Pre-trial release is the status of a person who is permitted to be out of custody while their criminal case is pending, generally with certain conditions. The most important condition typically imposed on a person with a pre-trial release pending a DC DUI charge is a promise to return for their next court hearing.
Pre-trial release can also involve several other conditions, including a condition that the defendant receives an assessment for alcohol or drug education. The pre-trial release conditions may also require that the individual seek drug or alcohol treatment and follow through on any additional treatment recommendations made by the DC pre-trial services agency. All of these conditions will be determined prior to the DC DUI trial in order for the defendant to be released from jail.
Washington, DC does not have a monetary bond system in which a person on pre-trial release is required to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for being released while their case is pending. Instead, DC has a pre-trial supervision system that imposes certain conditions on individuals in exchange for their personal promise to reappear for court hearings.
In setting such conditions, a judge may consider an individual’s criminal history or the facts of their case. The judge may also consider additional factors—such as the individual’s job or similar obligations—when determining what conditions would be appropriate for the release.
When a person is released pending a criminal charge, they are typically given a number of conditions with which to comply in exchange for not being detained during the case. Such conditions may include drug testing, weekly check-ins, alcohol or drug treatment, or a promise to not drive without a valid permit or after consuming alcohol. If a person does not comply with one or more of the conditions of their release, the assigned judge may consider imposing stricter conditions.
In a worst case scenario, the assigned judge may determine that the person is no longer eligible to be released while the case is pending. Such a determination could result in the individual being detained after having their pre-trial release revoked by that judge. In this scenario, the person would be held in jail for the duration of the pending case.
When a person is released from jail, the documents that they receive depend on the status of their case. For instance, a judge may order that an individual’s bond status be changed while their case is still pending. In such an instance, the individual might receive information about what their new bond status is.
An example of this is a person who is initially held in jail while their case is pending but is later released by the judge on the condition that they check in with the pretrial services agency weekly or submit to weekly drug testing. In this case, the person would receive documentation delineating the conditions of the release so that they would understand the exact requirements for the remainder of the case.
Alternatively, a person might be released from jail after completing an ordered sentence. In such instances, the individual is released with documentation detailing any post-release requirements ordered by the assigned judge. For example, following release from jail, an individual may be required to check in with a probation officer for further supervision or to seek additional treatment for alcohol or drug abuse.
For many people, getting arrested for a DUI can be a frightening experience. Those experiencing their first arrest may not be familiar with the next steps or may not know what is expected of them going forward. Hiring a DC DUI attorney immediately after being arrested can help a person better understand what he or she should do prior to the assigned arraignment date and what he or she can expect to happen over the course of the case.
Such assistance can help them prepare for any requirements ordered by the court—such as drug or alcohol testing or enrollment in drug or alcohol treatment. An experienced DC DUI attorney can also provide a better understanding of what kind of evidence prosecutors might use against a person who has been arrested for a DUI.
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