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My son was arrested in Orlando on 12/29 & date was set for 1/18, he is in rehab and missed the court date, what should he do?

Melbourne, FL |

My son was arrested for DUI and driving on a suspended license. He was put into detox on 1/14 and entered a 28 day rehab program on 1/17. I've tried to contact the Orange County clerk to inform of circumstances but haven't been able to contact an actual person, I've been leaving messages for the Judge's Assistant. When I looked today they have issued a Capias. We live in Brevard County, the arrest was in Orange County and the rehab is in Osceola County. What should I tell him to do?

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Attorney answers 11


Hire a lawyer- With proof that your son is in rehab, an attorney may be able to get the judge to recall the warrant, continue the case until your son completes rehab and then work to resolve his case favorably. Feel free to contact my office for a free consultation.


Filing a formal Motion to Withdrawal Capias/Warrant would bring the issue in front of the judge. I would imagine most judges would find that your son did not willfully skip his arraignment, given his circumstances. Assuming the capas is withdrawn, your son's case should be reset for arraignment once his 28 day program is finished.


You need to hire an attorney for your son. An attorney will be able to file the appropriate documents requesting that the capias be withdrawn. Additionally, an attorney will be able to look for any potential defenses you son may have to the DUI and driving on a suspended license charge.

not intended as legal advice and this answer does not create an attorney/client relationship.


He needs a lawyer to speak with the court and State and inform them that his failure to appear is not intentional. The capias is a bench warrant and the judge can set it aside if his lawyer gets the proper motion filed. It is not enough to call the judge's assistant, a motion must be filed. It helps to deliver a copy of the motion and order to the judge's assistant.

My office is in Orange County and am a former prosecutor. Please feel free to contact my officer and I would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.

This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.


Hire a DUI attorney to help him get back on the docket and withdraw the warrant and fight the case. Call me if you need help or have questions.

For more information or to set up a free consultation contact the Law Office of Corey Cohen at 407-246-0066 or visit our website at Twitter @cohenlawyer


I think it is admirable your son checked into a program and I believe that will be a good reason for a judge to withdraw the warrant. A lawyer would have to withdraw the warrant and explain the reasons why he missed the court date. We would also be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Please be advised that answering your questions does not establish an attorney-client relationship with myself or my firm. We would be more than happy to set up a free consultation if you call us at 407-588-6714 and specifically mention AVVO or email me at and put AVVO in the subject line.


I agree with my colleagues. You should have hired an attorney as soon as he was arrested. However, I would hire one ASAP. They can file a Motion to set aside the warrant, provide proof of admission not the in-patient treatment facility. With the good cause shown judge typically will withdraw the warrant. If not, typically the warrant from an arraignment will have a bond, and he can bond out. I WOULD NOT keep calling the Clark's office or the Judge's Judicial Assistant. The clerk is just that...a file clerk, and cannot give you legal advice or in most cases assist you.


That's terrific you got him into rehab; I wish you the best of luck.

Although an arrest warrant is not something to not take seriously; do not stress. Your focus on yours sons health is well placed.

Hire a lawyer immediately and stop wasting your time on the telephone. If the JAs or Clerks office had a nickel for every time somebody called with a death in the family or hospital visit, you get the idea.

A qualified lawyer will be able to speak to the Judge regarding the capias, your sons new temporary address and mitigating circumstances. Additionally your proactive measures to safeguard both your son and the public from future criminal contact hopefully won't be overlooked by the prosecutor with regard to any disposition.

Please call a lawyer ASAP. We all work weekends and holidays.


Contact an attorney to lift the capias. If you can't afford one contact the judges secretary and ask her to set a court date and explain the situation. You may need to put it in writing and send a copy of the letter to the state attorney as you can not have a conversation with judge without sharing with the state simultaneously so you basically cc the state.


The lawyers below have all provided 'sage' advice. The reason your son missed the court date is certainly understandable, and candidly, admirable. Your son's election to enter a REHAB program is something which may be useful in both resolving your son's charges and mitigating any possible penalty. That said, first and foremost, the warrant certainly needs to be dealt with, and dealt with as soon as possible. The capias was obviously issued based upon his non-appearance as required. This is not an uncommon occurrence and one which is lilkely quite easily rectified. You have taken appropriate preliminary steps in passing this information along to the court. That said a formal request (in the form of a legal pleading) needs to be submitted for the Court's consideration before the warrant will be withdrawn. If you move quickly enough it may even be able to be withdrawn without your son having to appear in court. Depending on the assigned judge, documentaion from the REHAB facility documenting your son's presence there may very well be sufficient to convince the Court to withdraw the capias. I would certainly recommend you contact an attorney to assist in this endeavor. My office is located in downtown Orlando only several blocks from the courthouse. Please feel free to contact my office if we can provide assistance in this matter.


Dear Sir/Madam - When you don't appear for a court date the Judge generally issues a bench warrant. The only way to take care of the warrant is to turn yourself in and wait for a court hearing. However, if you retain an attorney, they can file a Motion to Recall the Warrant and schedule a hearing. If you can provide proof that your son is in a rehab program and that is why he missed the Court date, the Judge will likely recall the warrant with no repurcussions toward your son. At that time, the Judge will schedule the next hearing and your son's case will then proceed as normal. If you would like further consultation regarding this matter please feel free to contact my office at the phone number or email address attached to this response.

B. Elaine Jones, Esq.