Failure to Appear for a DC DUI Court Date

There is an intricate process to changing a trial date that individuals facing DUI charges or experiencing an issue with DUI related situations should know about. For more information, contact an experienced drunk driving lawyer who can equip you with knowledge and tools your case may require. It may be critical to contact a skilled attorney to avoid offenses for failing to appear for a DC DUI court date. 

When to Change a Court Date

When the individual is released with a citation, their first court date is called an arraignment. If the individual has conflicting plans with the first court date, they can take the citation to the clerk’s office on the fourth floor at the Superior Court and request to change that initial court date. The police officer does not consult with the person in any regard at the police station about the date. They just look at the calendar, select the next date available, and write it on the person’s citation. It is not official yet because the charges have not been filed by the prosecutor in court. In that situation, the person can go to the court clerk’s office to select a new citation date after the original date.

Someone can request a trial date change by filing a motion with the court. This may be critical in relation to possible failure to appear for a DC DUI court date charges. A person should have their attorney do so when there are circumstances such as unexpected illnesses, a death in the family, or an unexpected critical work trip that necessitate the changing of the court date. When that happens for anything besides the first court date, the person should have their attorney speak to the prosecutor in the court about getting that date changed.

Risk of Missing Trial

When a person misses a court date when they were notified that they need to come to court, the court issues a bench warrant for the person’s arrest. The bench warrant is issued by the judge at the court directing law enforcement to arrest the person. When the person is taken into custody, they are brought back to appear in DC Superior Court.

Consequences for Failure to Appear for a DC DUI Court Date

Failing to appear in court does not equate modifying a DC DUI court date. When someone is out of state and misses their court date, there could be a bench warrant issued for their arrest by the judge presiding over their case. Some bench warrants are extraditable and some are non-extraditable.

An extraditable warrant can be enforced no matter where the person may be in the United States. If they come into contact with law enforcement, law enforcement arrests and holds them in custody until they are returned to DC. If it is a non-extraditable court date, they are not going to be brought back. Rather, they are informed by the police that they must return to DC to take care of the issue.

What is Bail Reform Act Violation?

A Bail Reform Act violation can be a worse charge than the original charge for failure to appear for a DC DUI court date. The consequences of missing a court date can be severe. They can result in an extraditable bench warrant. In DC, when an extraditable bench warrant is issued, a person who lives in Nevada can be held in custody and transferred to DC.

The process can take weeks while the person remains in custody until they appear in front of a judge again in DC. It is critical that a person appears for all of their court hearings. If they find out they cannot be present at their court appearance, they should inform their counsel immediately who can take the appropriate steps to changing a DC DUI court date.

Importance of Hiring a Lawyer

When a person appears in court, they should have their counsel with them to make sure they avoid the situation where they need to change the date later. They want to schedule it on a date and time when they know they can be back. When someone has a legitimate reason to request a change of date, the courts can be amenable to it. That is always a better option than failing to appear for a DC DUI court date.