What can I do if I was charged with a DUI but never received the paperwork? 10 Answers as of April 18, 2011

I got arrested for a DUI in 2007 and said that I was a soldier returning home. I was told that they would send me my court papers but they never did. Now I have a warrant for my arrest. What can and should I do about this? I want to clear things up but cannot afford to go back to California, nor can I mentally handle going to jail. I don't know what to do, please help. By the way I am not a California resident and this happened when I had gotten released from the US army.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If you can afford it you should have an attorney calendar it in court for you and have the warrant withdrawn. Otherwise it will remain out until you come back to California where if you do not attempt to do the same thing you can be arrested. You could also try to call the local county public defender and see if they would help given your military status although they usually require you to come in person to apply for their services.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
First: they did send the paperwork, you just didnt get it. Now, for you to handle this, you must turn yourself into the court, with or without an attorney, and try to negotiate a plea bargain on the warrant and new Failure to Appear charges, and negotiate on the outstanding charge[s]. 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 in the US. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it. Since 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. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. 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: 4/15/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
If it is a first offense a good lawyer can keep you out of jail and probably handle the case without you needing to come back to Calif. For more info or a fee quote call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
You can hire an attorney to recall the warrant and deal with the DUI without you having to be present. As a misdemeanor, it is possible for an attorney to enter a plea on your behalf without your presence. Contact a DUI specialist for more info.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
It is difficult to get a warrant recalled if you are not present. However, it can be done. Was your arrest in San Diego? If so, feel free to call me. If not, you need to talk to an attorney in the city where you were arrested. There is very little chance of your going to jail, especially if it's a first DUI.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    You will need to clear up the warrant. Many times an attorney can appear for you to get the warrant recalled and work out a deal on the case. The fact that you were in the military may be helpful to your attorney on the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2011
    Law Office of David Swanson
    Law Office of David Swanson | David Swanson
    You may be able to take care of this without returning to California, but you would probably need a lawyer to accomplish that. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You should hire an attorney in California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    What county did this take place in? In any misdemeanor a lawyer can represent you without you having to appear. You can also sign a guilty plea from out of state and go to a DUI school where you live. Anyhow get back to me and I will send you to someone capable of dealing with this depending on where it happened.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
Click to View More Answers: