Warrants in DUI Cases
A warrant is a document issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement to make an arrest, search premises or in some other way carry out the administration of justice. Common warrants issued in driving under the influence (DUI) cases are arrest warrants. There are two reasons that arrest warrants are issued in DUI cases.
- Failure to Appear (FTA).
After you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, you usually post bail and get out of jail. At a later date you will have to attend a court hearing to deal with the DUI.If you fail to appear for a court hearing, the judge usually issues a warrant for your arrest. This is often called a bench warrant.
- Failure to fulfill court requirements.
Once you attend court and either plead no contest or are found guilty of driving under the influence, the judge will give you a sentence. If you later do not comply to the sentence, the judge can issue a warrant. A few reasons a warrant can be issued are if :
- do not pay the fine
- do not complete alcohol treatment education or program
- do not complete community service
- drive on a suspended license
No Statute Of Limitations on DUI Warrants
Warrants issued in DUI cases are low priority and may go unserved for long periods of time. No matter how long the warrant has been around, it will never go away until the you deal with it. Whether a warrant is served or not, if you miss a court appearance or neglect to finish any court ordered requirements, a warrant was issued. These warrants are never forgotten and can cause future problems. An outstanding warrant can:
- prevent job opportunities
- prevent you from leaving the country
- prevent you from reentering the country without being arrested
With an outstanding warrant, law enforcement can choose anytime to serve the warrant. This can happen at an embarrassing or inconvenient time. When a warrant is issued, police can seek you out at your job or home, and arrest you in front of family and coworkers.
Complications of FTA
Failing to make a court appearance creates additional complications. Not only will a warrant be issued and a possible embarrassing arrest made, but if you posted bail to get released prior to the court appearance, that bail bond can be revoked and a higher bail set. Then you will have to deal with a FTA charge as well as the original DUI charge. Also when the bench warrant is issued and the bond forfeited, the case is automatically reported to the Secretary of State as a conviction, even though it has not been tried. This will result in the automatic revocation of the your driver’s license.
Complications of Failing to Complete Court Requirements
Similarly, neglecting to finish sentence requirements creates additional complications. If sentence requirements were not met, then the judge can revoke supervision or probation and re-sentence you. The judge can also charge you with a probation violation, and you will have to face those charges in addition to the DUI charges.
What to do Once a Warrant is Issued
If you miss a court appearance or fail to complete court requirements, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. It is best to clear up any warrants as soon as possible. The warrant will remain in effect until you are either arrested or turn yourself in. A criminal defense attorney can file a motion to quash and recall the warrant. Outstanding warrants are an unneeded stress that can prevent you from moving past a DUI charge. Experienced criminal defense attorneys can help remove the added stress by going through the proper procedures to deal with the warrant.
Quashing and Recalling Warrants
A criminal defense attorney can file a motion to quash and recall a DUI warrant before an arrest is made. Quashing a warrant means having the judge void the warrant or make it invalid. Recalling a warrant means reversing the authorization to arrest. Essentially, quashing and recalling a warrant makes the warrant invalid and takes away the authority for law enforcement to make an arrest. When a warrant is quashed and recalled, a new date is set for you to appear in court for the original DUI charge.
What if the Warrant is Ten Years Old?
Whether the warrant is one day old or ten years old, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It may still be possible to have the warrant quashed and recalled. Even if the warrant cannot be recalled, it is better to deal with the warrant than have it continually hanging over you causing worry and stress. Contact a criminal defense attorney to learn more about your specific case.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today!
Every case is different. Contact Dennis F. Dwyer, Chicago DUI Attorney, today to find out the best method to solve your outstanding warrant worries. Dennis F. Dwyer is a successful criminal defense attorney that has experience handling outstanding warrant cases. Don’t wait for your eventual arrest, get help now.