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What Happens if I Choose not to Appear for my Los Angeles DUI Arraignment

After an arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, your citation will have a date on which you are required to appear before a criminal Judge. It is very important that you appear before the Judge on or before that date. The only exception for you not having to appear is if you have hired a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to appear on your behalf.

A legal professional can only appear on your behalf if you have retained them, and only if the case is not a felony or a serious charge that will require that you personally appear before the Judge. If the facts of your case allows an experienced professional to appear on your behalf then you do not have to worry about coming to Court and you will not be breaking any laws.

If however, you are not represented by an attorney and have a court date, you MUST appear before the Judge. If you do not want to proceed without an attorney, you can always ask the Judge for a continuance to be able to hire counsel. The Judge will likely not deny you the opportunity to do so.

If you do not have an attorney, and do not appear before the Judge, you will be charged with a failure to appear. A failure to appear is a serious charge and requires that you appear before the Judge as soon as possible. A bench warrant is issued, and this will allow officers to arrest you and take you into custody pending a court date.
A failure to appear can have an impact on your probation, as well as an expungement if you choose to file for one later on.

Let’s consider Daniel. Daniel had work and therefore opted to miss his court date. Daniel was not represented by an attorney. As soon as Daniel missed his court date, a bench warrant was issued and Daniel was charged with a failure to appear. Later on that week, Daniel was driving and was pulled over by officers for a routine traffic stop. When officers ran Daniel’s driver’s license, they discovered that there was a bench warrant out for him and promptly arrested him and took him into custody. Daniel remained in custody and was taken to appear before the Judge the next day.

If Daniel chooses to hire an attorney, the attorney will go into Court and persuade the criminal Judge to recall the bench warrant and allow Daniel to continue with his case, promising that Daniel understands the importance of appearing and makes it a point to appear regardless of all other circumstances with the exception of emergencies.

Do not fail to appear at your court appointed date. It can cause more complex issues than the initial charge itself. If you absolutely cannot appear, speak to a Los Angeles Lawyer to see what your options are so that you remain out of trouble and on the Judge’s good side