At the time that someone is arrested for a DUI offense, they may be held on bond, held without bond, or they may be issued a secure or unsecured bond. In the vast majority of first offense DUI cases, a person is released on an unsecured or small-secured bond when they are sober and blow 0.0 in a breathalyzer at the jail. However, if someone has a second or subsequent offense or if their personal contact information, such as their address, is not verifiable, it is possible that they may be held without bond after a DUI related arrest. In these cases, it is important to contact a Loudoun DUI attorney as early as convenient so that bond may be secured in the case.
If the magistrate makes an initial bond determination that is unreasonably high or makes an initial bond determination of no bond, the arrested individual has the constitutional right to request that the general district court review the magistrate’s decision and have a bond hearing. In Loudoun County, motions are usually heard no sooner than 24 hours after they are filed, making it important for someone in this situation to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that their name can be placed on a docket and evidence can be gathered in support of their bond motion.
The magistrate typically makes the initial bond determination in Loudoun County. This initial bond determination may be a personal recognizance bond, which means that the individual signs a release; a security bond, which requires a person to put up cash or corporate surety to secure their release; or a corporate surety bond which means that the individual pays a bondsman a percentage of the amount that the magistrate orders and the bondsman agrees to cover the rest, if they fail to appear. Bail bondsmen typically charge 10 percent in Loudoun County and the use of this service is common.
In addition, the judge has the opportunity to set a reasonable bond if the magistrate declines to set the bond initially or sets bond terms that are unreasonably high. The judge uses his or her experience, the facts and circumstances of the case, and the arrested individual’s background information, including past within the community, flight risk, et cetera, to determine what bond amount is appropriate.
Bond can be posted either by the individual’s signature in the case of a personal recognizance bond, by putting up cash up themselves, or by using a bail bondsman. Someone may also post the entire amount of the bond in cash and if they have attended all of their court appearances at the resolution of their case, the cash is returned to them. It is not often that a person posts their own cash bond because of the amount of cash required to post a bond, but it is not illegal to do so.
If someone is arrested for a DUI offense, they may be released until the hearing with no terms, few terms, or several restrictive terms. Generally, the terms of the release exist, but they are not extremely restrictive. Some of the common terms of pre-trial release include abstaining from the consumption of alcohol, abstaining from the excessive consumption of alcohol, residing at a certain place, leaving, and/or not leaving the Commonwealth.
Anyone who receives a pre-trial release should check on the opening page of their recognizance paperwork to see any restricted terms that they may be placed under during their pre-trial release. For first time offenders, repeat offenses, or when there are aggravated offenses, an individual may have to report to pre-trial services, which is a division of community corrections and probation that checks in with people that are charged with criminal offenses in Loudoun County. The purpose of pre-trial supervision is to ensure that a person does not re-offend and understands the consequences of re-offending. If someone fails to abide by the terms of the pre-trial condition, the court or the Commonwealth Attorney may seek to revoke their bond. If their bond is revoked, they have to wait in jail for the court date to determine what happens in their case and it is not desirable to wait with an unknown result.
Often, there is a longer wait for trial than the sentence will ever be, even if someone is found guilty; therefore, it is important to understand and abide by the terms of a pre-trial bond condition. Any questions about pre-trial bond conditions, should be discussed with an experienced attorney that handles cases involving on pre-trial bonds.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law