Saturday, August 1, 2015

Help! My Loved One Was Arrested For DUI, What Can I Do?

You got a phone call in the middle of the night that a loved one was arrested for DUI and is in jail, what can you do?  First, relax in most cases the person arrested is sitting in a holding cell waiting to be processed and he or she is calling you from that cell.  The police department or county jail facility has phones available for the arrestee to make at least 2 phone calls and it will just be a matter of time before they will be ready for release.

There are 2 possible scenarios that can play out:
1.  If the person arrested has no record, no failures to appear and the offense is a first time DUI, it is very likely they will be release on their "own recognisance". Meaning they will be let out with a ticket that they sign with a promise to appear for a future Court date.

2.  If the person has a record, particularly for a felony, has one or more failures to appear in Court or does not have a license then the jail or may require they post a bail bond to ensure their appearance in a Court.  If they cannot bail out they will be held, usually for 48 hours until they can appear before a Judge for an arraignment.

Another possible scenario can exist where the individual is from out of state and has no ties yo the community.  In this case if the offense is a misdemeanor they can still be cited out as long as they were otherwise cooperative with the arresting officer and the jail staff.

Once the person is released is is imperative that they call a lawyer to initiate the process to save their drivers license.  California does not automatically give you a hearing to challenge the suspension you must contact the DMV to request a formal hearing within 10 calendar days of the arrest.