What to do If you Have a DUI: How to Navigate Bail on a DUI

Do you need bail on a DUI charge? Perhaps your friend or loved one cannot afford to get out of jail.

If so, you need a bond agency to help you. For a fee, a bondsman will get you or your loved one out of jail.

How much is bail on a DUI?

Overall, the cost can range from $500 to $5,000 or above. If you kill or injure someone, the judge could set bail at $1 million or more. In some cases, they could deny bail altogether.

However, you may not have to pay a bond at all. Depending on the charge, the court will release the defendants without a bond.

This article will highlight the DUI bond process in North Carolina. Let’s explore.

Who Sets Bail?

The magistrate usually grants bail to a defendant. You’ll usually receive a bail hearing within two days of your arrest. If the judge doesn’t deem you a flight risk, the court will grant bail. In most cases, you can receive bail on a DUI charge.

The judge will grant bail based on various factors, such as your criminal history. Further, the court will structure the bond based on any passengers riding with you, especially minors. In severe DUI cases, the judge could deny bail outright.

Also, the judge may impose certain terms, depending on the circumstance.

What Happens If I Cannot Pay the Bond?

If you can’t pay the bail, you have the following options at your disposal:

  • Contact a Bond Agency: A bail agent can bail you out if you cannot afford to do so. The agent assures the court that you will abide by the bond terms and show up to court.
  • Ask Family and Friends: Many people turn to family and friends for help. However, they may not have the money. Therefore, a bail agency is the surest way to get out of jail.

How Much Does Bail Cost in North Carolina?

A bond agent can charge up to 15% in North Carolina. Due to competition among bail bondsmen, however, you could pay less than 15%.

Moreover, each bondsman has different terms and conditions. The terms usually include check-ins, travel restrictions, and drug/alcohol testing. Therefore, read the terms before agreeing to them.

Also, the bond agency will determine the percentage based on various factors, such as the severity of the DUI charge and your criminal history. After you accept the bondsman’s terms, they will pay the bond. Then, authorities could release you within a few hours.

What Happens If I Violate Bail Terms on a DUI Charge?

If you violate the bond terms, a judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. You’ll also violate the bond if you don’t attend court hearings. After your arrest, you must remain in jail until your trial date.

How Strict Are North Carolina’s DUI Laws?

In some cases, you may encounter a judge who refuses to issue bail on a DUI charge. In other cases, they could bestow a higher bond.

The circumstances surrounding your DUI cause will play a role in the bond amount. Further, you could face stiffer criminal penalties for severe offenses.

For instance, you could pay a higher bond and receive a longer jail sentence if you engaged in reckless driving and endangered other motorists. The judge may also impose a higher bond based on your BAC level. A judge can deny bail if your BAC is 1.5 or above.

In particular, the court frowns upon serious charges, such as injured victims, minor passengers, and previous DUI convictions.

Additionally, the judge could be harsh if you’re under 21. North Carolina has a zero-tolerance policy for under-age drinkers.

Whether you’re a minor or an adult, you could also be released on a bond recognizance. A bond recognizance means you’ll be released without paying any bond. You may receive a BR release if:

  • You have no prior record of DUI charges.
  • You have a blood-alcohol content of less than 1.4.

What Type of Bail Is Available in North Carolina?

North Carolina has different forms of bond, such as:

  • Secured Bond: Under a secured bond, you would pay the bond in cash, or the bail agent will pay for you. If you don’t have cash, you can also use collateral to pay the bond. When it comes to collateral, the assets must be equal to or greater than the bond amount.
  • Unsecured Bond: The judge will bestow the bond, but you don’t have to pay it upfront. If you violate the terms or fail to appear, you’ll pay the bond amount. Upon arrest, you must pay the full bond to be released.
  • Promise to Appear: This means you must sign a statement pledging you’ll show up to future court dates. If you sign, the judge won’t charge you a bond.

Regarding DUI charges, the judge can choose any type of bond.

Is Bail on a DUI Worth the Trouble?

Getting bail on a DUI is worth the pursuit because you won’t have to remain in jail. Without bail, you must remain in jail until your trial.

When the agent pays your bond, they will ensure you meet the bond terms and attend court hearings. If you fail to meet the terms, you could end up back in jail. Bondsmen offer different terms and rates, which is why you should find the best one for you.

Are you in need of a bond agent? Click here to learn important questions that you must ask a bail bondsman.