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What Happens After a DUI Arrest?

The last place you want to find yourself is prison.

If you are booked for a DUI and find yourself in jail, the first thing you should consider is getting out fast. The only way to get out of prison pending the hearing of your DUI case is by posting bail. The bail bonds process is not as complex as many people take it to be. Whether or not you succeed in posting bail, it is important to know what happens the moment you are arrested for a DUI.

The Process of Bail

In some DUI cases, the court may refuse to release you on a recognizance basis and may want you to provide a financial guarantee that you are going to make a court appearance.Bail is a set amount of cash that you are supposed to pay to be released from police custody. One of the conditions of your release is a promise to appear for your hearing. If you attend your court trial, your bail amount will be refunded to you. However, if you fail, you will be arrested and cannot claim the bail amount.

After the court sets your bail amount, you are required to submit payment to the court to secure your release. If you cannot afford to pay the bail amount, you can contract a bail bond agent to settle the amount on your behalf. A bail bonds agent will charge you a non-refundable fee of 10-20 percent of the total amount of the bail. The bail bondsman may also require some collateral in case you fail to appear in court. The bail bond agent agrees to forfeit the remaining bail amount in case you do not attend the court proceedings and sells the collateral to recover his/her money.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest

The requirements and penalties for drunk driving vary from one state to another. If you took a blood or breath test that put your blood alcohol content at 0.8 and over, you will be charged with driving under the influence, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or driving while intoxicated, depending on the definition of drunk driving in your state. Even though you passed the field sobriety tests but recorded a BAC ranging from 0.8 and above, you are still guilty of a DUI.

Fines, License Revocation, Jail Time

After you are convicted in court for drunk driving, you will be required to pay for court costs, a sizeable fine, and your driver’s license may be revoked for a certain period of time. In some states, even first time offenders are mandated to serve some jail time. In most states, you are going to be put on probation during which period you will be required to engage in some community service. This means paying a probation fee and completing all the terms of your probation.

Retrieving Your License

In many cases, you simply do not get your license back after the revocation period is over. In some states, you will be required to go through a learning program also known as defensive driving school or DUI school. Before you are admitted to the school, a counselor will evaluate you to determine whether you have an alcohol dependency or alcohol abuse problem. You may have to attend counseling and support group meetings. You will be able to retrieve your driving license depending on how well you do in driving school and the counseling sessions.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Even after paying your fine, court costs, serving probation, and completing your treatment and driving program, you may still be required to take further steps to be able to drive again.

A huge number of states require first drunk driving offenders to insert an ignition interlock device in their vehicles to be able to drive again. The device prevents the vehicle from starting if it senses alcohol on your breath. These interlock systems are quite expensive and add to the other expenses incurred in your DUI case.

SR-22 Insurance

You may be in for further consequences after a DUI conviction. In some states, a convicted driver is required to pay for a special insurance known as SR-22 insurance before they can be allowed to drive again. SR-22 insurance will double or triple your premiums.

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