In the late 1980s, officials at all levels of government launched a campaign to take “drunk drivers” off the road throughout the US and Montgomery and Robertson, Tennessee counties. DUI checkpoints and a lower BAC level were two main linchpins of this campaign. From one perspective, this campaign failed. The percentage of alcohol-related crashes is about as high today as it was back then. From another perspective, this campaign worked. The number of drunk driving arrests skyrocketed in the 1990s and Fizer Bonding Company bail bondsmen got your “tail outta jail” fast!
In some parts of the country, the number of DUI arrests has dropped recently. But not in Montgomery County. Despite coronavirus lockdowns in the first half of the year, DUI arrests doubled in 2020. So, if you drink and drive, there’s a good chance “John Law” will take you off the road, at least temporarily, until you or a loved one can call Fizer 24/7 at (615) 667-1109 to get you out of jail quickly and affordably .
Most DUI cases are first-time offenses, and most DUI defendants are white men in their 30s or 40s who have never been in trouble before. Tougher laws were part of the aforementioned DUI crackdown, and these tougher laws often take some people by surprise. Making matters worse, since most DUI defendants have no criminal record, they have little or no idea what to expect.
Public safety concerns make the pretrial release issues in these cases very complex, for both defendants and for a Fizer bail bondsman near you. The law imposes some additional hurdles. So, if you are arrested for DUI, only an experienced Clarksville, TN bail bondsman from Fizer Bonding Company has the expertise to quickly get you out of jail. Furthermore, only an experienced legal professional gives you the tools you need to stay out of jail. This is why a lawyer has the best chance to successfully resolve the charges when you have been arrested and released on bond.
Most DUI cases are one-charge cases. Authorities charge the defendant with DUI, or perhaps enhanced DUI, and nothing else. Usually, the sheriff sets presumptive bail amounts in these cases. These presumptive amounts are a little like menu prices at a restaurant. The fancier or bigger the dish, the higher the price. Likewise, presumptive bail amounts are lower in less serious misdemeanors and higher in more serious felonies.
We use the term “presumptive amount” because a lawyer can often reduce the bail amount at a subsequent hearing. More on that below.
For now, let’s focus on immediate release, because that’s what most people want. There are basically two kinds of presumptive release bail in a DUI:
- Cash Bail: If the defendant puts up the entire amount ($2,500 or whatever), the sheriff releases the defendant. When the case is resolved, the defendant gets most of this money back. In the meantime, cash bail individuals are completely on their own. They must comply with all conditions with no help from anyone.
- Bail Bond: For only a 10% percent fee, a Fizer Clarksville bondsman files an insurance policy with the county. The company agrees to pay the penalty if the defendant doesn’t fulfill all bail conditions, and in return, the sheriff releases the defendant. So, a bail bond is usually better than a cash bond. It’s cheaper, and defendants get a partner with Fizer Bonding Company to help them through the pretrial release process in Montgomery and Robertson counties.
OR (Own Recognizance) bail might be available in a few DUI cases. However, because of the aforementioned public safety concerns, OR release is usually unavailable.
Bail Reduction Hearing
Some DUIs are multi-charge cases. For example, if Jake hits another car and kills two people, authorities will probably charge him with two counts of DUI-manslaughter. Usually, sheriffs don’t set presumptive bail amounts in these situations.
Incidentally, in a serious injury or death situation, you can throw that $1,500 bail figure out the window. Presumptive bail in a serious case, is usually set at least fifty times higher than the normal amount.
In these matters, a lawyer typically schedules a bail reduction hearing. This hearing, which usually happens about three days after the arrest, is based on the Eighth Amendment’s requirement of reasonable bail in criminal cases. To determine what’s reasonable in a given situation, the judge usually examines a number of factors, including:
- Severity of the offense,
- Defendant’s criminal record,
- Amount of evidence against the defendant,
- Defendant’s contacts with the community,
- Defendant’s ability to pay bail, and
- Defendant’s ability to flee the jurisdiction.
Frequently, the lawyers settle these matters out of court. For example, prosecutors might agree to a low bail amount if the defendant agrees to an advanced IID (Ignition Interlock Device).
An IID, or ignition interlock device, is one of the most common bail conditions in Tennessee DUI cases. And, the defendant is the person responsible for paying for the device and installation.
A mechanic attaches an IID, which is also known as a blow-and-go, to the vehicle’s ignition. The defendant must provide a breath sample to start the car. If the sample is above a preset limit, usually .04, the IID disables the ignition. Furthermore, when the car is in motion, the defendant must submit periodic rolling samples. Too many rolling refusals, or a rolling failure, disable the ignition, so the car won’t restart.
Some simple adjustments, like a higher BAC limit or a lower rolling sample requirement, make these gadgets a lot easier to live with. Fizer Bonding Company can usually make a referral or arrangements in this area.
Many judges also add an alcohol evaluation requirement. It may seem strange, but non-alcoholics usually have the hardest time completing these evaluations. If a counselor asks Ben if he has a problem with alcohol and Ben says “no,” the counselor might believe Ben is in denial. Once again, a bondsman connects defendants with counselors who help them with these and other issues.
All bonds have some generic conditions, such as remaining in the county, checking in with an agent, keeping current contact information on file, and stating out of legal trouble.
Dealing with Bond Forfeiture Issues
Frequently, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this area. If a bail bondsman near you tailors conditions within the law, the chances of bond forfeiture drop significantly. For example, if Mike’s brother lives in Robertson County, a bondsman or attorney from that area can often help, in asking the judge to modify or eliminate the no-leaving-town requirement.
Additionally, defendants who immediately address problems rarely have to go through the bond forfeiture process. A missed check-in usually isn’t a major deal, unless the defendant makes excuses instead of making it right.
Briefly, if a defendant violates any bail condition, the judge could forfeit the bond and issue an arrest warrant. So, the defendant is subject to rearrest at any time. It’s usually best for defendants to voluntarily surrender in these situations. The rearrest process usually doesn’t take too long if the defendant surrenders in the middle of the day and in the middle of the week when access to regular working hours and staff is available.
For a DUI bail bond or more information about the bail bond process, contact the Montgomery County bail bonds agents at Fizer Bonding Company. Our bondsmen are available 24/7 and our family owned business respects your privacy and our bond agents treat you with respect. More value added FREE information can be found in our online articles.
“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”
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