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What will a court decide to do if you get a DUI when you're about to move out of the country?

Concord, CA |

I moved from Hawaii and while visiting family in California for a few months before moving to Europe I got a DUI, with a California DL. I already have plane tickets for me and my two daughters which is a day before the court date. I am moving to Europe to live with my husband's family (he is already there). Due to his father's recent death we are all in financial turmoil and my husband has decided we have to live there while he helps the family through this crisis. If I changed the plane tickets to attend the court date I still will be unable to complete the all probation requirements and will get a warrant. If the court knows I'm moving and can't attend DUi classes and gives me a large fine, I will not be able to pay it. If I don't go to court at all I get a warrant. What do I do?

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Attorney answers 5


I would hire a lawyer. They will be able to find workarounds for the probation requirements. Who knows you may even get out fo the DUI. An attorney can appear for you so you can move to Europe and have the attorney handle the court case, assuming it's a misdemeanor.


You can hire an attorney to appear for you in Court without you needing to be there. This case is going to be exceedingly complex in what you can/must do to avoid legal troubles later on. For example, a warrant never goes away. So, if you should ever return to the United States, there is always the possibility Customs would arrest/detain you once you try to enter. There may also be consequences in trying to obtain an ID/admission/driver's license in other countries.

Find the time and the money to hire an attorney to advise you through this situation. It is far too complex for anyone here to answer properly.

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You are gonna need to hire an attorney. An attorney can appear for you, guarantee that a warrant will not be issued and make arrangement to have you complete your terms and conditions overseas, Including classes as well as getting extensions on your fines. It would be a good idea for you to contact an attorney as quickly as possible.


As the others have stated, you will need to hire a lawyer to appear without you. However, DUI's are very complex. Because of that, I don't think it would too smart for you to leave the country while the case is pending. To find any kind of workable solution, the DA or Court have to agree to the terms. From what you said in the details, it sounds like your basically saying "if this case isn't dropped, I'm not going to comply with any terms of probation." You indicated you could do a DUI program if required because you were leaving. You can't pay a hefty fine. So options are left for the DA to say, "sure, I'll accept X instead of Y".

The only other options is for you to do some jail time in lieu of, but I doubt you want to do that.

Speak to a lawyer ASAP to see what the potential outcomes are given the facts of your case. Speak with one experienced in the local courts. They should give you an idea of whether they believe a reduction in charge is possible, which would then determine what consequences and alternatives may be available.

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I agree with the other attorneys who suggest retaining a lawyer. This will enable you to avoid a warrant and negotiate a plea that you can live with. I recently had a client facing multiple criminal counts in the LA area who moved out of the country before the case was filed. My client was very pleased with the disposition I was able to negotiate. All cases are different, but perhaps I or another Avvo attorney can work something similar out for you.