How do I check to see if a 24-year-old DUI is still on my record? 10 Answers as of May 27, 2011

At the time, a lawyer was hired and paid $1,500 as a retainer. The lawyer's advice was to not make the court appearance and let the court issue a bench warrant. This person may be moving to CA in the future and he wants to know if there may be any problems getting a CA driver license, registering a vehicle, etc. How can he look up the records and see if there is still an outstanding bench warrant?

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Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
If the warrant was for missing an appearance on a DUI the DMV will not issue a license until the warrant is cleared. A good lawyer can probably get it cleared without posting bail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
What wonderful advice you received from your lawyer... to let a warrant for your arrest! You can either go to the DMV for a copy of your current driving record or go to the court where the case was to be heard to determine the status of the matter. The DMV will also let you know the status of your driving privilege in CA.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
I am going to answer this question under the assumption that there is an active warrant his arrest. Yes, you can look this up but you should have an experienced DUI lawyer do this for him. Depending on where the case was filed (county and city), most counties have online case access that might have the information. However, given the age of the case, you may have to actually go to the courthouse. I would caution him against going to the courthouse especially if there is an active warrant. As for the CA drivers license, there is a good chance that he will not be able to get one as a result of the open DUI case. In CA, if you have been convicted of a DUI in court and/or the DMV has suspended your license as a result of their own administrative hearing, then you cannot get a license until you enroll in and complete and state mandated alcohol school. The bottom line, I would strongly suggest hiring a DUI lawyer to help him and one with better advice then letting a warrant issue for his arrest. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/25/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
It is. You dont need to check. Records are forever. So are warrants. No sane attorney would advise a client to let a warrant be issued. Youll have to someday go back to that court and deal properly with the warrant, or live in fear of being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2011
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
I don't know why an attorney would advise their client to just skip out and have a warrant issued, but what's done is done. There is a motion that can be run to dismiss the case after such a long time - a Serna motion. You'll need a local criminal defense attorney where the case was pending. They can guide you through this process.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    If a warrant was issued DUI is still on your record and you will not be able to get a license. The good news is that the matter is so old the DA will probably not be able to proceed. I just handled a matter 19 years old. Case dismissed. Check with the DMV to see if warrant exists or with court clerk.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Hard to imagine that any attorney would give that advice! Any attorney in the town where the warrant issued should be able to call and check if there is an active warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq.
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq. | Aaron Bortel
    You can check with the Superior Court Clerk's office in the county of arrest for the bench warrant status. You can call the Mandatory Actions Unit for DMV in Sacramento regarding the license status. Good Luck
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    You can search the court records to see what the status of the case is. Understand that even though this DUI is over 24 years old it may still be an open case. The chances of the DA being able to actually prosecute the case are slim as the necessary witnesses most likely cannot be found. If he has a valid out of state license there is a strong chance that the DMV will have purged a 24 year old DUI arrest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    He can call the court that issued the warrant to check on the status. But, chances are, a warrant is still outstanding. Even old DUI's don't just disappear just because of time. As for the DMV, the law was different 24 years ago with regards to license suspension and alcohol programs, so the DMV would have to be contacted to see what the status is. Chances are, he is able to obtain a CDL once the warrant is cleared. Contact a DUI specialist to recall the warrant and address the open case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
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