Wooden Gavel and Scales of Justice in a CourtroomYou have been arrested for drunk driving and terms like “bond” and “bail” are suddenly important. You need to know exactly what they mean so that you can protect your rights.

Bond and Bail Are Not the Same

Bail refers to the restrictions set by the court that allow you to remain out of jail through your trial. Each court can set the bail restrictions. For example, you may need to surrender your passport, promise not to travel outside of Virginia, submit to alcohol and drug testing, and put up a bond to ensure that you don’t violate the terms of your bail.

Generally, there are three different types of bonds that the court may require for bail. These include:

  • Signature bonds. This is commonly referred to as being released on your own recognizance. You will not pay any money to the court as a condition of your bail, but you will need to sign a paper promising to appear in court to address the drunk driving charges against you.

  • Unsecured bonds. With this type of bond, you will not need to pay anything to the court at the time that your bail is set. Instead, you sign a promise to the court that you will pay a set amount of money if you fail to appear in court as required.

  • Secured bonds. You have two options if the court requires a secured bond. You may pay the entire amount of the bond yourself with any funds that you have or that you are able to borrow. Alternatively, you may use the services of a bail bondsman. If you can come up with the amount of bond money yourself, then the court will return your money to you after trial if you have appeared as promised. If, however, you use a bail bondsman, then a portion of your bond money will be kept by the bondsman.

The terms of bail are not automatically decided when you are arrested. Instead, they are decided by the judge or magistrate assigned to your case at a hearing where the unique circumstances of your drunk driving arrest are considered.

Don’t Go to a Bail Hearing Alone

Let an experienced Virginia drunk driving defense lawyer represent you and help you through this important stage of your case. To learn more about protecting your rights, please contact Attorney T. Kevin Wilson today by phone, through an online chat, or by filling out our online contact form.