Traffic crimes are often dismissed as simple violations like speeding or making an illegal U-turn, but they also include very serious charges like DUI, vehicular manslaughter, and hit-and-run. While minor offences rarely involve arrests and are handled by traffic courts, more serious offenses can result in thousands of dollars in bail.
Traffic Infractions vs. Traffic Violations
When a driver is pulled over for speeding, making an illegal turn, or driving the wrong way, the police officer may evaluate whether the driver committed a traffic infraction or more serious offense like driving under the influence. If the driver is only suspected of an infraction, then she will be served with a traffic ticket, which includes a fee.
The defendant can choose to fight her infraction in court, to pay the fee, or sometimes, to attend traffic school. When a defendant pays a fee without fighting the infraction, it is called “bail forfeiture,” meaning the defendant is accepting the charge – and related DMV penalties. Traffic bail forfeiture is different from bail forfeiture in a criminal case, which occurs when a defendant misses a court date and loses the chance to get their bail back upon completing a trial.
But with more serious traffic violations, the driver may face misdemeanor or even felony charges. A traffic infraction is unlikely to lead to an arrest, but when your case involves a crime, you can be sent to jail, have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars in fines, and be placed on probation. In addition, you may need to pay bail to get out of jail for the duration of your trial.
Common Traffic Violations
Not all traffic stops will lead to an arrest, but the ones that do can result in serious penalties. Common traffic violations that involve bail include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving without a license or with a suspended license
- Street racing
- Fleeing a police officer
- Vehicular manslaughter
How Is Bail Set for Traffic Violations?
If you are arrested for a traffic violation, the court will need to evaluate whether you can receive bail. For a misdemeanor, there is the possibility that the court will release you without bail if you have no prior charges and the offense was minor. However, a single DUI offense can result in a $2,500 bail; multiple offenses can get as high as $15,000.
With traffic violations, a judge will consider:
- The California bail schedule
- The severity of a crime and aggravating factors
- The defendant’s criminal record
- The defendant’s flight risk
If someone you love has been arrested for a traffic crime, posting bail may seem impossible without deep pockets. But at Balboa Bail Bonds, we only charge clients a 10% premium and prepare affordable payment plans that work for our clients’ needs. All of our agents have at least five years of experience and are bilingual in English and Spanish. To get your loved one out of jail and back home, call Balboa Bail Bonds at (619) 760-2222. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year, and post bail in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County.