Help! My Son or Daughter Was Arrested For A DUI Last Night!


It is the call that any parent dreads, the call from a son or daughter telling you that they have been arrested and are in jail. The call is usually followed by severe anxiety, worry and fear, but a little knowledge about the process of how the system operates will help to ease the worry and allow you to make intelligent decisions about what to do.

First, understand that the police officer who made the arrest, say CHP, has little to do or say about when the suspect will be released from jail once they are booked. In Kern County for example, when a DUI arrestee is taken to the central receiving facility in downtown Bakersfield they are transferred to the custody of the Kern County Sherriff. The KCSO now has the ultimate say on when a person is released prior to be taken before a Judge. The CHP cop that made the stop is out of the picture until the case goes to Court.

There are typically three ways a criminal suspect can be released after an arrest for a drunk driving case. One is the detention facility will set bail for the individual, the amount of bail on a driving under the influence case is ordinarily between $5000 and $15,000 depending on if the man or woman has priors or other charges that follow the DWI such as child endangerment or a seperate refusal allegation.

Once bail is set the family can contact a local bondsman who can thereafter travel to the jail and secure the person’s release by posting a surety bond. The fees for this service range from 8 percent to 12 percent in California. Bail money is not returned later if the case is dismissed, it is in the nature of an insurance premium.

The second way a person can be released is by way of O.R. this is a short way of saying release on one’s own recognizance. The jail will have the person sign a promise to appear back in Court at a future date. According to local Bakersfield Criminal lawyer, Bruce Blythe, the jail sets a date out about 2-3 weeks if the case originates from the local metropolitan area. The O.R. remains until the person goes to Court.

The third way a person can be released from a driving while impaired case is if they wait until they are taken to court. This process takes 2-3 days and will generally involve an appearance before a judge at a proceeding known as an arraignment. In Kern County, O.R. is generally given to a criminal defendant charged with a misdemeanor unless they have prior FTA’s or serious felonies on their record. Once the defendant is released by a Judge that status will remain unchanged unless new facts come into play.

Bruce Blythe is an in-town DUI Lawyer with nearly 20 years experience practicing criminal law.  He is a frequent contributor to drunk driving related articles and legal treatises.  He can be contacted directly if you require additional information or have questions about the content of this article.  His office address is 1412 17th Sreet, Suite 555, Bakersfield California 93301.

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