Setting DUI bail amounts for a first offense and subsequent offenses can result in very different outcomes if you’re tried in Dallas County. Unfortunately, there is no set number that we can point to as the “magic number” when it comes to the overall bail amount. The frustrating answer for the 228.9 for every 100,000 Texans arrested is, “It depends.”
That said, it becomes easier to plan for and predict when you know the algorithm that influences that determination. Typically, a judge will focus on the following factors.
The age of the accused can play a role in the final decision. Some judges believe that incarcerating a teenager or young adult for too long can have a detrimental effect. Others prefer the “scared straight” approach.
Regardless of which end of the spectrum they’re on, the judge uses age as a determining factor when settling on an amount. It’s also a tool that your attorney can use to his or her advantage if they understand how the judge operates.
A limited or nonexistent criminal history works to your advantage. Dallas judges are more likely to see first DUI offenses as infractions that qualify for a little more leniency. At least, they do as bail amounts are concerned.
On the other hand, an extensive criminal history is going to push the amount higher. It may even disqualify you from bail altogether if the judge feels your release presents a danger to yourself and others.
Nature of the Offense
The nature of the offense absolutely plays a part in how the court handles bail. Being parked in your car with the keys and the ignition running usually won’t get the same reaction as a deadly DUI case.
Ultimately, the outcome of a decision that leads to a DUI arrest has levels. And those levels often depend on the repercussions of the crime you’re accused of committing.
Failure to Appear Risk
Individuals with a long history of arrests and failures to appear for hearing dates can expect higher bail amounts or even disqualification altogether. That’s especially true when combined with one or more of the factors we’ve already discussed.
Texas DUI Bail Amounts– What To Expect in Dallas
Bail in Texas for DUI offenses can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $10,000. The courts rarely set bail amounts higher than that. That’s partly because you may be denied bail altogether if the defendant’s release could endanger the public.
Possible Outcomes and Next Steps For Jail Release
So, what are your options if you are a candidate for bail on your DUI offense? In this section, we look at the specific ways that you can post a jail bond. We’ll also examine two legal maneuvers you absolutely must make as you move forward.
Cash bonds require the entire amount of money to be held in trust until you show up for your court date. If a judge sets a $10,000 cash bond, that means you or an individual acting on your behalf would need to pay the court the full amount before getting out.
You get the money back once you appear for your court date. Otherwise, you would forfeit the expenditure.
If you cannot come up with the full amount yourself, you can partner with a bonding agency like A-EZ Out Bail Bonds. That generally means paying 10-15 percent of the bond upfront to secure the bond (or providing comparable collateral).
You agree to show up for your court date. The bail bond agent takes responsibility for ensuring that you do. They lose their money otherwise, and you get a warrant issued for your arrest.
Get Out Of Jail Your Way
Some DUI bail amounts, particularly for first-time offenders, are low enough that you might be able to just cash-bond out. If that’s the case, consider it. But keep in mind that if you don’t appear at your court date, you will be forced to relinquish any money you posted to secure your release from jail.
If you go the surety route, there’s the potential for a lower out-of-pocket expense. The downside is that your inability to show up for your court date can lead to the loss of funds or assets, and you will become civilly liable for repaying the bail bond company.
Regardless of your decision, consider touching base with a Dallas criminal defense attorney first. You’ll need representation anyway, and they might be able to get the overall bail amount reduced or eliminated depending on the factors discussed.
Keep Your Court Date
Court dates are not optional. If you need to delay it for any reason, discuss it with your attorney to see if you can get a modification from the court. Don’t just be a no-show. Above all, keep your final court date, even if you’re unable to get it modified.
A-EZ Out Bail Bonds | You Have More Control Than You Realize Over the Final DUI Bail Amount
The final DUI bail amount you can expect to pay hinges on a variety of factors. Some are within your control while others are not. Honoring the court’s final decision is your first responsibility. Then, if you can’t afford to pay the bail amount yourself, contact a reputable A-EZ Out bonding agent who can act quickly and decisively on your behalf. Good luck!