How To Help A Friend Facing DUI Charges In Seattle
If you recently got a DUI don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.
Whatever the situation, if a friend calls you from jail asking for help, or if you’re sitting next to them while a police officer knocks on their car window, you may feel overwhelmed with what to do. You may be worried that your friend will be wrongfully arrested or unsure how to bail them out of jail. We hope these tips will help you support a friend charged with a DUI in the greater Seattle area and don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.
What to Do if a Cop Pulls Over Your Friend—And You’re in the Vehicle
If you’re in the car with a driver who has consumed alcohol, even if only one or two drinks, the best thing you can do is remind them the entire interaction with the police will most likely be recorded and used in determining the outcome of a DUI case should they get arrested.
Make sure to be polite to the officer, speak minimally, act calm, and consider whether or not performing the sobriety tests will help or hurt the outcome of their case. Usually, it hurts. It can be tempting to try the tests to prove one’s innocence, but the tests are challenging even when sober, so if your friend has been drinking, even if lightly, attempting the tests could make them appear more inebriated than they are, especially if they have a medical condition.
What to Do if a Friend Calls You from Jail
If a friend calls you from jail needing help getting out, they may or may not know the cash bail amount set for their release. The cash bail amount is how much money a person must put up in order to be released from the jail. The courts will hold that money for the duration of the case proceedings as a way to ensure the defendant shows up for court until the case is resolved.
Once you know the cash bail amount, you have a couple of options:
- You can either put up the entire cash bail amount yourself.
- You can hire a local bondsperson, who will put up the entire amount for you. In exchange, you must pay them 10-20% of the bail amount. This is their fee, and you will not get this amount back, regardless of the outcome of the case.
But there is a third option: hiring a qualified DUI attorney in Seattle who can assist with the entire process. A lawyer can speed things along if the courts are moving slowly. They also can recommend a reasonable bondsperson, and even handle the coordination with them, if you’d prefer. Often, bail bond companies give better rates if they know the defendant has legal representation.
Once you pay the courts, a lawyer, or a bond company, your role is done. The professionals will handle the logistics from there, and soon, your friend will likely be released from jail.