Florida DUI: Car Impoundment & Bail

When you've been arrested for a DUI (driving while under the influence), your major concern is likely to be getting out of jail and putting the whole matter behind you - as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the process may not be as quick as you'd like. Having your car impounded and posting bail are two areas for which you'll need to be concerned.

Car impound. As far as your car is concerned, the police will usually have it towed, according to William D. Umansky, a Florida attorney with over 15 years of experience whose practice focuses in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense. He explained:

The police will sometimes release it to a passenger who's not impaired or may contact a family member to come and pick it up. That's a courtesy, but in most cases, the car is towed to a city impound lot where you can pick it up once you get out of jail and pay whatever fees are necessary to get it out of hock.

Impoundment of your vehicle may be able to be waived if the family only has one car or has no other means of transportation. If not, the impoundment of your car must not occur while you're in jail. So if you're doing a jail sentence, the impoundment comes after. In other words, when you get out of jail, then your car is impounded.

Bail. When you book out of jail, you can call someone that can either arrange to post bail for you or go to a bondsman who will post up to 10% and then take the remaining as collateral from the family - although that collateral will be returned. Umansky explained the process:

The 10% is a fee that the bondsman keeps. The family member can pay the whole cash bond, which will be kept by the clerk's office until the case is resolved. If the case gets dropped, the money gets returned to the person who posted the bond. If the case does not get dropped and you have to pay fines, fees or costs, the judge may order that those be paid out of the cash bond. You're then given a court date, which in most cases will be assigned in 30 days for a misdemeanor or within 60 to 90 days for a felony, although there are no hard and fast rules.

If you have a DUI issue, contact an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.