Most drivers aren’t sure what happens if they have a warrant for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. You may be unsure what legal steps to take if you find out you’re dealing with a bench warrant. The court can even issue an arrest warrant for you in some circumstances.
Find out how the court system handles DUI warrants with this article. The Simmrin Law Group can also help you go over the steps to resolve any warrants in your name.
Bench Warrants for DUIs in California
There are two primary types of warrants in California: bench warrants and arrest warrants. Let’s discuss bench warrants first, as they are more commonly used in DUI cases. A bench warrant may be authorized for your arrest if you fail to appear:
- At your arrangement hearing
- At your DUI pretrial date
- At your DUI trial date
Additionally, a judge can issue a bench warrant if you violate any condition of your probation after a DUI conviction. This means you could face a bench warrant just for failing to properly enroll in an alcohol treatment program or for neglecting the community service requirements of your probation.
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Serving Bench Warrants in California
In many cases, law enforcement officers do not treat the execution of bench warrants for DUIs as a high priority act. However, the bench warrants will be placed in a law enforcement database. This database is accessible across the nation. This means that if you are stopped or pulled over by a police officer, the warrant will pop up when they enter your information into their database.
Once an officer is aware of your bench warrant, you can be arrested immediately. You may also be arrested if you attempt to travel at an airport with an active bench warrant.
You should be aware that your bench warrant will not expire after a set period of time. The warrant will remain on your record until it is resolved. Fortunately, you can get help addressing the warrant by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now.
Arrest Warrants for DUIs in California
You may also face an arrest warrant in the state of California for DUI charges. Generally, arrest warrants are only issued if:
- There is reasonable cause to believe you committed a crime and
- Law enforcement officers did not witness you committing the crime
Note that arrest warrants should only be issued in California for cases involving felonies. Most DUIs in the state are not prosecuted as felonies. However, if you have multiple prior DUI convictions on your record, or if someone was hurt as a result of the DUI, you could be charged with a felony.
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Serving Arrest Warrants in California
In many cases, arrest warrants are given a higher priority than bench warrants in the state of California. If you have an arrest warrant, law enforcement officers can move quickly to arrest and detain you. Officers may arrest you:
- At home
- At your workplace
- At public locations
The court can even issue an extra warrant that allows law enforcement officers to search for you in the residence of another person.
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Handling DUI Warrants in California
You have several options if you have a bench or arrest warrant for a DUI in California. It is highly recommended that you do not simply ignore these warrants and hope they go away. They will remain active, putting you at constant risk of arrest.
You can also turn yourself in to the police if you find out there is a warrant out for your arrest. This allows the court to take steps to resolve the warrant, but it can quickly become overwhelming.
Generally, the experts recommend that you contact legal professionals for direct advice regarding a DUI warrant. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can assess your situation and help you determine the best steps to take to resolve your warrant. Your lawyer can also help you take on the DUI charges that led to your warrant.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles Immediately
A bench warrant or an arrest warrant can have serious impacts on your life in California. Make sure you are ready to face these warrants head-on by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group to get the professional assistance you need.
Our team of criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can take steps to resolve the warrants you are facing. We can also help defend you from DUI charges. Let us work to mitigate the legal challenges you are facing right now.
Get a FREE initial case evaluation by calling (310) 896-2723 or completing our online contact form.