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What Does It Mean To Be Released On Your Own Recognizance?


When someone is arrested for a DUI in Marin County, in most cases, they will be released on their own recognizance from the Sheriff’s Department. This means that after being arrested and spending some time in jail, the Sheriff’s Department will let you go with only a promise to appear in court. You sign a document that says you will appear in court and if you don’t, they will issue a warrant for your arrest. I recommend hiring the best available DUI lawyer you can find. A lawyer can appear for you at that first court appearance and, sometimes, other court appearances as well.

If bail was required, it would typically be between $2,600 and $5,000 or more. You would have to pay that to a Sheriff’s Department to be released or use a bail bonds company and then pay them about 10% to post the bail for you. If you don’t show up for court, your bond can be forfeited and either you or the bail bonds company will lose the money. The bail bonds company will then come after you for the money. However, nearly everyone who is arrested for a DUI in Marin County will be released on their own recognizance, if it’s a first offense. There are some exceptions. One exception is if you live out of the area. The Sheriff’s Department may make you post bail and not release you on your own recognizance because they think that you are less likely to appear in court if you are further away.

If you gave the police a hard time, you may get some additional potential charges like resisting arrest or delaying arrest. Then, they may not release you on your own recognizance. It’s important to cooperate during an arrest so that you don’t have to pay a lot of money for bail. If you have prior DUIs in Marin County, they might not release you on your own recognizance. In most cases the, bail would be more expensive because they can add on about $5,000 for each prior DUI.

What If I Can’t Afford The Bail Amount That Has Been Set?

There are other types of bails in Marin County for DUI cases and sometimes they are cost prohibitive and people cannot afford them. Those are typically felony cases, where someone has been injured in a DUI or someone who has a number of prior DUIs is charged with a felony. In most cases of hit and run, when it is a felony and there is personal injury, the bail is somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. It could be a lot more with multiple victims. If you cannot afford bail, you will be brought into court within a day or two of your arrest and you will go in front of a judge. If you don’t qualify for a public defender, they will potentially have someone from your family find you an attorney. They will assess your character and whether or not you seem like someone who has ties to the community. They will also look at your prior record.

If you have a history of failing to appear in court, arguments for lowering bail can still be made and you can be put on a supervised bail, where you need to check in with the probation department. They may want an ankle monitor to be installed to monitor whether or not you are drinking alcohol. The good news is that the county pays for monitoring. If there is a violation, they are going to haul you into court and your attorney is going to have to try to explain why the violation happened to try and keep you out of jail.

What Happens To The Bail Amount When My DUI Case Is Over?

The clerk’s office will process everything when a case is over and return your bail. If you are the one who posted it, they send it to you. If it was posted through a bail bondsman, they send it to the one who posted the bail bond for you. The bail bondsman keeps the 10% fee.

Can A DUI Defense Attorney Help Their Clients Get Out On OR Bond Or Bail Right Away?

An attorney really can’t do anything about getting someone out right away. When you get put in jail, they are not letting you talk to an attorney and an attorney is not going to be coming in and talking to the Sheriff’s department about how your bail is going to be set. They need to set it per schedule and then the attorney can have their shot at getting it lowered at a bail hearing in court.

For more information on Getting Released On Your Own Recognizance, a Free Case Evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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