The answer to this question is of course, yes you can bond out once the police are done booking you, processing you then you're able to post any bail that they set related to your case. A lot of times I've seen problems because they're not going to let you go until their computer clears you and makes sure you don't have any warrants. So, if there's a problem with their computer in that process, that's the only issue I've seen that would delay somebody who has posted a bail from getting out.
Hold for a Felony DUI
However, the reality is and if you're a person trying to get a lawyer for a family member or a friend who is in custody, that person will likely be let go with a citation if it's a first DUI offense and it's not a felony DUI. So, this is where you want to coordinate things with an attorney. You don't want to just waste money and post a bail when the person is going to get out anyway.
The police will typically hold someone in a DUI in Los Angeles county for a period of time that they feel that that person is now safe to get out because they're looking at the potential that the person can get out and drive again.
So, they're going to hold them there for a number of hours especially if it's a high blood alcohol level. I've even seen them testing the person while they're in custody to make sure that they're not over a .08, again with an eye towards making sure that person is safe and if they do get out and they were to somehow drive again — which of course, makes no sense — that that person would not be a DUI and potentially injure somebody in the public. That's usually what these guys are looking at, is making sure that they don't injure anybody related to a DUI matter.
But yes, if you're in custody and they set a bail, usually they'll set a $100,000 bail for example if it's a felony DUI. Then you're able to post that bail through a bail bondsman or you can post the entire amount and get out. That process usually takes a little bit of time though because they have to book you, process the paperwork, make sure you don't have no bench warrant out for your arrest.
So, as far as posting the bail, I would usually suggest using a bail bondsman. Let them post the bail so that you can get out. That's usually the fastest way to do it and the fastest way to get the person out.
Another big issue that comes up when it comes to these bail issues in DUI's is, what if I only have enough money to either bail the person out or hire an attorney? I would always say hire the attorney because bailing the person out doesn't really do anything. It just gets them out for now, but it does not resolve their case. So, it's like putting a band aid on a bullet wound.
They still have a DUI and if there's a bond set, it's usually going to be a felony case, so they're looking at state prison. Them being out of custody doesn't really do much good for that I guess, unless they can get the money to get an attorney.
But when it comes to choosing between an attorney and bail, I always say the attorney is the best use of your money because the attorney is going to be able to help resolve all of your problems. Bailing out only resolves a small fraction of your problems. It really doesn't resolve anything related to your DUI case.
Retain an DUI Lawyer
Bottom line is, you can bond out. This is usually best coordinated through an attorney because they can help you get a bail bondsman and make sure that your bond is as low as possible. That's another big issue in these DUI cases.
If you've got like a $100,000 bail, before you post that bond and spend all of that money, you may want to talk to an attorney about it because the attorney may be able to either lower the bail so you don't have to spend as much money, or get you or get the person released on their own recognizance and you don't have to spend any money.
The issue is going to be, can the person who is in custody wait the couple of days — depending on when the arrest was made — to get into court? They usually get you into court within 48 to 72 hours of your arrest and that's when the attorney is going to have the opportunity to try to argue for an OR release — which basically means, you get out with your promise to appear at all the court appearances, or to lower the bail down to something else so you don't have to pay as much to the bail bond company.
So, again, this all centers around handling the case the right way. If you or a loved one is charged with a DUI in Los Angeles county, your first move should be hiring an attorney. Let that attorney advise you and defend you. Let that attorney guide and coordinate the DUI case for you or your loved one to make sure that you get the best possible result.