DWI Bail Bonds
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) bail bonds, also referred to as DUI (driving under the influence) bail bonds, depending upon the state they are executed in, are bonds that are executed to facilitate the release of a person from the jail booked for driving under the influence of liquor or any other type of mind altering substance, including drugs and controlled substances.
When a person has been arrested for a DWI offense, he/she must remain in jail until the charges have been fixed and the terms and amount of bail are determined. The amount of the bail bond and the time it takes to execute the bond depends from state to state.
Types of DWI Bonds
There are several different types of DWI bail bonds:
Personal Recognizance Bond
The first type of bond on which the state allows defendants to be released is called the Personal Recognizance (PR) bond. With this type of bond the court relies on your own word that you’ll appear on all scheduled hearings of the court and that you will not commit any other offense while out on bail. In most cases there is no need to pay any fee with PR bonds. PR bonds are rare in cases of DWI because the state considers DWI cases to be of a serious nature.
With a cash bond the offender is required to pay a certain amount of cash to the registry of the court. If the offender fails to appear before the court on the day of the proceedings, the cash amount is forfeited.
Surety bonds are the most common form of bail bond, especially in DWI cases. It means that a third-party (a bail bondsman) assumes the responsibility on your behalf that you’ll appear before the court on the date of the criminal proceedings. If you do not appear, the bail bondsman will have to pay the amount of the bail set by the court.
As an example, suppose the court sets the bail amount to be $5000 and for whatever reason you do not have the money to pay. The bail bondsman will guarantee this amount on your behalf, but for this the bail bondsman charges a fee, usually around 10% of the total bail amount for undertaking this responsibility. It is important to note that this fee will not be refunded to you, even if you appear on all court hearings and are found not guilty.
Amount for DWI Bail Bonds
A first time DWI offense usually costs less for bail and will have a much shorter jail sentence and smaller fines, while repeat offenders can have higher bail or no bail set. It is also possible that because of a criminal history your bail will be higher, even if you have never committed a DWI before.
DWI bail bonds offenses typically range between $200 and $1000 for first time offenses. A repeat can cost as much as $10,000, and a felony DWI could get as high as $50,000, all depending on the suspect’s record.
Other Conditions for DWI Bail Bonds
It is important to know that many jurisdictions add other conditions to bail for DWI offenses. In addition to the amount of bail, they may also require that you pay for an ignition interlock device on your vehicle while awaiting proceedings or they may require monthly drug and alcohol screenings. Some will even require that you do not drive.
These conditions are separate from any sentencing you receive as discipline for your DWI – these are purely conditions on your being out on bail. You will want to make sure your bondsman explains any and all conditions that are on your bail bond while you await court sentencing.