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Getting arrested for driving under the influence is never a pleasant experience. The whole process is generally designed to the advantage of the state and the police agencies who are charged with properly identifying and registering the defendants according to the established arrest and booking protocol. Everyone arrested for DUI is generally handled the same, with the defendant’s personal information initially being entered in the Livescan system for a check regarding outstanding warrants and previous criminal history. For those who are being charged with impaired driving, the defendants driving history is needed to apply the proper charge. The level of charge for DUI is based on the number of previous convictions received, regardless of state of occurrence, and any aggravated issues of the incident. Apprehended individuals who register .14 BAC or greater are usually charged with aggravated circumstances that can impact the amount of bond. The defendant is then given an opportunity to make one phone call, which can be made to a Los Angeles DUI attorney who understands the booking process and can begin to work immediately on a release when all criteria are met.
Typical DUI Arrest
Once a defendant has cleared the outstanding warrant search, they are catalogued into the national criminal information system using all official personal identification information. The defendant is then photographed, assessed for height and weight, and fingerprinted before being held awaiting an interview for bail bond with a pretrial release officer. This appears as a simple process, but how simple this process actually is depends on the police precinct handling the booking, as metropolitan Los Angeles stations often handle a large number of bookings on a daily basis. The pretrial release officer then evaluates all personal information and criminal history, along with the material case factors of the current charge, and will contact a judge who then determines appropriate bond or schedules an arraignment hearing for a final bond decision.
Release From Detainment
Depending on the serious nature of the DUI charge and prior criminal and court date history, many DUI defendants are released on their own recognizance, termed OR, and are given an initial court date for arraignment. However, this is not the normal process. Many DUI defendants who have extenuating legal problems or serious factors surrounding their DUI arrest are held for arraignment and bond assignment if allowed by the judge based on case circumstances. Defendants are also allowed to meet with bail bondsmen or contact family members who can make arrangements to post bail. Those who do make bail are given a court date for a pretrial hearing when the arraignment is already complete, which can be done by video camera in some instances.
Later Date Booking
Some DUI defendants are released immediately when their personal criteria shows them to be a zero flight risk or there are mitigating circumstances. This is more common for those with no criminal history who have been arrested for a first DUI offense based on a BAC that is around the legal limit. This can also occur when the booking desk is overwhelmed with defendants to process and the least problematic of the individuals can be trusted to appear for booking at a later date. This is also common for individuals who were hospitalized following an accident and received a citation. Many times calling a Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately can result in their legal counsel taking steps to convince the court that later date booking is the best course of action and that they are already the legal representative of the defendant.