Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hennepin County DWI - Bail (Explained)

Almost without fail, in the State of Minnesota, individuals arrested for (suspected) gross misdemeanor or felony-level DWI offenses often detained in jail, pending a court appearance. Believe it or not, someone who has been arrested, without a warrant, can spend four days or more in jail before he has a court appearance addressing possible conditions of release. 

An experienced Hennepin County DWI Attorney can help get your friend or family member out of jail as soon as possible under the circumstances. If you would like to explore jail release options, call the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165  for a free consultation. Often, we can get a judge to set bail in situations where no bail has been set.

One thing you need to know is a bail bondsmen often will call an arrestee's home or family members to solicit their business. Before you do that, I would strongly suggest that you (first) speak with an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney  before paying because often you can sometimes post bail for less money or can avoid posting bail altogether to secure a person's release.  

Something to Consider

In a warrantless arrest such as the typical DWI case, the prosecution and courts must comply with two rules.  

1. A judicial determination of probable cause to detain the defendant must be made within 48 hours of the arrest. This process should also set bail or conditions of release --- although some defendants will continue to be held without bail. If the court fails to make that decision, the jail must release the defendant without any conditions. 

2. If a judicial determination of probable cause is made within 48 hours of arrest, the defendant nevertheless must appear in court within 36 hours.  (The 36-hour rule does not include the day of arrest, Sunday, and holidays.) So, if someone is arrested at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, the person would have to appear in court by noon on Tuesday, assuming Monday is not a holiday.  

Types of Offenses

Gross misdemeanor DWI cases, i.e., charges of Second or Third Degree DWI/Test Refusal --- a defendant is entitled to release without any conditions upon posting maximum bail/bond of $12,000. In other offenses, the bail maximum bail amount will vary. 

If maximum bail is set at $12,000, the defendant has the option of posting $12,000 cash with the jail or retaining a bail bondsman to post bond in the amount of $12,000. If a defendant posts $12,000 cash, he or she will be entitled to return of $12,000 minus any fines and court costs upon resolution of the case. If the defendant fails to appear in court as required, the court may revoke the bail and the defendant could forfeit the $12,000. Because most defendants do not have access to $12,000 cash on short notice, most defendants will retain a bail bondsman.  

Bail Bondsman

A bail bondsman fee generally is 10% or less of the bail amount. Thus, if bail is set at $12,000, the defendant or his family member would pay the bail bondsman $1,200 or less to secure release of the defendant. The bail bondsman then will post bond with the court. If the defendant fails to appear in court as required, the bail bondsman will be liable to pay the court $12,000 if the defendant is not brought to court in a timely manner. In that case, the bondsman will attempt to bring the defendant to court, and if unsuccessful, will sue the defendant or the co-signer of the bond for $12,000.    

If a defendant has retained a defense lawyer, the bail bondsman often will agree to post bond for less than 10% due to the lower risk involved.

In felony cases, the bail analysis is more complicated. A defendant usually will have to appear in court where a judge will set bail based on arguments made by the prosecution an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have questions about jail release, please the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165


  1. Whoa, the bail amount for 1st time dwi cases out there seems pretty high. Out here in Las Vegas, it's $2,000 only. Ours seems too low though. Somewhere in the middle is probably way more fair.

  2. Wow, that is quite expensive. I have never gotten a DUI, but my older brother did right after high school. My parents bailed him out, and here 5 years later he's still paying it off to them. You should make sure you always have a good lawyer to help out in situations like this.
    Emily Merrell | http://www.zaylaw.com

  3. In some jurisdictions, the sheriff or a bail commissioner can also determine eligibility for someone to be out on a PR bond. A PR bond also means that you do not have to pay any money to the courts, as you would in cases of other bail. Bondsman Phoenix Az