Yes. If you missed your court date the court will find a Failure to Appear and most probably will issue a bench warrant. While it is unlikely the police will come to your house, it is possible. Generally people are caught on bench warrants when they are stopped by police for some other offense, i.e. speeding, jaywalking, etc. It is always best to take care of a bench warrant before being picked up by the police. Also the faster you take care of the warrant, the better.
You will have a failure to appear, and the judge will most probably have issued a bench warrant. Police generally do not come to your home on bench warrants but it does mean that if you are stopped by police they will take you into custody. Best to hire an attorney and get this taken care of. Judges are generally more understanding if you come in to take care of it on your own, rather than being brought in to court on the arrest warrant.
In a criminal matter, pleading no contest is the same as pleading guilty. However, it may have implications in any civil matter that arises out of the criminal one. I.e. drunk driving with property damage. If the person plead guilty, that guilty plea could be used against him as proof of responsibility in a civil lawsuit. However, if he plead no contest, during the civil action, the suing party would still have to prove the other person was responsible for the accident.
My first advise is to consult with an attorney. You shouldn't take a plea before evaluating your options.
that being said, if you don't hire a private attorney,, you will need to go to court for your arraignment. A public defender won't be appointed before the arraignment. If you don't appear, the court will enter a failure to appear and issue a bench warrant. A private attorney will be able to make the appearance without you, saving you the trip (or trips depending on how your case goes....
The DMV is a separate entity from the Court. You state the "court quite ordering me to go to the program in 2005." That doesn't clear you with the DMV. They still will most likely require the program before you get your license back, as the classes are a condition of reissue of your drivers' license.
In California, to be found guilty of a DUI, the prosecutor has to prove that you were driving while impaired or over .08. You are correct that you can refuse to perform the field sobriety tests and the preliminary blood screen. The officers then have to base their probable cause finding on something other than the FST and PAS. They cannot use your refusal as probable cause for the arrest.
I would need additional information to really evaluate if they had probable cause to arrest or not....
No. Police officers and represenatives of the DA's office are not allowed to tell witnesses not to discuss the case. However, a witness does not have to agree to speak with defense counsel or his/her representatives.
First, you shouldn't say anything without speaking with an attorney, either private or if you cannot afford it to the public defender on the first day you go to court.
The short answer is yes. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor. However, it is unlikely, thought not impossible, from the facts of your post that you would get jail time.
First, call the DMV and schedule your hearing. If you don't schedule within 10 days you loose the right to the hearing. Even if you don't hire an attorney right away, still schedule the hearing, and ask for an in person hearing. Once you have an attorney he/she can continue the date if they need to and also change it to telephonic if he/she chooses.
Second, speak with an attorney. From your post, you seem to have some good things in your favor. Once you hire someone, he/she will be...