Under California law, a person can be arrested for two separate charges when drinking and driving:
- Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher; or
- DUI or Driving Under the Influence, where it is obvious to the officer that your judgment has been impaired so that you cannot drive a vehicle safely. In this case, you do not even need to have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 to be charged with a DUI
When you are arrested for either or both of the above charges, the law enforcement officer will bring you to the police station, book you, and it is quite possible that you will be held overnight. In any case, you have the right to appear before a judge as soon as possible, typically within the next 48 hours, to hear the charges against you, to make your plea, and to be granted bail if bail is deemed applicable in your case.
DUI Penalties in San Diego
In San Diego, DUIs are bailable offenses, and the amount of bail that is set follows a standard schedule, called the county bail schedule. In general, a brief overview of the bail schedule in San Diego is as follows:
- $2,500 for a first misdemeanor DUI case
- $10,000 for a second misdemeanor DUI case
- $15,000 for a third misdemeanor DUI; $20,000 if people were injured as a result of that incident
- $100,000 for a felony involving a DUI where a person was killed as a result
As can be seen from the above schedule, the amount of bail progressively goes up the more serious the DUI case is.
But it is helpful to remember that bail schedules such as this are not set in stone. A judge may refer to them, and if there are other relevant additional facts to the case, may utilize the bail schedule only as a starting point for fixing the amount of bail, and increase or decrease the bail amount accordingly.
A judge may decrease the bail amount, for instance, if it is the defendant’s first misdemeanor DUI, is shown to be remorseful, has voluntarily signed up for a self-help program, or is proven to have little to no financial capacity to meet the bail amount that is set.
A judge may increase the bail amount, on the other hand, if there are aggravating circumstances, such as driving with a child as a passenger, driving recklessly and with excessive speed, causing serious injury or death while driving and having a previous felony DUI on your record.
According to bail bondsman the DUI charge in San Diego is no small thing. Aside from spending at least a night in jail, your bail amount will not be negligible, either. But being out on bail is still preferable to being detained for the entire time during pretrial and during the trial itself. How will you be able to prepare well for your defense if you are stuck in jail? This is what a bail bondsman can help you with.
What to do if you don’t have the money for the bail ?
Bail bondsman says that if you do not have the financial capacity to meet your bail, seeking out a bail bondsman for help in meeting your bail obligations is a good solution. For only a portion of your total bail amount, usually 10 percent, a bail bondsman can put up a surety bond in your behalf with the courts, which allows you to be released from pretrial detention.