Many people panic about an arrest by police officers. You may panic, especially if it is your first time facing an arrest. The situation is the same for DUI offenders, but with a better understanding of the DUI process that officers use, you can cope better with the situation. It is good to understand that police officers are generally considerate, mainly if you cooperate. It is also good to remember the law presumes you innocent until proven guilty. On facing an arrest for DUI cases, it is good to cooperate with officers and to follow the booking process without resistance. The DUI Defense Attorney’s team in Van Nuys, CA can negotiate effectively on your behalf and help you handle the process.
Upon arriving at the police station, you will be booked by the officer who will also take your fingerprints and search for any items in your possession. The police will also take some photographs. You will have to answer some questions regarding your personal information. After the booking process, it is wise to contact an attorney and seek legal help.
After an arrest for DUI, the law enforcement officers take you to a police station where the booking process begins. This process does not take long, but it will depend on several factors like the number of people awaiting service and your cooperation. The police will typically start questioning you to be able to fill out paperwork and arrest reports. A police officer will record your personal information starting with your name and date of birth and also physical characteristics. The police also take your fingerprints, photographs, and search for any possessions at the time of the arrest. The police officer will seek to establish whether you are on probation or have a prior criminal record.
The officer informs you of your rights before doing any test and also tells you of the consequences of refusing to take the tests. It is good to take the tests since implied consent laws require every driver to submit to the chemical tests. Failure to take the tests may have stiff penalties, and the prosecutor may use it against you in court. The police officers should inform you of the consequences of refusal, failure to which you can challenge the penalties in court. Breath and urine tests will help confirm your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and determine your level of intoxication.
The police officer will also confiscate any personal items in your possession, but they will return them to you upon release. The officer also records information about the crime for which you are guilty, and in some cases, subjects you to an additional toxicological test. Blood samples may be necessary to help support the evidence of the prosecutor in court. The law enforcement officers will place you in a holding cell or local jail but not for a period exceeding 48 hours and 72 hours in case of a public holiday or weekends. This is a reasonable standard procedure, and it should not worry you.
For many first-time offenders, posting bail may not be a requirement, and you may get a release and a citation to appear in court. However, the police might still hold you in custody for some time until you sober up. This will be so if the DUI offense was a minor one and also did not have any injuries. It is important to note that not all first-time offenders will get a release in such a manner. The extent of the DUI offense and your level of intoxication and subsequent behavior will play a vital role. It is advisable to cooperate with the arresting officers and be courteous to them, and you might secure your freedom.
The first thing that comes to mind while in police custody is how to secure your freedom. As a DUI suspect, it is possible to obtain release through bail or your Own Recognizance release. This process might require the intervention of someone well-equipped to handle such cases. A DUI defense attorney can offer the much-needed advice on booking and bail and help you secure a bail.
Booking at a Later Date
In some instances, the police would be unable to arrest and book a DUI suspect. This situation may result mainly from the nature of the accident, especially where a collision took place, and the driver suffered injuries, thus requiring emergency treatment. In such cases of a DUI collision, the suspect upon discharge from the hospital may have to turn himself/herself in for arraignment later. The suspect receives a letter outlining the set date and arrangements for arraignment. The case is the same for offenders suspected of hit and run DUI offenses.
In cases of later booking, the defendant may be booked as a condition of Own Recognizance release. The defendant has to present himself/herself to a police station and go through the booking process. This will typically include filing paperwork and taking of fingerprints and photographs. Upon successful completion of the booking process, the suspect is free to leave. When you present yourself for booking as a condition of Own Recognizance, the police will not hold you in custody.
However, it is essential to know that the paperwork provided to the defendant to be presented to the police station is only valid for a week. It is, therefore, necessary to comply with the booking requirement right away to avoid brushing the wrong side of the law. Failure to comply with the booking requirement has serious implications. If the judge believes that it was a willful refusal to comply, it may imply an Own Recognizance violation and might warrant an arrest for booking.
Proper identification is essential for booking, and the suspect's name must match those in the booking form. In exceptional cases, the suspect only has to undergo booking upon a conviction for a DUI offense. Booking requirement serves as probation, and in case you fail to comply with the booking requirement, the court might interpret it as a probation violation.
The process of questioning in DUI cases is not lengthy, like in other cases. This is because much of the evidence necessary in court will largely depend on the test results like the toxicological tests. However, the police officer will still ask several questions. It is important to note that the law protects you against self-incrimination before giving statements or admitting to compromising statements. The police officers do not aim at coercing you to make confessions during DUI questioning. The sole purpose of the interrogation is to enable the officers to fill out arrest reports as well as other paperwork.
It is always crucial for a DUI suspect to cooperate with the police officers. A DUI suspect should know the importance of giving accurate information to the police officer questioning them and also to be polite. Your cooperation and courtesy on questioning will significantly determine the number of hours spent on questioning and subsequent stay at the police station. After gathering all the information necessary from the suspect, the officers will proceed to perform background checks on the DUI suspect.
These checks aim to establish whether the suspect could have prior DUI charges or open warrants and to determine if the suspect is on probation. If these checks reveal prior DUI offenses, more significant charges may apply to the suspect, and he could face stiffer penalties after a conviction. Such information remains in the DUI suspect file to help the prosecutor present a weighty case in court. It is, therefore, wise to give accurate information that may not conflict with the records and be used against you in court.
