I was in the U.S. on my working holiday visa, and I got pulled over while driving drunk, I was 18. I did not appear before court because I had my return flight ticket scheduled before the hearing and now I don't know whether there's a bench warrant for my arrest. I am planning on going back to the US sometimes during the summer. How can I clear my record? Do I have to appear in court personally or can I hire a lawyer to represent me?
I am assuming that because you posted in the Vail, CO location this is where you were cited for DUI. If so, there is almost certainly a bench warrant for you which may complicate your arrival at the airport. You can confirm this by either calling the Eagle County court clerk's office or the sheriff's office or by having someone else do this on your behalf. You should certainly get an attorney to begin working on your arrival and see if you can get the warrant quashed and another court date scheduled where you may (an I emphasize may) be able to appear through counsel.
In terms of clearing your record, you will have to handle the case at some point. That may mean negotiating a settlement, going to trial, or getting the case dismissed. It strikes me as unlikely you would be able to any of these effectively without the assistant of counsel.
Mr. Norris is correct. You absolutely should have a bench warrant out for your arrest and this could cause you problems getting back into the Country. You should hire an attorney to attempt to get the warrant quashed so that you can come back and address this issue. Again, it MAY be possible to get the Judge to excuse your from some of the non-dispositional hearings, but it is highly likely that you will have to appear for Court at some point.
We handle cases in Vail so feel free to call my office for a Free Consultation to discuss this case and the best way to handle this moving forward.
Yes you can clear your record. Depending on the judge you may or may not have to appear if you hire an attorney to represent you. Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor charge and therefore some judges, in Florida, allow the attorney to appear in place of the defendant. The attorney can even take a plea so long as there is a power of attorney on file.
I recommend you hire counsel to rectify the situation. It may be possible to handle the entire matter without you having to be present.
Please contact us if we can be of assistance.
Benjamin Fernandez, Esq.
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