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Possible second DUI and driving on a suspended license
Question: What charges am I looking at – possible second DUI and driving on suspended license? I was arrested for a DUI in CA in March of 2011. I believe they told me I blew a .15 blood alcohol level. I went to court, did the community service and alcohol program classes. I haven’t completely paid off the fine yet and there is some money outstanding.
I also had to put an Interlock device in my car. I just had the device installed in 2013 and my car broke down earlier in the summer so I never completed the program. A few months ago I was pulled over on my way to work, driving a friend’s truck. The officers said I blew .08. so I was arrested. I spent the weekend and an additional 3 days in jail but never made it to court so they released me on my own recognition.
I just received a warrant in the mail with a misdemeanor charge “ vc14601.1(a)” I looked up the charge and it seems to be just driving on a suspended license. Should I turn myself in?
Answer: It may be possible that you could be facing additional charges at the time of the arraignment. First, as you mentioned in your question, it is possible that you could be charged with a 2nd offense DUI even if the letter you received in the mail does not state so. If the officer noted in his police report that you blew a .08, I would expect the prosecutor to add the VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b) DUI charges to the complaint.
Also, was the IID court ordered, or was your first DUI in a “pilot county” such as Los Angeles County court? If you did not comply with all the terms of probation in a timely fashion, such as pay fines, complete the alcohol program, or complete a court ordered IID program, the court may have revoked your probation. If you were still on probation at the time of this new citation, there could be a probation violation as well.
As far as handling the warrant, it many courts in California (including Los Angeles County), you would have to put the case on calendar when the court first opened and then recall and quash the warrant. If you hire an attorney to handle the current charge(s), this is also something your attorney should deal with.
Call me at (818) 336-1384 to discuss your case in more detail. I have been successful in getting VC 14601.1 driving on a suspended license charges dismissed and reduced to infractions. I also have a strong track record handling 2nd offense DUI charges and probation violation issues.