Fingerprints and Photographs
Fingerprints remain in a database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The purpose of this is to identify the suspect and to establish prior criminal records or active warrants. Such information is then shared with the California Department of Justice, and your previous DUI cases suffice. The suspect's photographs also matter. The purpose of the photographs is for identification and to portray how the appearance of the suspect at the time of the arrest. The photographs also play an essential role in establishing whether police used excessive force was used at the time of the arrest. Photos will indicate whether the police abused the suspect at the time of the arrest.
In some cases, the police may wish to do further DUI toxicological tests at the police station. This is usually applicable where there is a possibility of the suspect challenging the authenticity of the breathalyzer used on a roadside arrest. Although the breathalyzers used on roadside arrests give reliable and accurate information, the police may require further evidence to put weight to the case. Police conduct additional testing using urine and blood samples. They conduct the tests with more sophisticated equipment. The equipment gives more accurate readings, and the prosecutor becomes sure of the findings to present in court. Such toxicological tests are allowable by the law though an officer should get a warrant before obtaining blood samples.
Effect of DUI Booking
Once booked, many state agencies receive a notification of the suspect's DUI arrest. Many of these agencies will launch investigations immediately into the suspect's conduct and DUI offense without waiting for conviction. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to argue your case thoroughly and guard your reputation. It is, therefore, essential not to go it alone but seek the help of an experienced DUI offense. An attorney argues your case and helps to restore your dignity.
Arraignment and Bailing
Unlike in usual court hearings, DUI arraignment hearings do not aim at determining whether you are guilty or not. The purpose of DUI arraignment is to ascertain that the criminal complaint as per the law and that the defendant is appropriately informed. The arraignment also wishes to establish that the defendant fully understands the case before them and that they are fit to stand trial. On ascertaining this information to be in order, the defendant has to take a plea. Upon taking a plea, it is within the judge's discretion to decide whether to hold you in police custody while the DUI case is pending or to release you.
If you did not commit a serious DUI accident, chances of walking free on the condition of your Own Recognizance are high. The judge will reach his/her decision, depending on your past DUI records. The judge also considers whether you have open warrants or are on probation. If you are a first offender, and there is no involvement in a significant DUI accident, you will be on the safe side.
The law is not keen to hold minor offenders in custody. This is because DUI cases are many, and often the correctional facilities are strained by a swelling number of offenders. It is also expensive for the state to hold such a large number of offenders due to the associated costs. Depending on the intensity of your DUI accident, the court may not hold you in remand if the penalties you are facing are not high.
After an arrest for a DUI charge, it is possible to secure your release on bail. This involves paying out some money to gain your freedom from the police cell after booking. The suspect also promises to attend all court proceedings as a condition of release. This includes court arraignment, preliminary hearing, pretrial, and even the trial. A DUI offender can secure bail at the station after the booking process. Where the suspect is unable to get bail at the police station, the judge can still grant the bail at a distinct/separate hearing or arraignment later. This will depend on the discretion of the judge.
In determining the bail figure, the judge may use a bail schedule or determine a monetary amount depending on such issues as the suspect's criminal history or past DUI offenses, the extent of damage caused by the DUI. The judge may also consider the suspect's contribution to the community, family ties, and employment. In some cases where the judge believes that you might flee, you may have to surrender your passport. The purpose of bail is to give you freedom as you await the outcome of your case. DUI bails are not very harsh, except in severe injuries or death.
If you are unable to raise bail on a DUI case, your friends or family members may help you raise the amount as the court requires, or a bond may be posted instead of the entire amount. A bond refers to a written agreement to guarantee that you will pay the full amount of bail if you fail to attend court proceedings as agreed.
Bail bond agencies usually post the bond at a fee, which is a small percentage of the whole bail amount, typically 10 percent. In some instances, bail agencies might require you to provide collateral/security before bond posting. This is because the bail bond agency will have to pay the full bail amount if a suspect does not show up in court.
Qualifying for an Own Recognizance Release
It is also possible to get a release without bail or bond on a DUI offense through your Own Recognizance release. For a suspect to face arrest, booking, and a release on their Own Recognizance release, several factors are put into consideration. The judge, similar to the case of determining the bond amount, assesses the suspect's criminal record and DUI past offenses. He/she also evaluates the suspect's employment and ties to family and community. The judge also considers the seriousness of the injuries to others and the weight of the DUI offense. The judge also considers whether your release would be a threat to society.
The suspect must promise the court in writing to be present in all upcoming court proceedings. In some cases, the court may require the suspect to report to court periodically and to stay within rage while court proceedings are going on.
For a release on your Own Recognizance for a DUI case, you have to comply with all the conditions set in writing. Failure to attend court as planned leads to an arrest and loss of a chance for a bail release. After involvement in a DUI accident with no injuries and you are a first offender, you might be entitled to Own Recognizance release. Talk to a DUI defense attorney for sound advice.
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney Near Me
If you or a loved one is facing an arrest for a DUI offense, your priority would be to secure your freedom. This may not happen if you do not understand your options on booking and bail. You would also be proactive to clear your name and avoid a conviction. The DUI Defense Attorney in Van Nuys can advise you on the booking and bail process. Our attorneys have vast experience in handling these matters. Call us at 818-253-1913 and talk to one of our attorneys.