or law enforcement facility that has custody of the defendant. Officers at the jail may be able to accept bail.
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