How can I deal with a DUI from years back for which I do not finish classes? 15 Answers as of February 24, 2012

I live in California and got a DUI many years ago, about 11. I said I was guilty and paid a big fine and started traffic school. Before finishing my wife left me so I followed her to Hawaii to try and win her back. That did not work out, but I got a great job in Hawaii, so I never finished the program. Now I am back in California. What can I do to deal with this? Is there a chance I will go to jail? Thanks in advance for ANY advice!

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Deal with? If you didnt complete all terms of your probation, you no doubt have an arrest warrant outstanding. For a defendant to handle this, they must turn themselves into the court, with or without an attorney, and try to negotiate a new plea bargain on the warrant and outstanding charges. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant. That will happen if the defendant comes into contact with law enforcement or customs anywhere in the US. As this is a misdemeanor, the attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present, and any plea bargain deal could be handled by notarized paperwork. Any fines could be paid by mail. Jail time, if any, would create an obvious problem requiring the defendants presence. If this is in SoCal courts, and you're serious about getting legal help doing so, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/14/2011
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
Their is likely a warrant but jail is not an inevitability. It's better if you get to the court before they get to you in order to deal with this and mitigate the situation. An attorney can go in and appear on your behalf.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
Probably you will not need to do anything to satisfy the court. Not finishing the classes is a violation of the court order but the judges usually let it slide. The bigger problem is your drivers license. The DMV will probably not issue you a license until you complete the classes. To find out more go to the nearest DMV and ask them what you need to do. If they tell you to go back to court call us and we will help you out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/14/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
The best thing to do is contact a local attorney that handles criminal law to clear up the issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/14/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
All criminal cases are fact driven. The answers here are general answers as to what you may expect from the information you have provided. Sometimes on the same facts, courts may come up with different results.

If you did not finish your requirements you most likely have a bench warrant issued for you. You should go to the court and see the clerk and have you filed sent to the court handling your case. The judge will then call your case and ask you why you did not finish your requirements. Tell your story and bring proof such as W2 forms to back up your story. The judge will ask why you did not finish your requirement in Hawaii and did not contact the court. If the judge likes your answered then you will not go to jail. He will then either dismiss the case or have you finish your requirements.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/14/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Yes, you can handle the case now. Have you checked with the DMV? It is likely that you cannot regain a California Driver's License without attending the class. It is very unlikely that you will go to jail. Different counties handle this situation differently, but this happens all the time and is not serious. As to your probation, you might be able to have this probation terminated, if it did not end already. This is particularly true if the only term and condition of probation you did not comply with was the DUI driving program. The Court may want to see you complete the class, and your probation might have tolled, only to begin again once you admit a violation, are reinstated to probation (which might be extended long enough for you to finish the class), and then referred to the class.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    They probably issued a bench warrant for your arrest when you did not complete the alcohol class, thus violating your probation. If you get pulled over or stopped by a cop, and there is a bench warrant, they would most likely take you to jail right then and there, and set another court date while you were in custody to address the issue. Also, you will probably have problems getting your CA drivers license back, or if you have it, there is probably a "hold" on it, meaning it is not valid. How many years ago was your DUI conviction? Generally speaking if you deal with this without getting picked up on the bench warrant, you would need to go to Court to try to get the DUI class reinstated, then complete it. Jail time is a possibility. You may want to have an Attorney help you out with this to try to resolve it with as little consequence as possible. Hope that helps. If you have more questions, give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    This is not something you should necessarily handle by yourself. Call an attorney that specializes in the area of traffic and DUI issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    First you will never get a California drivers' license if you do not complete a program. Second, there is probably a warrant out for your arrest for not completing probation for which you could be jailed. I would suggest getting an attorney, and getting the matter placed on the court calendar proactively so you can deal with this before they catch up to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/13/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, you could very possibly go to jail, because there must be an active warrant out for your arrest. Consider hiring a DUI specialist to go to court for you (without you being there, at least initially) to recall the warrant and get an extension to finally complete the program. If you go to court by yourself the Judge has the option of taking you in custody right then and there.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/12/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You certainly violated the terms of your probation so some jail time is a possibility. You have to deal with this head on. You need an attorney to get this matter put on calendar and deal directly with the court. Having an attorney deal with this is a must. I have been doing this a great deal lately. Judges like when you accept responsibility for your acts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/12/2011
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    If it was over 3 years ago, your informal court probation is probably over. However, you should go to DMV and request a printout of your driver's license history (you can also request it on-line). It may be that your license is in suspended status and won't be reinstated until you show DMV proof of completing the DUI class.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/12/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    Jail time is unlikely. However, you will need to go back to the DUI program and start the class over. If they won't accept you, you will need to go back to the original court and request a referral back to the DUI program.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/12/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Sir, there is a very good chance you will go to jail. Spend your money on a good lawyer. If things don't work out you can always go back to Hawaii.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/12/2011
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