A DUI comes with numerous penalties on its own, including jail time, court fees, alcohol dependency treatment, license suspensions, ignition interlock devices, and many other punishments. However, California law also allows courts to invoke several enhancements for repeat offenders or aggravated circumstances. Not only can this impact a defendant’s criminal trial, it can also play a role in how bail is determined.
If you or a loved one needs to post bail for an enhanced DUI charge, please contact our team at Balboa Bail Bonds. We believe in providing affordable, fast bail to DUI defendants so that they can get back to their families and start working on preparing a defense with their attorney. Our team is made up of skilled and experienced bail bond agencies who have strong relationships with local courts in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. Call us immediately at (619) 760-2222 and get bail posted today.
California courts treat DUI charges as priorable, meaning a prior conviction on a defendant’s record can impact how a current charge is treated. Typically, a first-time offense will result in:
- From 48 hours to six months in jail
- Maximum fine of $1,000
- A six-month license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment for up to 30 days
- Community service
- DUI school and alcohol dependency treatment
Most DUIs will be treated as misdemeanors for first, second, or third offenses, and a court will issue additional jail time, fees, and restrictions based on prior charges. However, if this is a defendant’s fourth offense, it will become an automatic felony. A felony DUI can result in:
- Up to 16 months, two years, or three years in a California state prison
- Maximum fine of $10,000
- Maximum 10 year license revocation
- DUI school for up to 30 months
- Felony probation for up to five years
- Being labeled a habitual traffic offender
Beyond a felony DUI, a defendant can also face further penalties for:
- Operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving with a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle
- Having a BAC of over 0.15%
Felony charges are not limited to DUIs with priors, however. If anyone was injured during a DUI, a district attorney can pursue a DUI with injury charge. This can apply to cases involving anyone injured in a DUI accident, including the defendant’s passengers. While it is considered a wobbler, this charge will likely be a felony if anyone is seriously injured.
Even if no one was injured, it can result in a felony child endangerment charge if the defendant’s passenger was a minor. Courts will look at whether the child was likely to suffer a great bodily injury or death before issuing a felony sentence, but it can heavily impact how a defendant’s case plays out.
The matter can also become more serious if anyone dies during the DUI. Vehicular manslaughter is a charge that applies when a driver fatally injures another person while operating a motor vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner. A DUI can fit into both situations, and a court will evaluate a defendant’s BAC levels, driving behavior, and other factors before deciding if this charge is a misdemeanor or felony. In most cases, if a defendant had a high BAC, it will lead to a felony manslaughter charge.
Enhancements have a major role to play when determining bail for a DUI. With first-time DUIs, a judge may consider releasing a defendant on their own recognizance if they do not have a criminal record, have community ties, and are not a flight risk. However, when enhancements are involved, a judge will likely require a high bail amount, per local and a state bail schedules. With a felony DUI, bail is almost guaranteed. This can range from $50,000 to $100,000 for vehicular manslaughter and DUI with injury charges.
After a loved one is charged with a crime, all you want is to get them back home so they can begin preparing their defense. The high costs of felony DUI bail force many defendants to remain in jail during their trials, but Balboa Bail Bonds can help. Our bail bond agents have experience posting bail for defendants in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. All of our team members have at least five to ten years of experience and have fostered strong relationships with local courts. We can act fast to get your loved one home to you after a felony DUI. All we charge is a flat 10% premium, and we work with every client to develop affordable payment plans. Call Balboa Bail Bonds at (619) 760-2222 to get fast, affordable bail.