The Law Office of James Novak

Release on Own Recognizance in DUI Cases

Phoenix Attorney Defending Drunk Driving Cases

When police officers arrest people suspected of DUI, the drivers may be concerned with the process of leaving police custody to fulfill their family or work obligations. In Arizona, the criminal justice system permits several different types of release, including release on your own recognizance, bond, third-party release, and pretrial services release. Release on own recognizance in DUI cases requires defendants to promise to appear at their next court date. However, they will not have to pay bail or undergo monitoring. In determining whether to release drivers under this condition, the court will examine whether the defendant has failed to appear for past court dates. If you are interested in release on your own recognizance, you should call Phoenix DUI lawyer James E. Novak. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Novak understands both sides of the criminal justice system, how the court determines release and what conditions may be imposed. He may be able to help you.

Release on Own Recognizance in DUI Cases

If you are charged with a crime such as DUI that is bailable as a matter of right, you must be released before and during trial on your own recognizance, without needing to pay bond. The court will determine whether this form of release is appropriate by looking at factors such as whether you have strong ties in the community and are not a risk to yourself or others. If you don't have prior convictions or have a solid record of showing up for court dates in the past, you should be able to secure this form of release.

In general, the criminal justice system presumes that you should be released before trial under the least restrictive conditions, which is release on your own recognizance. If you're released on your own recognizance in connection with DUI charges, you will not have to pay bail. However, in Arizona, the court may impose these conditions in its release order: (1) you must appear at all court proceedings, (2) you must not perpetrate any criminal offense, (3) you must not leave the state without judicial permission, and (4) if you’re released during an appeal after judgment and sentence, you’ll diligently pursue your appeal.

The court may decide not to release a person on his or her own recognizance when the judge determines that this type of release would not reasonably assure an appearance at the next court date. Alternatively, the judge may deny defendants a release on their own recognizance to protect the victims, other persons, or the community at large from risk of harm posed by the defendants. For example, the court may be reluctant to release you on your own recognizance if you intentionally killed someone while drunk driving. When the court makes this determination, it should still impose the least onerous conditions of release set forth in Rule 7.3(c).

There are circumstances under which a judge will only release you on bond. For example, bail is likely to be required for a felony DUI, even if it's not violent. The court will determine whether the proof is evident or the presumption great that you committed at least one charged felony offense for which release on bail isn't allowed because you present a substantial danger, and no release conditions would reasonably assure the safety of the community, another person, or victim. If you don't show up for your court date in connection with felony DUI, a bond forfeiture hearing may be held to determine whether your money should be kept.

Failure to Appear After Release on Own Recognizance in DUI Cases

When you're released on your own recognizance, you usually need to sign an agreement that you'll appear at a scheduled hearing date. The agreement will specify what happens if you fail to show up. Your failure to appear is a separate criminal charge that can result in the issuance of a bench warrant. You can be arrested and face jail time without bond. In order to get the bench warrant dropped, you'll likely need to retain an attorney to appear before the judge.

Hire a Seasoned Phoenix Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, you may have options to secure a release. Call attorney James E. Novak who is experienced in defending against DUI charges. He can be reached at (480) 413–1499 and represents clients in Phoenix, along with Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County.

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.
★★★★★
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.
★★★★★
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.