Why a private attorney? If you use a public defender, the benefit I am about to explain won’t apply because you won’t get an attorney assigned until the Arraignment. That is too late.
No Bail Hold
In Washington, if you have been convicted of DUI in your past or any other driving-related offense while impaired (i.e. Physical Control) and you get arrested again for DUI, you are supposed to be booked into jail on a no bail hold. This is true even if your past arrest resulted in a resolution where you plead to a lesser charge or agreed to a Pretrial Diversion Agreement. Past DUIs do not ever disappear.
What is a no bail hold?
A no bail hold means that, with past DUI history, you cannot be released or bail out of jail on a subsequent DUI or Physical Control arrest. You must wait to appear before a judge so conditions of release can be determined, including setting bail. Since you have history, the bail is likely to be quite high.
Are there occasions when a person with previous history is released or not placed into custody?
This is extremely rare. It is so rare that it is the reason for this post. If you are given this Hail Mary, make sure you maximize the gift you have been given. This is a very critical time in which, if you hire local experienced criminal defense counsel, there could be tremendous savings at your Arraignment in terms of bail and time in custody.
What are some reasons I would not be booked into custody?
Typically, there are only two reasons a person with a second or third DUI would not be taken into custody. Of course, this will vary by location and staffing. For Kitsap County and surrounding cities, the most common reasons for being released or left at the hospital boil down to two scenarios.
First, if there was a serious accident in which the DUI suspect might be hurt, the suspect might be left in medical care. The investigating officer will likely need to take the suspect to the hospital to be checked out by medical personnel. This is not always done but is the normal protocol.
Second, during the DUI investigation, the officer becomes concerned that your blood alcohol is too high to safely place you in jail custody. This can occur by visual evaluation (you pass out) or by seeing your breathalyzer is extremely high. Sometimes, the officer will still try to book you into jail but the jail correctional staff won’t take an extremely intoxicated person into custody. This is generally for safety reasons since there is not the staffing level to handle dangerously impaired individuals.
What if I was released at the hospital or allowed to go home?
In the interim between being released and the date of your Arraignment, you should be doing your very best to hire private defense counsel. Even if it is the weekend, call to set up a consultation. Many defense attorneys work on weekends.
How will the private defense attorney help?
A local defense lawyer will know what the range of bail is likely to be for your case. You need to know what to expect for bail based on your history. The attorney will likely provide you the names of some bail companies that can handle your needs and be ready to bail you out immediately following the Arraignment and booking.
Additionally, there might be certain “tasks” that your defense lawyer assigns you so the court and prosecutor set less strict conditions of release. For obvious reasons, a person with multiple DUIs will pose a risk to the community and conditions will be more significant so it is important to have experienced counsel present to make any relevant arguments on your behalf.
Sometimes, getting bail reduced by five or ten thousand (since you must provide 10% to the bail company), means you can make bail and get back to work. There are a lot of serious and expensive consequences when it comes to a second or third DUI so maintaining employment is critical.