Hire a DUI attorney. He/she will know what to do and how to advise you.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
You can start the classes before the court date after the DMV suspension.
If you hire an attorney you can go abroad and the attorney can take care of
everything while you're gone.
Sounds like a unique situation, and there might be a way to use your time abroad to your benefit regarding any possible license suspension. Contact some local DUI attorneys for a free consultation in discuss your case in greater detail. You may even be able to enroll in a comparable program overseas or online if you are not in California.
An attorney can appear for you Penal Code 977, which means basically in your absence and at your request. However, most of the time it cant be a public defender, only private attorneys can appear 977 (at least locally in most circumstances, that is the case)
Once your driving privileges have been suspended by the court, you will be able to start the DDP program. Moreover, if you hire an attorney, he or she can appear in court on your behalf in many instances.
If you want your court date pushed up, your attorney may be able to help with this.
In my experience you can start taking the first offender program right away. I've had clients start those long before the DMV suspension. You can take a leave of absence from these classes and from my understanding it's not difficult to do. You can't push up a court date but you can hire an attorney and they can take care of the court dates for you. If you sign up and start taking your classes and hire an attorney to take care of the criminal aspect of the case you should be in good shape. They can advise you on how to approach the other aspects of your case and make sure you can both be in compliance with the court and still work abroad. Good luck to you.
Do you want to postpone the classes or move them up? You've been charged with a crime so many times it's very upsetting and can turn your world upside down. First things first. Consult with an attorney. Your attorney can advance the case for you so you can at least start some AA meetings. Keep a record of the secretary of the meeting, the date and time and name of the meeting. Get a signature from the secretary. As far as the AB-541 (1st time offender) you have to enter a plea first which, if you have a good attorney, may not happen. If you do enter a plea, he can advance the case so that you can get started on the classes. The AA meetings will calm you down while you look for the right attorney. Many of us on Avvo give free consultations. I note that you're in Fresno, so find someone local. Good luck. LAW OFFICES OF VICTORIA CLEMANS.
This is a general statement regarding law and facts and should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship or a solicitation for same.
When you can start classes and receive credit is really a statutory issue.
You're probably going to fall under CVC 13352. You want to look at 13352(a)(1), last two sentences:
"For the purposes of this paragraph, enrollment in, participation in, and completion of an approved program shall be subsequent to the date of the current violation. Credit shall not be
given to any program activities completed prior to the date of the current violation."
Translation - if you start before you get a violation (right? who would? but you'd be surprised), you get no credit, but it you start after the violation, even if it is before the DMV or court proceedings, then you are entitled to credit for time spent in the program.
There are some DDP providers who will not accept you without a court order. If this happens, go looking for another provider. (You can find a list of approved providers on the DMV website at: http://www.adp.ca.gov/Criminal_Justice/DUI/pdf/DUI_dir.pdf)
(Oh, and like the others have said, you can hire a private attorney to appear for you to handle the matter while you get on with life.)
As my colleagues have said, you would benefit by hiring an attorney. If you are going to be overseas, you can simply allow the DMV to suspend your license while you are gone, which would mean that you wouldn't suffer an actual impact.
You can start the classes now if you like, but it may make more sense to simply wait and see how the case develops. Your attorney will be able to create a game plan for you and manage the situation.