Bail Bonds and DWI

If you are ever arrested for DWI in the Dallas area one important question you will have to answer is how you will post bond to ensure that you can leave jail as soon as possible. But what is a bail bond and do they even apply to DWIs?

The answer to the second question is yes. Depending on the facts of your case you will most likely be required to post a bail bond before you can leave jail. Paying a bail bond does not dismiss your case, but it will allow you to continue on with your life while your charges are pending and you begin your defense.

Bail Under Texas Law

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines bail as a security that an accused person gives to the court to ensure that the person will show up to appointed court times. Bail has been used in our legal system since the found of the country. In fact, the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibits a court from using excessive bail in a criminal case. The major point of bail is to require a defendant in a criminal case is that the defendant will lose the amount of bail posted if they fail to show up to court.

Texas law requires bail to be set by a magistrate soon after a person is arrested, and that applies to DWI cases, as well. If a person is arrested on suspicion of DWI the police has 48 hours to take the defendant in front of a magistrate who will determine whether the police had probable cause (were justified) in making the arrest. In that initial meeting with a magistrate a judge is also charged with setting the terms of the suspect’s release and bail.

The amount of bail that a magistrate sets depends on a number of factors, and in some cases there are limits to how much a bond may be set at. For example, if a person is charged with a misdemeanor DWI and the police have not brought you before a magistrate within 24 hours, than your bail cannot exceed $5,000. In a similar situation for a felony DWI charge the bail cannot be more than $10,000. These provisions are meant to incentivize the police to bring a suspect before a magistrate as soon as possible.

Paying for Bail

For a lot of people it can be very difficult to post bail because they just do not have large amounts of cash or assets to post. In those situations it is common for a defendant to use a bail bondsman who will post the bail in lieu of a 5 to 10% fee of the total bail amount. While not ideal because of the fees involved, it does work as a solution for a number of people.

Beyond the bail issues that can arise in every DWI case, the most important thing for every DWI defendant will be who they hire to be their attorney. Experience, knowledge, and ability are the key ingredients that make up the most effective DWI defense teams. At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm our team of dedicated professionals have each of those ingredients and put them to work for you. If you have been arrested for DWI in the Dallas area, contact us.