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DUI: What if I Don't Complete Community Service?

Let’s say you were convicted of a misdemeanor DUI (your first offense), and you did everything the court told you to do, but you didn’t complete the 120 hours of community service. Just saying, if you got 120 hours of community service on a first offense, that’s a lot and your lawyer probably got you a bad deal, but unfortunately it happens to the best of us.

What is the punishment in this scenario? Is there any way that you can get an extension, or better yet, can you just pay fines in lieu of community service? You know you made a mistake, and that you shouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel. You never gave or took an excuse.

You should have found the time to do the community service, but somehow other obligations like work or school got in the way. Now you’re wondering what’s going to happen since you only completed 50 hours of the 120 hours of community service ordered by the court.

Your First Plan of Action

First, an experienced DUI attorney should go back to court and request an extension before the scheduled court date where you’re supposed to show proof of completion. In the worst-case scenario, a judge will sentence you to jail due to your probation violation and you will still have to complete your 120 hours of community service. Sometimes a judge will send you to jail and have you serve out the term. We don’t recommend telling the judge that your job got in the way. Judges find these excuses disrespectful and after hearing such an excuse, you can expect the judge to hand down the worst.

Don’t Give the ‘Job’ Excuse

Judges believe that their orders are more important than any job, so the fastest way to lose a judge’s empathy is to give the overly-used “job excuse.” If you already missed that date, there is a warrant for your arrest and it will need to be recalled and you will be referred. In the worst-case scenario, a judge will order you up to 6 months for a first-time DUI, and up to a year or more on a second DUI.

Ultimately, what you’ll get depends on the judge. Judges have a great deal of power in situations like this, so it’s in your best interests to be represented by a DUI attorney who is familiar with the local judges and their attitudes toward community service violations.

Whether or not there’s a warrant for your arrest at this point, you will undoubtedly benefit by speaking with an Orange County DUI lawyer from our firm. In a free case evaluation, we can answer your questions, tell you what to expect, and help put your mind at ease.