Question: If I did not show up to court for a second dui, can I be put in jail on the bench warrant that was issued by the court? If so, how long can they put me in jail for the warrant? Or what is the usual jail time for a Failure to appear?
The longer I wait will the Judge add a longer jail time from your original sentence? Or will they just take me in for my original case and do the original time? Usually what happens with an with an failure to appear like this?
Answer: How an Failure to appear (FTA) will be handled when you (or your attorney) shows up to get the bench warrant quashed can depend on many factors. Factors include the court your case is in, and the Judge handling that hearing. I would recommend that you consult with a DUI attorney to discuss your situation in more detail.
If the Judge decides to take you into custody based on a failure to appear, generally it is for the time period while the case is pending, to ensure that you don’t fail to appear for the next court date. Posting bail is an option (usually) in the event that happens.
I have had success getting courts to agree to keep my clients out of jail on FTA issues without having to post bail. Personally, I feel that if someone goes into court with a privately retained attorney in a situation like this, it shows that they are taking the case seriously.
Further, on most misdemeanor cases, a privately retained attorney can appear at future court dates without the client needing to be there. Judges know that when I appear on behalf of a client, I will be at the next court date to represent my client (even if client is not there), so no FTA issues moving forward.
Dealing with the FTA is just one of the issues you are looking at. If you are convicted of a 2nd DUI, the penalties can bring serious consequences. It is important to speak to an experienced DUI attorney in your area to review your case, and mitigate consequences as much as possible. I would recommend talking to an attorney sooner as opposed to later.
The fact that you posted question gives me the impression that you are worried about it, and thinking about this issue regularly. The sooner you deal with this, the sooner you will be able to move on with your life without this weight on your shoulders. I can help you through this if you would like to discuss it further.
I can be reached at (818) 336-1384 for a free initial consultation. Thanks.
DUI Attorney, Criminal Defense