It's never a good idea to miss a court date, even for a simple traffic violation. But the punishments and consequences associated with skipping out on court might be even worse in a DUI case. While many excuses exist for missing a DUI court date-oversleeping, a sick child, or even having moved outside of the state-it can sometimes take the right legal action to avoid being punished for this lapse in attendance. If you miss your DUI court date, be sure to note the following:
Contact Your Attorney. Regardless of where your DUI case is in the criminal system (initial court date, sentencing), you need to contact your attorney if you missed a court date. The team at the Kyle Law Firm can inform you as to whether the court date you missed actually mandated your appearance, as well as what your attorney can do to fix the situation.
Denial Won't Help. Regardless of what many people hope (and sometimes actually believe), your DUI case will not disappear if you don't show up in court. If anything, missing your DUI court date can result in a bench warrant for your arrest. So regardless of why you miss your court date, you could be riding home in a squad car the next time you encounter the law. If you move between states, you still have to attend court or talk to your attorney about the legal avenues for moving the proceedings. There can be consequences even in your new home state.
Sometimes people believe the statue of limitations has expired for their DUI cast. However, the statue of limitations only protects people from people charged with a crime after a certain number of years-this has nothing to do with the actual sentencing or punishment phase. If you were arrested or ticketed, you've already been charged within the time limit. You can be brought in for the DUI within any time frame afterwards. And make sure to pay attention to the first DUI court date notice printed on your citation given to you by the arresting officer. Claiming you didn't know when to show up won't fly-you are responsible for your schedule and remembering to come. Your attorney can also help you manage these dates if you give them to your lawyer in advance.
Request a Continuance If You Have a Real Situation. It's possible that you missed your DUI court date because of an accident or injury that is physically keeping you out of court. Your attorney may be able to excuse this absence and reschedule your future court dates by legally requesting a continuance.
But don't simply not show up. Missing a DUI court date can bring about additional charges and will ultimately not help your problems go away. The best thing to do is hire one of the DUI attorneys at the Kyle Law Firm who can help you face your DUI court date and fight to get your charges dropped.