What Happens If I Am Arrested During a Pending DUI Case?

When a driver is charged with DUI in Florida, they are usually released while the case proceeds through the judicial process. The conditions under which they are released depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and the person’s history and community ties.  


In most cases, a DUI defendant will only need to sign a recognizance promising to appear in court and to refrain from any criminal activity while the case is pending. In some circumstances, the person charged with the DUI will have to post bail or a bond to be released. 


But getting arrested again during the time a DUI case is pending is a very big problem. It can result in the defendant being held in jail until the DUI case is resolved or being released on much more restrictive conditions. Being held in jail often causes the detainee to lose their job or even their housing.  


This blog post explains the possible consequences of a subsequent arrest while on pretrial release and what factors the judge will consider in deciding whether to hold or release the defendant.  



DUI Pretrial Release Violation Lawyer 


Arrests that occur when you are on a pretrial release are very serious and require the immediate help very experienced criminal defense lawyer. In DUI cases, your lawyer should have exceptional knowledge of DUI law and courtroom procedure to better protect you from being held after an arrest during your pretrial release. If you are arrested while already on pretrial release in another case in Hillsborough County or Pinellas County, the Stechschulte Nell Law Firm is ready to help you immediately.  


Pretrial Release Terms and Factors 


Typically, a person arrested in a DUI or another nonviolent misdemeanor case will be released on their own recognizance (ROR). However, even in misdemeanor cases, the facts of the case and the person’s prior history will be factors in whether bail or bond is required. 


The purpose of conditional release and bail is to allow an arrestee the greatest degree of liberty while their case is pending. However, the arrestee’s release is conditional upon their promise to show up in court when required and to obey the law. The criteria considered in setting the appropriate conditions for release include the nature of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, their ties to the community through family, employment, or property, and the risk of their endangering the safety of the community. 


If the new offense involves driving when a driver’s license is suspended for a pending DUI, or if the new charge is a second DUI, not only will the defendant face being detained in jail, but they will also be subject to enhanced penalties.  


One of the most important factors is “[w]hether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding, . . .”


If a defendant is arrested and charged with a new crime while they are on pretrial release in a pending prosecution, even if only a misdemeanor, Florida law allows the judge to order the person to be detained in jail until the end of the pending case. The judge can also add to the amount of the previously set bail or add significant restrictions to those conditions set when they were first released. Florida law provides the judge with the power to detain the defendant without the prosecution requesting they do so. The court can do so on its own. 


Nature of the New Offense and the Strength of the Evidence Matter 


When a defendant is already charged with a pending DUI, the nature of the new alleged offense will have great influence over whether the court holds or permits the defendant to be released again. If the new criminal charge is the same as the pending charge, the judge often views such conduct by the defendant to be an insult to the integrity of the court.  


If the new offense is a serious felony or a violent crime in which a victim was injured, the court will also view the new charge as evidence of a defendant’s danger to the community and inability to keep the peace. The process of revoking a defendant’s release can happen immediately upon their new arrest. It’s imperative that the defendant or their family contact an experienced pretrial release violation defense lawyer immediately. 


Defending Against Violations of Pretrial Release Based on New Criminal Charges 


The law does not guarantee the defendant an adversarial hearing before their pretrial release can be revoked following a new arrest. To revoke the defendant’s previous bail or recognizance based on a new criminal arrest, the judge before whom the defendant is presented needs to assess the evidence supporting the new charge. 


Is there probable cause to support the new criminal charge? This answer to this question is key to the judge’s ability to order that the defendant be held. A basic premise in American criminal procedure is that every criminal charge will be assessed for probable cause by a neutral magistrate at the initial appearance of the defendant. The purpose is to determine if there are any grounds to bind the person over for further proceedings. If probable cause is found, then the accused’s liberty can be restricted. 


What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do? 


Criminal defense lawyers are professional advocates whose courtroom experience informs their skill at persuading prosecutors and judge’s that a charged defendant’s individual character, life circumstances, family obligations, substance disorder, mental health, or extraordinary circumstances justify their release. 


In most cases, a defendant arrested on a new charge while facing a pending first-offense DUI will be released with more restrictions. Additional restrictions could include electronic monitoring, curfew, abstaining from alcohol, alcohol and drug testing, and counseling. The judge can also substantially increase the amount of the defendant’s bail or bond, perhaps more than they can post.  


Once a defendant’s original pretrial release is revoked because of a new arrest, your criminal defense lawyer can file a motion to reconsider the ruling and to set new conditions of release. The grounds and supporting arguments your lawyer present in the formal pleadings and their argument will be based on a thorough investigation and analysis of the records and the information they can learn during the attorney-client interview.  


Read More > The Long Term Consequences of a DUI Conviction 


Get a Board-Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer for Pretrial Release Violations 


Suffering a new arrest when you are already released on a pending DUI is a genuine risk to the defendant’s chance of being released and to their chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in either matter. But skill, experience, and deep knowledge of courtroom practices are your attorney’s best tools to protect you. 


If you are arrested on a new charge during your pending DUI case, call Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law immediately; 813-280-1244.  

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