What happens if I miss court for a DUI in California? 20 Answers as of February 24, 2012

I missed court but want to call in the next day. What will happen to my case?

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Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
Typically they will issue a warrant for your arrest.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
You will have an arrest warrant issued if you miss court. 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 outstanding charges. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than you being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant in the future. As this was a misdemeanor, your attorney can appear in court without you being present. 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: 1/20/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
When you miss a court appearance the judge issues a warrant. This subjects you to arrest. It is possible to get a warrant recalled. It is easier with a good lawyer. For more info or to retain our office call: Tom Mueller.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
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. That said; there is a bench warrant issued for your arrest. Most likely the warrant will not be acted on unless you get stopped by a law official. If that happens you will be arrested and held until the next court date. What you need to do is to go to the court, check in with the bailiff and ask him to get your file and have your case called as a “walk in”. You then need to explain to the judge why you were not there on the date you promised to appear. Most likely the judge will give you a lecture, recall the warrant and continue from there.


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. That said; there is a bench warrant issued for your arrest. Most likely the warrant will not be acted on unless you get stopped by a law official. If that happens you will be arrested and held until the next court date. What you need to do is to go to the court, check in with the bailiff and ask him to get your file and have your case called as a “walk in”. You then need to explain to the judge why you were not there on the date you promised to appear. Most likely the judge will give you a lecture, recall the warrant and continue from there.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Go to theclerk, ask for it to be put on calendar, and pray the judge buys your excuse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/19/2011
    Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca
    Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca | Philip De Luca
    Missing a court date on a DUI matter will result in a Failure to Appear (FTA). Rather than call the next day, you should personally appear before the court; if you are only one day late, it is possible that you may avoid a warrant being issued for your arrest and with a valid excuse, if a warrant was issued, the court can recall the warrant, and simply proceed on the DUI. You should avoid FTAs because these are an affront to the court and could result in fines and/or jail time and if you are arrested later for a more serious offense, it will cause an increase in bail and/or it could result in no bail in extremely serious cases, because you will be perceived as a flight risk.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    There was probably a warrant issued for your arrest with bail set. Consider hiring a lawyer to go to court for you to recall the warrant (without you). If you go by yourself, the Judge always has the option of taking you custody right then and there. Remember that the merits of the DUI cannot be addressed unless and until the warrant is quashed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Any time you miss a court date when you had been ordered to appear or signed a promise to appear (such as a citation), you run the risk that the judge will issue a bench warrant. They could add on failure to appear charges, make you post bail and/or revoke your current release status, depending on your record and the facts of the case.

    If you have an attorney, contact them immediately regarding the missed court date. If you don't have one, either get one ASAP or go to court, put yourself on calendar and request a continuance to hire an attorney (if you can afford to do so) or request a public defender. You better be ready with a good answer and explanation as to why you missed your court date.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    They most likely issued a failure to appear charge, and issued a bench warrant. You should deal with this as soon as possible. Some courts ate more lenient than others. Call me at 818-336-1384 or through my website if you have any additional questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    If you miss your court date the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. You need to appear in court as soon as possible to clear your warrant. You do have the option to hire an attorney to appear on your behalf if you do not wish to appear in person. Either way you go you need to address your failure to appear asap.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    Generally an attorney should be able to contact the court and get your case back on calendar and get the warrant recalled. It may be necessary to employ the assistance of a bail bondsman.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Don't worry, it happens. Typically if a defendant misses a noticed court date the Judge will issue a bench warrant. While that may be stressful, you never want to be stopped for something such as speeding with an arrest warrant outstanding, it can be cured by having the matter placed on the clear warrant calendar. Either hire an attorney to place the matter on the court calendar or have it place by yourself. Until then, stay away from any police contact.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott | Stacey Wolcott
    Most likely on a failure to appear the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. It is possible to place yourself on calendar for the next court date so you can get the warrant recalled. With a warrant out for your arrest you can be arrested and taken to jail, so it is important to have it cleared up as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Tomas M. Flores, Esq.
    Tomas M. Flores, Esq. | Tomas M. Flores
    If you miss a court date, a warrant for your arrest will probably issue. Also, I've never heard of a Judge allowing a criminal defendant to "call in." Ever.

    My advice is to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Mandarano, Cavaletto & Associates
    Mandarano, Cavaletto & Associates | Christopher Mandarano
    It's never a good idea to miss your calendared date for ANY court hearing. In criminal courts, often a failure to appear at the hearing will result in the issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are handling this matter without an attorney, you will have to to into court and ask for the matter to be placed onto "calendar." When you appear, you should ask the judge to recall the warrants.

    I don't recommend you doing this by yourself. The court is often very unfavorable to individual criminal defendants who fail to appear as it often shows the court that the individual does not have the appropriate level of respect for the proceedings. An attorney may have a better chance of reducing the negative impact that your failure to appear might have in your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
    Depending on the county, a warrant will issue for your arrest. To take care of this problem, you should: 1. Post bail if a warrant is issued for your arrest,2. Place the matter back on calendar, and3. Show up to the next appearance. If you post bail, the judge is less likely to take you into custody. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You should check to see if you have a bench warrant out for your arrest. If you missed a court date, the judge may issue a bench warrant and drop your case from the calendar. Thus, you should call the court and check if you have a bench warrant. Second, you need to get yourself on calendar to clear the bench warrant. You can also hire an attorney to handle this situation for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    If you miss a court date for a DUI in CA a warrant for your arrest will be issued. I do not understand what you want to call in. I would suggest you hire an attorney to deal with this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2011
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