How can I take care of an old DUI that I have been avoiding? 13 Answers as of November 22, 2010

I had a DUI a few years ago in California that I have not addressed. I am getting older and do not want to leave the world with this on my heart. I have money to pay and need some information on how to get started. Will I have to go to jail?

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Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
You are in trouble. Get an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/22/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
For you to handle this, you must turn yourself into the court, with or without an attorney, and go to trial or negotiate a plea bargain on the outstanding charges, warrant, and license suspension. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than you being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant. That will happen if you come in contact with law enforcement or customs anywhere. If a felony, you must be personally present at every court hearing and appearance. If this was a misdemeanor, your attorney can appear in court without you being present, and any plea bargain deal could be handled by notarized paperwork. Any fines could be paid by mail. If this is in California courts, and you are serious about getting legal help doing so, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/22/2010
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
We can certainly handle it for you. We just need full name and date of birth as well as the county it was incurred in. You need not worry about jail time unless you had one or more prior DUI convictions. For more info or to retain us call
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/22/2010
Law Office of Joseph Galasso
Law Office of Joseph Galasso | Joseph Galasso
If you hire an attorney they can go to court for you (you would not need to appear so long as it is a misdemeanor) and get rid of the warrant. So long as it's a first time DUI there is very little likelihood you would go to jail. Your attorney would add the case onto calendar, get rid of the warrant and then deal with it as any other DUI.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/22/2010
Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
It is not hard to take care of an old case. Your attorney needs to go to the court where the case was filed and add you to the court's schedule. There is likely a "bench warrant" for your arrest, and that needs to be taken care of. If you turn yourself in, you will not be arrested, but you may have to post bail, so you or your attorney will need to make arrangements with a bail bondsman to be on standby.

How old is the DUI? A very old case is winnable. The evidence could be lost or the officer could be unavailable, or may have forgotten the facts. Old cases are easier to settle because of evidence issues. Some may even be dismissed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/20/2010
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    So are you saying there has been a warrant out for your arrest for several years? If so, you are very lucky you haven't been picked up.

    You or an attorney needs to add the case on calendar to have the warrant recalled and address the underlying case. I am a San Diego attorney so I just know the penalties down here (it is different in every county.) For a first DUI here there is no jail time, just a $1K fine and three-month class, maybe public work service depending on the BA level.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to retain an attorney to first do a warrant-recall, then represent you on the underlying case. Consider hiring a defense attorney who specializes in DUI and who will personally represent you from start to finish. There are many benefits to having such an old case, as evidence gets lost, witnesses become unavailable...etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    You or your attorney needs to go to the court where the case was filed and have it placed on calender. After the warrant is recalled the court will likely treat it like any other DUI specially since you voluntarily appeared.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2010
    Steven Mandell
    Steven Mandell | Law Offices of Steven Mandell
    I would need to know a lot more information about your case to tell you if you are going to jail or not, but the sooner you take care of the matter, the sooner you can stop worrying about being arrested on the warrant that was issued when you failed to appear in court. Please do not hesitate to call me for a free consultation to discuss what needs to be done to clear up your matter
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2010
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    It will depend on how bad your blood alcohol was, and whether you have priors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    It depends on what has been done on the case. If you were never convicted of the crime your best option is to hire an attorney to get the matter dismissed through a Serna motion. If you were convicted of the charge but never fulfilled your requirements you are looking at a possible probation violation. In either even an attorney will be able to assist in getting the issue resolved. Do not try to take care of this yourself as there is the possibility of jail time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    You need to appear in court where the offense took place to recall the bench warrant. You may face jail time and I would recommend seeking an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2010
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