getting out of jail
My [spouse, child, family member, friend, significant other person] was arrested for drunk driving. How do I get them out of jail?
drunk driving arrests
The majority of people who are arrested for drunk driving in Wisconsin are taken to a county jail where they are booked and placed into a holding cell pending an arraignment, unless they bail out of jail by posting bond.
If a person is arrested for a misdemeanor drunk driving offense (2nd, 3rd or 4th), the jail may offer a bond. The amount of bond that is required for their release is provided on a bond schedule (described next) at the county jail. Bond is offered at the jail's discretion. A bond is payable by cash or credit card; credit card payments are assessed a stiff fee.
A bond schedule lists the amount of bond that must be posted to release a person who has been arrested for a misdemeanor offense. Each county jail has a bond schedule.
bondsmen's and bonding agents
Wisconsin does not have bondsmen or bonding agents. The amount of bond stated on the bond schedule will be the actual amount that will need to be paid to the county jail.
Exception to bond schedule
Felony offenses are not listed on the bond schedule. A fifth, sixth or greater drunk driving offense is a felony, as is a lesser numbered drunk driving offense involving a vehicular homicide.
A signature bond does not require a defendant to pay a bond to county jail; rather, the defendant signs an agreement to return to court on the specified date, and is released from jail. Signature bonds are offered by county jails at the jail's discretion. Often times, people are released on a signature bond because their attorney arranged for the release.
release on one's own recognizance
A release on one's own recognizance is the same as a signature bond - it is offered by the jail at the jail's discretion, and requires that an agreement to return to court be signed by the defendant.
1st drunk driving arrest
A person who is arrested for a first drunk driving offense (an OWI - 1st offense) will be taken to jail to be processed for that arrest. Which jail depends on where the person was arrested, and by which police force. In most instances, it will be a county jail; in some instances, it will be a municipal jail. In all instances, a first offense - absent any other citations or outstanding warrants - will result in the person being booked after the arrest, and then released. They must have another person come to get them as they cannot drive.
Their car will be towed to an impound lot or similar facility. To get a car out of the impound lot, someone will need to pay the towing and impound fees. If that somebody is not the owner of the vehicle, then a signed and notarized statement must be provided to the impound lot before the vehicle will be released to the third party.
2nd, 3rd, 4th offenses
When a person is arrested for a second, third or fourth offense of operating while under the influence, in most instances they will be allowed to post bond. The amount of bond required will be listed on the jail's bond schedule. Their vehicle will be towed, and will likely be stored at a local impound lot, which will require payment of fees for towing and impound before the vehicle is released.
5th & higher offenses
A fifth, sixth or higher drunk driving offense is a felony. A person cannot be released on a signature bond, nor are felony bonds scheduled (the jail will not have a bond schedule to determine the amount of bond for a felony). A person arrested for a felony offense will be required to attend an arraignment to determine whether the judge will set a bond amount. It is always wise for any defendant accused of a felony offense to obtain legal counsel before the bond hearing.
refund of a bond payment
A "bond" is money paid to a jail that will be refunded if the defendant appears at his or her first hearing, or if the defendant appears according to the orders of the court.
forfeiture of a bond payment
Bond is forfeited if the defendant fails to appear at the court hearing for which the bond was paid, or fails to comply with conditions of bond set forth by the court.
(Note: most, if not all of the attorneys presented here will not require a defendant to appear at court; rather, the attorney will appear on the defendant's behalf. You should ask your attorney if you need to appear.)
owi-dui.com can help
OWI-DUI.com represents Wisconsin's Best Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. If you (or someone you care about) has been arrested for drunk driving, please contact one of these attorneys as soon as possible. Time is truly of the essence in an OWI charge, and action must be taken quickly to avoid certain very problematic results that will occur otherwise such as the loss of a driver's license.
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