Written by Avvo Staff

DUI Booking and Bail Procedures

Being arrested is probably a stressful and overwhelming experience for most people. However, all arrest booking procedures follow similar guidelines, so you don’t have to be caught by surprise. Here’s what you can expect if you’re arrested for a DUI. If a police officer pulls you over for a DUI and arrests you, then you’ll be taken down to the local station for booking. Booking procedures include the following:

  • Written statement showing reasons for arrest
  • Recording your basic information: name, height, weight, age, birth date, etc.
  • A criminal background check on you
  • Taking your photo and fingerprints
  • Physical search of your person
  • Putting your personal belongings into storage; reclaimable when you leave jail
  • Putting you in a jail holding cell

Once booking is complete, you can begin the process of getting out of jail, usually by getting released on bail.


Bail is an amount set by the court that a suspect pays to be released from jail. Paying the bail amount means the suspect is pledging to return for all court appearances or else forfeit the money. In return, if the suspect attends all scheduled meetings in court, the court will usually refund the bail amount. It’s important to understand that paying bail does not release you from your criminal charges. Bail only allows you to retain your personal freedom (i.e. stay out of jail) while you wait for your court trial. If you’re arrested for DUI, you will most likely be granted bail at an amount that isn’t too steep, or you may not have to pay bail at all. However, getting bail isn’t always guaranteed. If your behavior was especially reckless or resulted in injury to other people or property, then your bail may be set at an extremely high amount or even be denied outright. In these cases a judge determines whether to grant bail, and if so, at what amount.

Factors affecting whether bail will be granted:

  • Likelihood of suspect fleeing
  • Chances of suspect committing more crimes while out on bail
  • Nature and severity of the current charge
  • Suspect's past criminal history, especially pertaining to bail

Bail Bonds

If your DUI resulted in extensive property damage or severe injuries to other people, then you can expect your bail to be set at a high amount. If this amount is more than you can afford, you can go through a bail bondsman. You pay the bondsman a fee, which is typically 10% of your bail and also nonrefundable. The bondsman then posts a bond with the court to release you from jail. The bondsman will also require you to put forth some sort of collateral since they have to pay your entire bail amount if you do not appear at court as promised.

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