Will a DWI Arrest Require Bail to Get Me Out of Jail?

How to post bail for DWI in Missouri DWI cases and possibly avoid posting bail altogether by a Kansas City, Missouri, DWI attorney.

Suppose you are taken to jail and “booked” after being arrested for a DWI (driving under the influence).

Can you leave after you sober up, or do you need to make bail arrangements? 

The board game Monopoly introduced the idea of the “Get Out of Jail Free” card—a magical status that allows you to escape imprisonment without having to pay anything.

But how probable is it that posting bail for a DWI in Missouri will help you avoid jail time?

What Does Posting Bail for a DWI in Missouri Mean?

DWI suspects who have been arrested must pay bail (also known as a bond) to the court to be released from custody. By posting a bond, the accused are more likely to appear in court for their arraignment. The court can keep the bail money if the defendants fail to appear.

However, a judge may release the suspect from custody without posting bail in particular circumstances (described below).

When Is a DWI Arrest Subject to Bail?

One of the following things happens following the “processing” or booking of DWI suspects. After being booked, suspects have one of these options: 

  1. Freed on their “own recognizance”
  2. Permitted to post bail at the police station
  3. Brought before a judge, who will decide whether to grant their release on bond, or
  4. Made to stay in jail (usually for suspects who are considered flight risks, have had multiple DWIs, or were involved in an accident).

Therefore, if you want to get out of jail, paying bail may be your only option in some circumstances.

However, if you choose to post bail rather than wait to request the magistrate releases you on your own recognizance, you will typically be released more swiftly (often called “OR”).

Definition of “Released on Your Own Recognizance”

The judge overseeing the case may occasionally agree to waive the cost of bail if you agree to show up in court as needed. This option is typically abbreviated as “OR” or “ROR” and is known as “released on one’s own recognizance” in most places.

OR Release Typically Does Not Require Bail Payment

The benefit of OR is that no bail is required. The judge will typically grant OR release in DUI situations. 

OR opt out occasionally leads you to spend longer in jail than if you paid bail.

However, you could spend a while in custody before speaking with a judge. Therefore, the quickest way to get out of jail for drunk driving in many circumstances is by posting bail.

If you show up in court, when necessary, the judge overseeing your case may, in some circumstances, waive the bail payment. Being released on one’s own recognizance is referred to as being “released on” or “ROR,” respectively.

DWI Cases with the Highest Likelihood of OR Release

If your DWI arrest was your first offense and the offense did not involve an accident, injuries, or fatalities, you are more likely to have bail waived (obtain OR status) or lowered.

You could also be released on your own recognizance if the case includes a borderline blood alcohol concentration (BAC) (close to the legal limit of .08%), and you have family members who live nearby, ties to your community, have reliable work, and have no criminal history.

Furthermore, depending on the jurisdiction, you may or may not be granted bail relief. 

If you consult with a Kansas City DWI lawyer experienced in Missouri law, you might have a higher chance of getting your bond waived or reduced.

How Can Bail Be Posted in a DUI Case?

If you must post bail before being let out of jail, you can pay the full amount, submit collateral with the same value as the bail, or post a bond to ensure payment (arranged by a bail bonds agency).

Paying the Entire Bail Amount on Your Own

If you paid your own bail, it would be refunded to you once you appear for all required court hearings, less a modest administrative fee.

Bail Posting Following a DWI Arrest Using a Bail Agent

Many defendants with greater bail requirements or those with limited financial resources opt to use a bail bond company, which submits a bond to the court pledging to pay the full bail sum if the defendant misses any compulsory court appearances.

In exchange for payment of a nonrefundable fee (which in some states is capped at 10% of the bail amount), a bail bond service will post your bond. Most bail bond companies accept credit cards and typically demand payment before posting the bond.

The bail bonds company may occasionally use an interest in your property as security. If you are needed to provide collateral, you will receive it back after your court appearance but not the 10% bail bond charge. The bail bond company has the right to look for you and bring you to court if you fail to appear in court.

What Is the Price of Bail in a Missouri DWI Case?

Suppose a suspect is required to post bail. In that case, the amount is either determined using a “bail schedule” (a list of predetermined bail amounts that correspond to the crime charged), a bail algorithm, or by the judge after taking into account the DWI suspect’s prior DWI convictions, criminal history, and ties to the community.

If you are arrested for DWI in Missouri, you can expect to pay around an average of $500 in administrative or bail bond fees as part of your bail.

Naturally, this amount will change depending on your situation.

Some people might spend as little as $100, while others might spend as much as $2,000.

Also, keep in mind that if a defendant obtains a bail bond and shows up for court as scheduled when the bail amount is set at, say, $25,000, they will only be responsible for paying a portion of that ($2,500 if the bail bond fee is 10% of the bail amount).

Speak to a Skilled Kansas City DWI Lawyer About Your Case

It’s crucial to seek competent legal counsel if you’re facing a DWI charge for alcohol or drugs.

An experienced DWI lawyer in Kansas City can assist you with the bail process and advise on what to do next in your case.

DWI in Missouri can be challenging, and each case is unique. It can help to have an experienced DWI lawyer in Kansas City, MO, on your side.

Contact the Law Office of Benjamin Arnold today to learn more about posting bail for DWI in Missouri.

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