What Happens if I Don't Attend My First DUI Court Date?

gavel on a book

Missed Court Date for DUI

When a person has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and they miss their court date, they are putting themselves in a bad position where they could be re-arrested at any time. The courts are very busy and they don’t take kindly to defendants who don’t show up. To the court, it’s a sign of disrespect and judges have ways to penalize people for it.

What is the Arraignment?

The first court date in a DUI case is called the arraignment, and this is where the driver is formally presented with the charges they are facing. If a DUI defendant fails to show up to their arraignment, a warrant may be issued for their arrest, and as you can imagine, everything goes downhill from there.

If the DUI defendant comes into contact with law enforcement; for example, if they’re pulled over for any reason, they can be arrested on the spot, even if they were simply pulled over because of a broken taillight or expired registration.

To have an arrest warrant lifted, the driver or their attorney must appear in court. At this point, a judge may decide to:

  • Approve the request to revoke the arrest warrant,
  • Increase the bail amount required to keep the defendant out of jail, or
  • Immediately send the defendant to jail.

If a person has missed even a single court date, the court is able to keep them in jail until their trial. If you have a job or a family depending on you, what would happen to them? Can you afford to go to jail?

Once an arrest warrant is revoked, the DUI trial will proceed as usual, but the defendant may be subjected to additional charges for failing to appear in court. If the judge is intolerant and issues a failure to appear charge, a person may have six months to one year in jail added to their sentence – this is not good!

Did You Miss Your Arraignment?

Perhaps you forgot all about it, perhaps you were terrified you’d go to jail, or perhaps your car broke down on the way to court. We get it, people make mistakes, but when it comes to missing a court date, you have to tackle the issue head-on.

If you missed a court date, we can help. If you’re simply facing DUI charges, working with an experienced DUI attorney from the beginning can help a driver accused of DUI avoid missing court dates, keep charges off their records, and even reduce legal repercussions for their actions.

If you have questions about where to begin after a DUI arrest, contact an Orange County DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today.

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