After getting a DUI, you are expected to show up to a criminal proceeding. This is where you will officially be charged with your DUI punishment. Missing this court date could result in significant issues for you and your case.
Some people do miss their court date accidentally. There are many reasons why a person could not attend, but these reasons will all ultimately lead to a bench warrant if not handled correctly.
What is a bench warrant?
A bench warrant is when the judge issues a warrant based on a person’s failure to appear. This warrant becomes an issue because your DUI will then become public record. This means that during any background check or police check, your warrant will be available to view, and any citizen has the right to notify the police at once. Your bail will also raise as a result.
What are common misconceptions?
Many believe that if they continue to run from the court, the statute of limitations will shield them from their consequences. This is not the case. A statute of limitations only applies if a person hasn’t already been charged with a case. If you were arrested for a DUI, you have been charged with a DUI.
Some continue this trend and run from the state they were charged in. They believe that if they don’t visit the state where they received their DUI, their consequences won’t follow them. This is false. A DUI follows you wherever you go, no matter the state. Furthermore, your punishment can worsen if you get another DUI and still haven’t attended court.
The most common excuse for missing a court date is not knowing when the date was. Although it is a common mistake that many can make, a judge would find this excuse unacceptable. This is because your court date appears on your citation. The arresting officer should even point this date out to you, in case you glaze over it.
What are your options after a missed court date?
One major advantage you can give yourself is getting a lawyer. A lawyer will know how to move forward without worsening your situation. They will also know exactly what options you have according to your specific situation. Many people tend to misstep after a failure to appear when representing themselves. A lawyer can help you stay on the right track.
When you receive a bench warrant, the best thing to do is release yourself to the court as soon as possible. This way, you can ensure the court that you will attend the next court appearance that is set. Running from a court date will only worsen the punishment, so it is better to face your consequences immediately.
A failure to appear can be serious if it’s not properly taken care of. It’s important to understand all the repercussions that are possible if you don’t go to your court date. If you have failed to attend your court date, research and reach out for help before you make your next move.