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DC DUI Arraignment Release Conditions

If charged with DUI in Washington, DC you may be held by the court after arraignment. Additionally, you may also be released but with certain conditions. Below, an experienced DC DUI arraignment lawyer discusses some of these conditions and how rare it is that people are not released. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.

So What Are Some Examples of Release Conditions?

In a case where a person is released while their case is pending, judges have the option of establishing conditions of their release that a defendant would be required to comply with if they want to remain out on their promise to return for their next court hearing. Some examples of release conditions could include an order by the judge to stay away from an alleged victim in the case or stay away from certain witnesses in the case.

A judge could also establish a release condition that a person submit to weekly drug testing, participate in alcohol assessment or alcohol treatment. If a person does not comply with release conditions, then a judge would have the option of determining whether to impose stricter release conditions or potentially even revoke a person’s release.

What Are Some Common Conditions For Release You Have Seen In DC?

A common term for release in DC is release on personal recognizance. That means that a person’s only condition of release would be their personal promise to return to court at their next scheduled court hearing.

Another type of release is called released on HISP. HISP stands for the High Intensity Supervision Program. If a person is released on HISP, then he would still be out in the community but would be required to comply with certain heightened supervision requirements that can include a curfew, ankle bracelet monitoring or complete home confinement while their case is pending. A person could also be released to a halfway house while their case is pending, which means that instead of being held in the DC jail, they will be held in a facility that would allow them to leave during the day for work purposes.

Is Being Released On Your Own Recognizance Rare?

Being released on your own recognizance is the most common kind of release condition in most criminal cases. That means that your only condition is your own promise to return to court. Sometimes the person could be released on his recognizance but also be required to stay away from an accuser or stay away from the area where the alleged offense was supposed to have happened. However, a person would still be considered to be on their own recognizance because they would have no additional conditions beyond just showing up for their next court hearing.

What is a Bond and Does It Impact The Case?

DC does not have a bond system. Bond systems exist in states where a person would be required to put up a certain amount of money in order to be released from custody while their case is pending. Washington, DC eliminated bond many years ago and established a pretrial release system where, for an overwhelming majority of criminal cases, every person is released from custody while their case is pending simply on their own personal promise to return to court at their next hearing. The judge can establish conditions of release such as staying away from certain areas of the city, staying away from certain people or complying with drug or alcohol treatment.

The only time where bond may be imposed is if a person has a history of flight or does not show up for a scheduled hearing. Then, a judge has the option of issuing a warrant for that person’s arrest and establishing a bond amount where if the person is arrested on the outstanding warrant then he would have to put up the entire amount of bond in cash in order to be released while their case is pending.

How Does The Court Decide Bond or Release Conditions?

In Washington DC, judges rarely issue bonds because bond is not allowed in most situations, unless someone has failed to appear for court on previous occasions. A judge would consider release conditions based on a number of factors. The major factors can include the nature of the charge or allegation against the person but they can also include whether a person has a prior criminal history.

For example, if a person has a long history of drug offenses, then a person may be required to submit to weekly drug testing as a condition of their release. If a person is facing an alcohol-related charge, then the defendant may be required to submit to alcohol assessments or alcohol treatment as a condition of their release. These conditions of release are not considered to be a judgment on the underlying facts of the case and are not considered to be a determination by the judge as to whether you actually committed the crime. They are simply considered to be a condition that a person would have to comply with in exchanged for being released while the case is pending.

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