The Law Office of James Novak

Bail in DUI Cases

Phoenix Lawyer Helping Drivers

Bail is money that a defendant pledges to the court to obtain release from custody after an arrest. The purpose of bail in DUI cases is to ensure a defendant appears in court after release, to shield the community from the defendant’s actions, and to guard against intimidation of witnesses. If you were arrested, you may be concerned about whether you can get released with bail. Seasoned Phoenix DUI attorney James Novak may be able to fight for you. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who builds defenses for clients by using his insights into how prosecutors and courts think.

Bail in DUI Cases

Under Arizona Revised Statutes section 22–424, you may be eligible for bail at any time after arrest and prior to conviction. At an initial appearance, the court should determine whether your release from custody is appropriate. Bail for most crimes is available as a matter of right. The judge is supposed to consider the nature of the crime and determine conditions under which you may be released, unless the judge decides that, for a particular set of reasons, you shouldn't be permitted to post bail.

Generally, if you are charged with a crime that's bailable as a matter of right, you need to be released both before and during trial on your own recognizance without having to pay bond. The exception is when the judge decides that your release won't reasonably ensure your appearance or stop the community from risk of harm. Under Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure rule 4.2, if a judge determines that there is probable cause to believe you’ve perpetrated a serious felony for which release on bail is not permitted, due to substantial danger to the community, a bail eligibility hearing should be scheduled.

Factors to be considered in determining whether you are eligible for bail include the nature and circumstances of your DUI, including whether it's a dangerous offense; how much evidence has been gathered against you; your history and characteristics including any past history involving alcohol or drug abuse; the nature and seriousness of the danger that would be posed by releasing you on bail; and the recommendation of the pretrial services program.

A presiding magistrate should prepare a schedule of traffic violations that don't involve the death of someone or a felony traffic offense, and specify bail for each violation. She is also supposed to allow the collection of bail according to that schedule.

Posting Bail

If you're required to post bail, you can pay the bond in cash or with other property. Alternatively, you may contract with a bail bondsman. It's important to realize that if you are released on bail, but you don't appear for your trial or another proceeding related to your DUI charge, you will be adversely impacted financially. You may not only forfeit bail, but have a warrant issued for your arrest, and be charged with failure to appear. However, if you were released on bail and you attended all required court appearances, the bail amount will be returned to you.

Right to Post Bail 

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail. Likewise, if you've been charged with a crime, Arizona law specifies you should not be restrained more than necessary to answer the charge prior to conviction. The Arizona Constitution generally requires everybody who has been charged with a crime to be allowed to post reasonable bail. However, there are limits.

Certain offenses are not bailable under Arizona Revised Statutes section 13–3961. These include sexual assault, capital offenses, serious felony offenses when there is probable cause to believe the defendant came into or stayed in the United States illegally, or was involved with sexual conduct with a minor under certain circumstances. Your lawyer can tell you whether it's possible to secure bail for a DUI.

The judge will not release you if you've been charged with felony DUI, if she decides there's clear and convincing evidence you present a substantial danger. Likewise, the judge shouldn’t release you if your behavior constituted a dangerous crime against children as certified by the state's motion, and the court determines there's no condition under which your release would reasonably ensure safety.

Hire a Seasoned Phoenix Attorney

Bail in DUI cases may be available to secure your release. Consult with lawyer James E. Novak if you have been arrested for drunk driving. Mr. Novak uses insights from his past experience as a prosecutor to defend against DUI charges. He represents clients in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
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I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
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James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
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Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.