He cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Can a family member show up for him on his court date?
If the family member is a lawyer yes although at some point he may have to appear if he is convicted or takes a plea. If he can't afford one, he should request a PD
You did not mention what stage of the process the case is in. If he doesn't go back an arrest warrant will be issued, and even if Illinois doesn't come to Florida to pick him up, his Florida license will be suspended. He can probably plea by mail if he is guilty. You need to call an Illinois lawyer. Most criminal defense lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation and you can do it by phone. You also can call legal aid or the public defender's office in the county where the alleged DUI occurred. He cannot afford NOT to hire a lawyer for this, but it needs to be an Illinois lawyer. This will not go away by ignoring it.
Practicing in Florida, many criminal defense lawyers defend out-of state drivers who pick up DUI charges here. I can tell you that if Illinois DUI laws are anything like Florida's your husband is facing serious long-term consequences if he fails to appear in court. His Florida driving privilege may be suspended, in addition to a warrant for arrest. I rarely see states extraditing on simple DUI charges, but it could happen.
Additionally, there is no guarantee that a judge in Illinois will accept a family member appearing on behalf of your husband. Some judges, particularly in small towns, don't take kindly to out-of-staters not showing up.
I strongly suggest seeking local counsel, who might even be able to handle this without an appearance by your husband. Below is a link to criminal lawyers in Illinois on AVVO, as well as some Florida information about out-of-state DUI.
Every case and situation is different and my answers will vary greatly depending on the specific facts of each one. My answers are not to be considered complete answers to each question and do not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Always seek the advice if your own attorney. I am licensed only in the State of Florida and in federal courts. Florida Bar #337821, admitted 1982.
Immediately contact the judge in that jurisdiction by sending a letter to the judge and forwarding a copy to the state asking for a continuance or retain an attorney in the area. The judge will reschedule if you ask nicely.
Answers to proposed questions on Avvo does not constitute legal advice and does not form a lawyer/client relationship.
No, the family member cannot show up on behalf of your husband unless the family member is a licensed Florida attorney. If you do hire an attorney, which I strongly recommend, the lawyer may appear on behalf of your husband at the hearing. If you hire an attorney it is very likely your husband will not have to appear at any court hearing in Florida.
**This response is not intended to provide legal advice, nor is it intended to be a solicitation for legal advice. NO reader should consider the information contained herein to be an invitation for creation of an attorney-client relationship, and you should not rely on information provided. The information provided is for general information purposes only, this response should NOT be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. If you have a legal question, you should seek the advice of a licensed attorney in your state.
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