Do I have to go to Court if I was issued a citation for a DUI misdemeanor?


Do I have to go to Court if I was issued a citation for a DUI misdemeanor?

Question:  Do I have to go to Court if I was issued a citation for a DUI misdemeanor?  What happens if I don’t go to court on my court date?  Will they come to my house to arrest me?  The citation has my correct address, so they would know where to find me.   What if I get a DUI attorney in Van Nuys, would I have to still go to court myself?  I don’t want to make matters worse, but the idea of going to court has me really nervous and would like to avoid it if at all possible.

Answer: If you were cited with a DUI in Van Nuys as a misdemeanor charge, then you or your privately retained Attorney will  have to show up to Court. There is an exception, in most cases, a Privately retained attorney (Not a Public Defender) can appear on the Court date on your behalf per what is called a “977” waiver.

If you do not have a privately retained Attorney to appear on your DUI matter, and you fail to show up, the Judge will most likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest.  This does not necessarily mean that the police will show up at your house to pick you up, particularly if the case is out of Van Nuys Court, but it is possible.

If there is a bench warrant issued and you were to get stopped by an officer for any kind of violation, even an infraction, the police at that time could run your license and see there is a bench warrant issued.  At which time they could arrest you then and there and hold you until you could be brought in front of the Judge (within a time frame, they can’t hold you indefinitely).

In that case, on top of the DUI charge, you would also be dealing with the failure to appear issue.  And perhaps then having to post bail for your release from jail.

I regularly handle Van Nuys DUI and know the judges and prosecutors there well.  Contact me for additional information to discuss your DUI case at (818) 336-1384.  Call me as soon as possible as there are certain time restraints with these cases, not only for the first court date, but your attorney will only have 10 days from the date of arrest to request a DMV hearing in order to fight the DMV from suspending your drivers license.


Phil Hache
Van Nuys DUI  attorney