Missing a court date is never a good idea, especially in a DUI case.
There are any number of reasons or excuses you might give for missing a DUI court date -- oversleeping, dealing with a sick child, or moving to another state, etc. -- but without the right legal help, these justifications won't amount to much.
So what should you do if you miss your DUI court date?
Regardless of what point your DUI case is in the criminal system, you need to contact your attorney if you missed a court date. Your attorney can tell you whether the court date you missed actually required your appearance, as well as what your attorney can do to remedy it.
Don't have a DUI attorney yet? There are many things a DUI attorney can do that you can't, so get one now.
Don't Be in Denial
Your DUI case will not disappear if you don't show up in court. If anything, missing a court date for your DUI charge will result in a bench warrant for your arrest. So prepare to give up on these common misconceptions:
- "I'm OK as long as I don't visit the state where my DUI occurred." Not so. Getting charged with a DUI in another state can mean real consequences for you in your home state as well.
- "The statute of limitations is up." The statute of limitations protects people from being charged with a crime after a certain amount of years; it has nothing to do with punishment. If you were arrested for DUI, then you've likely been charged within the time limit. Even if you lay low for 10 years after your missed court date, the state can still bring you in for the DUI.
- "No one told me when to show up." Your first court date for your DUI case will be on the ticket/citation given to you by the arresting officer(s). You are responsible for your own schedule -- not the court.
Don't Skip Court -- Request a Continuance
It's very possible that you missed your court date because of an accident or injury that is physically keeping you out of court. Your attorney may be able to excuse your absence and reschedule future court dates by requesting a continuance.
Don't make a missed DUI court date worse by being in denial. Be honest and allow your defense attorney to mitigate your mistake.