Criminal Law Basics: An Introduction To Drug Charge Defense

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Why You Shouldn't Miss Your DUI Hearing

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If you have a DUI trial coming up, it's in your best interest to make your court appointment. Here are some of the consequences you may suffer if you miss the hearing: 

A bench warrant will be issued in your name

The first thing the court will do after learning that you have missed your court date is seek your arrest. The court will do this by issuing a bench warrant for you. The warrant allows any officer of the law to arrest you anywhere and anytime. The authorities may not act on the warrant immediately, but that doesn't mean you can escape. Since there is no statute of limitations for DUI bench warrant, you may think you have escaped only to get arrested a couple of years or more after the original case. You can imagine how inconvenient that can be, especially if you were in the middle of something important (like headed for a job interview).

You May Forfeit Your Bond

If you were out on bond, then missing your court date may see you forfeit it. The bond money acts as a security by reassuring the court that you won't run or hide from your legal responsibilities i.e. you will appear in court. The money is usually returned if you make your court appearances, but you can easily lose it if you fail to appear for your hearing.

You May Face New Criminal Charges

Jumping bail (missing a court date when you are out on bond) is a crime. Therefore, if you miss your hearing, you will face this additional charge in addition to the original DUI charge. Once the court confirms that you purposely jumped bail, it may sentence you to a prison term, order you to pay a monetary fine, or do both depending on your jurisdiction.

It Jeopardizes Your Driving License

Lastly, the court will also send your details to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you miss your DUI court hearing. The DMV will place a hold on your driving license, which means you may be barred from renewing the license, the license may be suspended or you may have to suffer both consequences. 

As you can see, it's pretty dangerous to miss your DUI court hearing, especially purposefully. Therefore, if you have other commitments that fall on the same date, its best to postpone them or have your lawyer help you postpone your court date – if that's possible. Talk to an attorney like Melanie Hammer Esq for more info.