What will happen to an 18 year old with a ticket for VC23224 (A)? 7 Answers as of February 24, 2012

My son was stopped for not using his right turn signal and his friend had brought a backpack in the car - sitting on the back seat that had unopened beer in it. They didn't try to hide it or anything as they were stupid in not thinking you could be transporting alcohol. The policeman asked them to take a breathilizer test which they complied as they weren't drinking, just had the beer in his bag, it wasn't even my son's bag - it was his friends. The policeman was very nice with them reminding them they can't carry alcohol in the car since they are under 21, and they weren't drinking as the breathilizer showed. My son got the ticket and we were expecting something in the mail as it showed he had to appear in court before the 30th of March, so I called the courts to find out if he could pay the fine and do some sort of class to get it off his record. The woman on the phone looked up the citation case number as I did and said it wasn't in the system, so it hadn't hit their records yet so to just wait. So we did. Then today we received a warrant for his arrest for failure to comply with an order of the court, with bail for 1500.00. So I called and said why did the other woman tell us the information incorrectly? She said she didn't know but that this information wouldn't have been in the database? But that my son should come to court tomorrow and talk to the judge. So, what should we expect? Should he come in and first explain how we were given incorrect information, and be very apologetic about not coming to court before, we were given wrong information as we have never had any type of issues like this before. So I imagine he will have to pay the bail, but can he speak to the judge and be apologetic, etc. and ask if he can somehow take classes or something to remove this from his record? OR what is the usual punishment/fee etc for this?

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Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
At this point because there is bail set, I would suggest him going in with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
For a defendant to handle this now, 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 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. The judge will listen to your excuses about the failure to appear in court, and make a decision on penalties he will assess. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
The best thing to do for your son is hire an attorney. The case needs to be negotiated by a lawyer. If not, he will lose his license for a year, your insurance will skyrocket when you put him back on your insurance, and he will have a DMV record for alcohol lasting ten years, affecting employment and other opportunities. We charge $500 and do a great job.If you try doing this yourself, it will cost you thousands if he loses his license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
The Bail problem should be easily solved since you were given faulty information. Simply go to the Traffic Clerk's office and ask to be put on calender to make the request directly to the judge. However there is another problem. That code section requires a 1 year license suspension. Also that code section makes the offense a misdemeanor. The conviction could affect his future employment. It would be a good idea to retain counsel to see if a reduced charge could be secured. For more info or to get a fee quote, call me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Law Office of Andrew Roberts
Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
You need an attorney. The failure to appear is the least of your son's problems. A conviction under 23224 (a) VC will also lead to a one year suspension of his diver's license under 13202.5 VC.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/17/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    It's a misdemeanor so getting an attorney probably would be best. If you or he cannot afford one he is eligible for court appointed counsel. He will likely lose his license if convicted so avoiding a conviction would be the primary goal. He can also have his car impounded. And all of that is without regard to the failure to appear which might or might upset the judge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Consider hiring a lawyer to go to court for your son to recall the warrant. The Judge is very busy and probably has no time for your son's explanation (likely to be treated as an excuse). An attorney can appear without your son being there, so he won't be taken in, and an attorney can probably recall the warrant and have your son be on or (instead of bail). Once the warrant is gone, the attorney can then address the underlying case and try to get the Judge to agree to classes to earn a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
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