Earlier this week we brought you the second part of our three part series "Understanding Your Rhode Island DUI Charge." Part one explained how to read you summons to appear for your criminal court dates and the different terminology used by the police departments in classifying Rhode Island DUI Charges. Part Two attempted to explain your traffic tickets that are typically issued as part of a Rhode Island DUI Case. In Part Three, we will discuss the bail forms you were issued when you were arrested and that these forms mean.
What are Rhode Island's bail laws in a DUI case?
Bail is set by the Court or the Justice of the Peace when you are released from the police station. If you were released with a summons, bail will be set when you appear at your first court date. Typically, an individual charged with a first offense DUI who has no prior criminal record will be released on personal recognizance, also known as "PR" bail. PR bail is your promise to keep the peace while released on bail and your promise to appear for your future court dates. Occasionally, the Justice of the Peace or Court will set "Surety" bail which requires the payment of sufficient surety to be released.
Can I drive while on bail in a Rhode Island DUI case?
When you are charged with a DUI in Rhode Island, you do not automatically lose your privileges to operate. That means that typically, until you are ordered as a condition of bail to not drive or your license is suspended by the Traffic Court after a hearing for a chemical test refusal, you can drive until you are sentenced on your Rhode Island DUI case.
What happens if I violate the bail on my Rhode Island DUI case?
If you fail to keep the peace or fail to appear for a scheduled court date, the prosecution can move to violate your bail by filing what is known as a "32F" notice of bail violation. When bail is alleged to have been violated, the Court can revoke a defendant's bail and hold the defendant at the ACI (state prison) for up to 90 days. If you have been issued a 32F notice of bail violation, it is imperative that you obtain the services of a skilled Rhode Island DUI lawyer.