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Is it possible to get my DUI arraignment court date extended? I have flight and hotel reservations and will be out of state.

Santa Cruz, CA |
Attorney answers 5

Posted

The best thing you can do us retain local counsel. He or she can appear in your absence. Also, a criminal defense lawyer will give you the best chance of success. You will killl two birds with one stone.

The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is to suggerst some general principles and should not be relied upon for client decisions. Only upon the hiring of counsel can such advice be custom-tailored to the client's specific situation and needs.

Posted

If you can't be there, you will need to hire an attorney to appear for you. Otherwise, a warrant will be issued for your arrest if you fail to appear. Unfortunately, you won't be able to push it back over the phone or prior to the hearing date, especially if you intend to ask for a public defender.

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Asker

Posted

So the best thing to do if I can't afford an attorney is cancel my trip?

Matthew Murillo

Matthew Murillo

Posted

If you plan to plead guilty, which I don't recommend, then yes, cancel the trip. If you plead guilty, you will have fines to pay, alcohol program to attend, likely some sort of jail alternative like Work Release to complete, etc. Have you consulted with attorneys in your area to see what the price range is? Many people assume they can't afford an attorney, but they never actually meet with one and discuss options and fees. Many defense lawyers offer free consultations so there is no risk to finding out, at least. Many also accept payment plans. However, be wary of a "too good to be true" kind of price. There are some firms that work on quantity and don't have much experience really defending a DUI. A good place to start looking for a DUI lawyer in your area would be the CA DUI Lawyers Assoc website: http://www.california-dui-lawyers.org/findlawyer.asp Contact some local DUI attorneys and discuss the case. Then they could appear for you, investigate the case, and do so without interrupting your life.

Posted

I agree with the other answers here. I would just add that in some counties the DA is slow to charge first time DUIs, which means the date given on a notice to appear by law enforcement may not be the actual date of your arraignment. Obviously though, you - or your attorney - should appear on the date provided in the citation so a warrant doesn't issue. Good luck.

I am NOT giving you legal advice. Nothing stated here should be construed to establish any sort of attorney-client relationship. My opinion stated here is limited by the information available to me. You should not rely on my statements in determining your course of action.

Posted

As a local DUI Attorney in Santa Cruz, I would advise you to show up for court. There are two judges that handle the Misdemeanor cases... One judge is notorious for issuing warrants, high dollar, when people do not show for court.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues above, you should at least retain local counsel and have them appear for you.

Generally, misdemeanors (generally how strait DUIs are charged), don't require the defendant's presence in Court. However, each judge has their own perspective on crimes in their Courts. As a result, you should contact local counsel to give you an opinion as to how the judge will view your lack of presence to determine if it will have an adverse effect on your case as a whole.

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