Bail, Bail Bonds and DUI
Over the weekend, I was contacted by a potential new client who had just been released from custody for a Felony DUI in Redondo Beach. Bail in his case was set by the arresting agency at $100,000 and he had contacted a bail bondsman to "bond" him out of custody. The cost of the bail bond was $10,000 and the client had put this fee on his credit card. Unfortunately for him and me, this was the limit of his credit card and he had no other means of retaining an attorney.
In the above situation, had the client contacted me first, I would have advised him to wait until his DUI arraignment in Southbay Superior Court the following day. I believe that his case would have been filed as a misdemeanor, not a felony as recommended by the Redondo Beach Police Department. I also believe that the Judge would have released him without bail thereby saving him $10,000. He would then have been in a position to retain me to represent him for the life of his case for less than the fee charged by the bail bondsman.
The moral of this story (apart from don't drink and drive) is do not take action until you have spoken to a DUI defense attorney first. You always have options, even if they are not obvious to you at the time.