Edward Y. Lee Attorney at Law
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Could I be held without bail for DUI?

How often do we hear police in TV dramas complain about what they see as the laxness of the legal system? The bail process gets a lot of this attention. Indeed, both sides of the equation take aim. Officers express frustration when a suspect is released on bail or bond. Cocky suspects taunt police with , "I'll be back on the street in no time."

Bail is a long-established legal right, codified in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. By federal law, a person charged with a noncapital criminal offense is entitled to bail. Not always however. For example, if a person appears in court on the same charge repeatedly, he or she might be held without bail. This often happens especially where a history of multiple arrests for drunk driving exists.

This is what a Placentia man is confronted with as this is written. Authorities in Orange County say they picked up this individual for alleged DUI late last month after he crashed into a roadside electrical box. They held him without bail. Officers discovered that he has eight previous convictions for impaired driving since 2011.

In addition to accusing him of driving under the influence again, police allege he violated the probation terms of a previous DUI conviction. They say his license is under suspension and that the vehicle he was driving lacked an ignition interlock system as required.

Every case is different so there is no way to know for sure how this man's case will be resolved. What this case does show is that the traditional right to bail isn't always guaranteed.

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