I Violated My DUI Probation. What Should I Do if There is a Warrant?
One of the most if not the most common thing people are convicted for is drunk driving. Literally thousands of cases are brought in San Diego County each year for DUI. In most of these cases, the sentence includes a probationary period of 3-5 years.
DUI probation in San Diego County usually includes several requirements. Along with paying a fine, people on DUI probation are required to take a first conviction program, or a multiple conviction program if they have prior DUI’s, attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel and often times do public work service. They are also ordered not to commit any new crimes, no misdemeanors or felonies.
A lot of people end up with problems on DUI probation. The most common problems are getting kicked out of the DUI class for missing too many classes or failing to pay, missing the MADD program, or not doing their public work service.
When someone has a problem while on DUI probation and have any of these issues come up, they are reported to the Court. Then a warrant is issued for your arrest. Warrants can be a huge hassle. They can interfere with getting a new job or keeping the one you have. If you travel to Mexico, when you come back, chances are you are going to jail. If the police contact you for any reason, you are probably going to jail. In fact, the police may decide to go find you at work or home and arrest you there on the warrant.
Getting picked up on a warrant means going back to jail and either having to bail out again or just sit there for days until you are brought before a judge.
It is also critical to remember that you have jail time hanging over your head when you are on DUI probation. For a first offense DUI, if the Judge wants to, they can order up to six months of custody. While this rarely happens, getting some custody or more punishment is common.
If you are having a problem while you are on DUI probation, it is always better to be proactive and deal with it before a warrant is issued for your arrest if you can. If you have missed your public work service or are having problems with the DUI class, you will be better off if you address the issue with a Judge before a warrant is issued for your arrest.
Even if a warrant has been issued, the sooner you deal with a Judge, the better. It is almost always better to go to court before you are arrested and dragged there. It shows the Judge you are taking things seriously and not just blowing off your terms of probation.
It is a very good idea to speak with and hire a lawyer to help you if you have problems with your DUI probation. They will know how to get the matter before a Judge as quickly as possible, can probably go to court for you without you there and know what to say and how to say it to minimize the chance you get into any deeper trouble. Hiring a lawyer is also another way to show the Judge you are taking things seriously and the Judge will probably have more confidence you will do better on probation if you have a lawyer to advise you what needs to be done when.
So, whether it is problems with the DUI class, the MADD program or not finishing your public work service or any other probation problem, talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to minimize the chance you end up in worse trouble.