What if I did not attend DUI classes nor pay fines? 7 Answers as of April 12, 2011

I was charged with my first and only DUI in September 2009. I went to court and received informal probation and agreed to classes, community service and a payment plan for my fines. My father became ill and I was required to be with him 24-hours a day to insure his well-being. My mother was working at the time so I was the only one available to complete the 24-hour task. He recently passed away in Oct. 2010. I have NOT attended one class or pay the fines agreed upon. Online shows a bench warrant in my name. If I show up in court and explain the situation, what can I expect to happen? I want to fully participate in what was agreed upon in my initial court hearing. I'm also wondering if I can get a work restricted license so I can get to and from work which will allow me to pay the fines.

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The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
You should retain counsel to assist you in your endeavers to straighten things out with the court. You have some time difficulties, especially if your father (my condolences for your loss) passed in early '10. The court will ask what took you so long. (They can be hard hearted sometimes). Counsel can help you determine what you need to present to the court. If you cannot afford counsel, see the court clerk and get the earliest appearance date you can arrange. You will not be placed in custody at the clerk's office. Go to court. be a bit early. Usually people who appear on a warrant out of custody do not go in. But if the court is acting as if it wants to put you in custody, ask for appointment of the public defender. If you have the ability,, as a show of good faith, make as substantial a payment toward the fines as possible. Contact the probation department, by phone, they may provide a list of community servixce entities. If not contact a church, or the salvation army and set up some volunteer work time pending the hearing.Contact a DUI school and get something that says you are in or have to go to court. Good fait effort. Your plea for leniency is had to care for dad, here's the proof of his terminal illness, Dad died here's a copy of the (Obituary, death certificate), it was emotionally devastating but I'm getting better. I want to do what you told me to do. I have done these things ..... end with sorry I did not do them earlier.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/12/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Although there is always a chance you would be remanded to custody, a good attorney can most likely keep this from happening. Then you simply need to be reinstated in the program and do the requirements.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/12/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
There is a warrant for your arrest. 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 renegotiate any outstanding charges. 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, or at least dramatically reduce it, and may enable you to get your probation and programs reinstated. Since this is a misdemeanor, an attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present, and any plea bargain deal could be handled by notarized paperwork. 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: 4/12/2011
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
My advice is to go to the Criminal Clerk window in the court in which you had your DUI case, and ask that the case be "added on to calendar" for a "bench warrant return." Explain why you were unable to pay you fines or take the class. Ask to be re-referred to the DUI class. I don't know the specifics of your case, but in all likelihood you must take the class both for your case and DMV - if you don't you'll never get your license restored. As far as the DUI fine, you can ask the judge if you can do community service work at the rate of $10 an hour to pay off the fine.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/12/2011
Law Office of Evan E. Zelig
Law Office of Evan E. Zelig | Evan E. Zelig
Failure to attend the DUI classes and pay the fines, as ordered by the court, will be considered a violation of probation and you risk more punishments for the violations. Additionally, failure to complete the classes will result in the DMV keeping your license suspended and not allowing you to obtain a valid license until that is resolved. If you already have a bench warrant showing, it means they have probably filed a violation of probation and must appear in court to take care of the matter. I recommend you contact an attorney to assist you with this process, or the office of the public defender in the county where your case is.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/12/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Unless you arrange to appear in court you will be arrested on the warrant. When you go to court that could still happen although on a first offense given your explanation that is unlikely. Having an attorney with you would be an added safeguard. Unfortunately there is no guarantee things will go back like they were at your "initial" court hearing in that you are in violation of your probation. When you father became ill you should have scheduled a court appearance to let the court know of the problem. In addition your license is now suspended and the court will need to re-refer you to the alcohol program. Once you re-enroll you will be entitled to get a restricted license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/12/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    It is a good idea to hire an attorney to go to court for you (without you), to lessen the likelihood that you'd be taken in custody. A lawyer can recall the warrant, ask the Judge for an extension, and reinstate your probation all without you having to be there. As for the restricted license, if this was your first offense, then yes you are eligible, but you have to go to DMV. The court can't do anything.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/11/2011
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