Anyone else might not have been as lucky as Michael Phelps after his recent DUI arrest. A DUI charge could get you locked up behind bars. Fortunately, a surety bail bond lets you walk out of jail pending your case. What does a cash surety bond mean? Basically, you pay the court a certain amount that you will go back to court for your hearing.
How much the bail will be set will ultimately be determined by the judge based on your criminal history. In the case of Phelps, for example, he’s already had a previous conviction for another DUI case. The latest one he incurred, therefore, might very well cost him more. If you happen to be a repeat offender like him, a bail bond lien on property may be required, which means that a foreclosure action may be brought against your property if you fail to appear in court as agreed.
If you want to find out how do bonding companies work, they basically function as an insurance agency, which guarantees the court that you will abide by your court-appointed order. For those who don’t have the funds on hand, bonding companies can help.
Make sure to consult with your lawyer on these matters. They can help you with questions such as how to find out who bailed someone out of jail, what do bail bonds business income mean, do you get bail money back if person dies, or do you get your money back from bail bondsman
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps officially completed his probation this week following his 2014 DUI conviction.
In December 2014, Phelps was sentenced to 18 months probation as a result of his DUI arrest in Baltimore. He was charged with driving under the influence, speeding, and crossing double lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel.
The conviction caused the Olympian to be suspended from the USA swimming team and required him to check into a rehab facility for 45 days of treatment.
When Phelps came out of rehab, he told the media that he was not sure he was ever an alcoholic, but he did say “I know I probably have moments where I have gone off the deep end where I shouldn’t.”
This was the swimmer’s second DUI arrest. The first occurred in 2004, and at that time he also received 18 months probation.
Considering that Maryland state law cites “up to one year” imprisonment as the penalty for a DUI first offense, one might wonder if Phelps did not receive preferential treatment from the court due to his status as an Olympian and international celebrity.
“Clearly, you don’t need a lecture from this court,” said District Court judge Nathan Braverman during his hearing back in 2014.
Defense attorney Steven A. Allen added, “I think this has driven home, in a very meaningful way to him, what needs to be done. I have the greatest degree of confidence this will never happen again.”
One can’t help but wonder: if Phelps were not a white celebrity and athlete, would the judge and his attorney have been so confident in his rehabilitation? Would Phelps have so easily avoided jail time?
Imprisonment is a typical penalty for a DUI in many states. For instance, a DUI conviction in Ohio can result in jail time ranging from three days to six months. In Maryland, a first offense calls for imprisonment of up to on year while a second offense calls for a mandatory minimum of five days and a maximum of two years imprisonment.
Michael Phelps had his slate wiped clean after just 18 months of probation.
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