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What Happens During The Booking Process?

This would depend on which county the person was in. If the person was being taken in, then the police would take them to jail and the person would then be put in a holding cell or a “Drunk Tank” which would hold people who were arrested for similar things. It might take a few hours for the person to be processed, although typically most places only want to hold the person for about 4 hours before they cited them out. Some places just let the person go and give them a notice to appear. They person may have to sign a promise to appear in court, whereas other places would make the person post bail.

In the San Francisco Bay area, the worst place for getting out without paying anything would be Sonoma County because they make almost everybody post $5,000 or $10,000 bail for a first offense DUI. The person would be able to use the bail bondsmen and the court would give the person some numbers to contact them. For whatever reason, they decided that was how they wanted to proceed and the bail bondsmen up there love it.

In other places, it may depend on the person’s ties to the community or how they had treated the officers when they were in custody and getting booked. I have seen people fail the attitude test and then the officers just do not want to release them so they would make them have to post bail. In most cases, the person would be released on their own recognizance, or their promise to appear in court. Obviously, in most cases, the police would get the person out as soon as they could if the person passed the attitude test in the officer’s eyes.

Shift changes often happen in places like San Francisco, so people can end up getting stuck for many extra hours because the police station just got backed up. The person may be stuck there for much longer if they were caught on certain holidays where there were a lot of people arrested or things like that, although they would typically be held for around 6 hours after which they would be released.

How Long Could Someone Be Detained And How Long Do Police Speak To People?

This would depend on what county the person was in. The person might be there for a long time if they were in a county like San Francisco or Alameda. It could take a long time for them to process everything and to process the person’s prints. Every once in a while some of my clients have had to be there for almost 24 hours and sometimes even longer than that. It would typically take 8 to 12 hours in but sometimes it can take a little less time than that.

Aaron Bortel

Attorney Aaron Bortel, Esq. explains the DUI booking process from arrest to release. Learn about detainment, police interactions and the impact of cooperation.

Call Us 24/7 For a FREE Case Evaluation (415) 909-3746

In other counties, the person could get off fairly quickly. In some counties such as Napa County, they would have the person blow into a breath machine after they were brought into the jail and they would sometimes let them go as soon as they blew under 0.08. The person might not even be taken to jail in some counties, and instead they would just cite the person and let someone come pick them up. I see this happen more often in Sonoma County than other places where they would just allow a friend or a family member to come pick the person up.

I recently had a case where not only did they allow my client to leave the scene, but they did not even have them call someone and they actually let him drive himself, which was one of the more outrageous things they have done if they were trying and convict him of a DUI. He blew a 0.07 on the residential machine they had at the scene, after blowing 0.08 on the preliminary machine minutes earlier, and they let him drive home. I do not understand how they could expect to convict someone of driving impaired when the police officers gave him the keys and let him drive home.

These cases are tough to beat and each case is fought to the bitter end. We do everything possible to win these cases since that is our goal.

Can Being Cooperative Or A Nice Person Help Someone Talk Their Way Out Of A DUI?

According to what my clients say, this happens all the time, or it used to happen a lot more often than it does now. Many years ago, it was easier to avoid getting arrested for a DUI for many reasons. The officers have really come down hard on it now because that is what they are trained to do, and this makes it much more difficult for someone to talk their way out of a DUI.

The police will usually run the person through the field sobriety tests once they smell any alcohol on the person. I have seen clients do everything, things that I can talk about and things that I cannot talk about, in an attempt to try to talk their way out of DUIs, and I usually end up reading about them in police reports. People use all sorts of lines to try and avoid getting arrested for a DUI, but it is still something where the person would be better off just not giving them all this information.

How Long After Arrest And Release Would Someone Appear For Their First Court Appearance?

This would depend. It would usually be much quicker in the case of a felony, although it would also depend on the county where the case was being heard. Counties like San Francisco often get the person in within two weeks or even earlier than that for the first appearance. Other counties typically take about a month until the first court appearance. The person’s attorney would almost always be able to appear for their client so they would not need to go for that first court appearance.

Sometimes, it can take two or even three months for the first court appearance and in a county like Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay area, where they are very slow to file their charges, it can sometimes take almost a year. It would typically take them between 3 to 6 months to actually file DUI charges.

I get a number of clients so I will go to that first court appearance where they would have signed to promise to appear on a certain date after it had been filed, and I would get their paperwork stamped in the clerk’s office showing that we showed up on that day. I would then give my client a call and tell them to make sure to keep a look out in the mail because the DA’s office or the clerk’s office would contact them with their new court date, and I would need to know what that was right away, although it could take months for the case to get started.

For more information on Booking Process & First Court Appearance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (415) 909-3746 today.

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Aaron Bortel

Attorney Aaron Bortel, Esq. explains the DUI booking process from arrest to release. Learn about detainment, police interactions and the impact of cooperation.

Call Us 24/7 For a FREE Case Evaluation (415) 909-3746

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