If I got a DUI 13 years ago but left the state without finishing my probation and now have a warrant, can I clear it up without going to jail?

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If I got a DUI 13 years ago but left the state without finishing my probation and now have a warrant, can I clear it up without going to jail?

Asked on March 3, 2014 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

When a person is arrested for DUI, generally they are able to post bail and get out of jail with the understanding that they are required to show up in court for a hearing on the matter at a later date. If they fail to show up for that court date to face the charges against them, a warrant for their arrest will be issued.

When a person accused of DUI shows up for court and is either found guilty or pleads no contest to drunk driving, the judge sentences that person. They are generally ordered to pay a fine, complete an alcohol education or treatment program, do community service or complete other court-ordered requirements to avoid going to jail. If the person convicted of DUI fails to complete any of the court-ordered requirements or pay the fine, a warrant will be issued for their arrest, in the same way as if they failed to appear in court.

Many of these warrants go unserved for a period of time, but they never go away. There is no statute of limitations on a warrant and eventually, one way or another, the person will have to face the music.

Because of limited police resources in many areas, DUI warrants are usually not immediately served as soon as they are issued. They are generally considered low priority, but the police know that eventually they will find or run into the person named on the warrant, and at that point they will be arrested.

A person who has skipped out on their DUI trial, or failed to complete some court-ordered requirement can assume that most likely there has been a warrant issued for their arrest. Just because the police did not come knock on their door does not mean that it will be forgotten.

Answer: I suggest that you consult with a criminal attorney in the county where the warrant was arrested. One can be found on attorneypages.com. Only he or she can advise you as to the chances of clearing the warrant without having to go to jail.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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