I was arrested for misdemeanor DUI but have a felony DUI on my record from 4 years ago. I anticipate the courts bumping this misdemeanor to a felony DUI because of the prior felony DUI...my question is once it is increased to felony will I 100% be taken back into custody/need to bail out? Is it possible for this to be charged as a felony and me to still be out on my own recognizance? Or is there always a new (high) bail amount set when a charge is increased to a felony.
Your input is very much appreciated!
Always best to be prepared. In that kind of circumstance, I contact a bondsman just in case. You should find a great DUI attorney ASAP and ask him/her to book a DMV PAS hearing quickly. It's fairly easy for an attorney to subpoena the records needed to evaluate a case. The idea is to know as much about your chances of beating the case as you can before the arraignment. If the facts are bad, be ready to resolve the case quickly. There was a Public Defender I met more than 20 years ago that said "if you catch the DA sleeping, throw him a pillow." I've never forgotten it. There is no substitute for being prepared before you ever get to court. If the case is mistakenly filed as a misdemeanor be in a position to resolve it quickly. If the case is upgraded, you will likely be subjected to an increased bail but you will already have a bondsman in your corner to help you too. Check online with the California DUI Lawyers Association for an attorney in your immediate area. It's a grreat place to shop for a DUI attorney.
Mr. White has given you good advice. This may be filed as misdemeanor as it is a second DUI. You do not indicate if anyone was injured. I would have an attorney at the arraignment and I would have a bond person ready should the need for one arise. When I work with DUI clients I always have a plan of action of items I want them to be doing before the court date. The advantage to hiring counsel is that they may appear at the arraignment without you present.
If the prior was actually "punished as a felony," which is tricky, this can be a felony, but bail is supposed to be based on flight risk - the state "safety to the community" crap is not an 8th Amendment standard, so if you have a competent and knowldgebale attorney, your bail status should not be altered by the possibly elevated standard, because if you show up, they would have trouble illustrating that you are a flight risk. Just get a competent and aggressive attorney and you'll be okay.
There are so many good answers and valuable information provided by other attorneys. DUI cases are so frequent that it merits my response as well. Bail is designed to make sure you return to court and to minimize the harm to the public. Therefore, if you want to impress the judge to give you another OR (own recognizance) release, provide the judge with the tools to do so. I would file a written motion to be released on your own recognizance and/or to grant bail and/or to reduce the bail. I use this motion to educate the judge as to the reasons to release you OR or to lower your bail. I would file this motion at the arraignment and include exhibits to back up your motion. If you still need help, I will be glad to help.
What makes you think it is going to be a felony? You have to have more than one prior before a DUI becomes a Felony unless there are other facts. Bail can be increased at any time. But if you are already OR there is decent chance a judge will let you remain OR unless new charges are filed.
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