Question: I was arrested for a First 23152 DUI a couple months ago with a Court date in San Fernando Court. But they scheduled my court date on a date where I need to be out of town. What should I do? Do I need to cancel my trip to show up to Court?
Answer: Assuming your DUI is filed as a Misdemeanor which it should be if it was a first offense DUI with no injury per VC 23152, a privately retained Attorney (such as myself) can appear on your behalf without you needing to be there in normal circumstances. There are exceptions, for instance, if the Judge ordered you to be at Court, but that is unlikely in your case for the first court date, which is called the “arraignment.”
Note that if there was an accident and another person was involved (ie. an alleged victim), it is possible that your citation states VC 23152 as a misdemeanor, but the prosecutor could file it as a VC 23153 felony if it turns out that person was injured more so than the Officer thought on the night of the arrest. Often times prior to filing the charges the arresting Officer or a detective will follow up with a victim to see the status of any injury they received as a result of the car accident. If they report the injury is more serious than what they stated on the night of the arrest (ie. based on follow up visits to doctors), the prosecutor may decide to file it as a felony. If so, then normally you would have to be present at the first court date with your attorney.
Whatever the case is, I can help. Call me to discuss in more detail so I can clarify any questions you may have.
Handling Courts in Southern California including Van Nuys, San Fernando, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Metro, Bellflower, Alhambra, Malibu, Compton, Inglewood and other Courts.
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