If Imissed a court dateand a bench warrant was issued, will I automatically go to jail?

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If Imissed a court dateand a bench warrant was issued, will I automatically go to jail?

I was not aware I had a court date and time. I did know that my community service expired. I called to get an extension and that is when I learned I had to be in court that morning. I did not make it in. This is for a DUI I got on 01/06. I’m concerned that I will get sent to jail and that this will also affect my employment. I did complete 10 AA required meetings, all but 1 alcohol class. I’ve yet to do my community service. In my case does bench warrant equal jail time? Should I speak with a DUI attorney? I’m in Los Angeles, CA.

Asked on August 2, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should definitely speak with an attorney as soon as you can.  Bench warrants are not generally actively pursued.  People are usually "caught" when they are stopped for a traffic infraction or other like offense and the police run their name or driver's license number and the warrant pops up.  You could voluntarily turn yourself in before you are hauled in in cuffs.  But I would have an attorney smooth things out for you before you go.  He or she could talk to the prosecutor and try and make a deal ahead of time and before you have to appear before the judge.  This way everyone is on the same page.  The Judge does not have to accept any prio deals made but if the prosecutor is in agreement then the likelihood is higher.  Good luck.


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