What Happens if You Miss Your Atlanta DUI Court Date?
There are lots of reasons why you may have missed your Atlanta DUI court date. You might have lost track of the paper indicating the court date, forgotten about it until it was too late, or simply too worried about what might happen that you intentionally didn't show up. In other cases, a real emergency might have come up with work, school or your kids, and you couldn't make it to court. Whatever the reason for missing court, don't just ignore it thinking it will go away. It won't go away, and the longer you wait, the more complicated it can be to get it taken care of.
Georgia DUI Court Dates
My first suggestion would be to avoid the possibility of missing your court date by contacting an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer. There a number of benefits to hiring a DUI lawyer, which can save you time, hassle, and money. First, a DUI lawyer will be able to appear on your behalf for most court dates, so you don't have to take a day off of work, and waste time waiting for your case to be called, and even having to come back another day if the judge didn't get to your case. A DUI lawyer can also file a 30 day DDS hearing letter to make sure your license isn't automatically suspended for a year.
Your first court appearance is the arraignment. This is where the district attorney will formally read the charges against you in court, such as a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will have to respond guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you will have future court appearances including trial dates. If you plan to represent yourself, you will have to appear in person for each court date.
If you happen to miss the court date, for whatever reason, then the court will not that you failed to appear, or FTA. Failure to Appear has real consequences, that can really complicate your life and make your criminal case more difficult to clear up. The judge hearing your case will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A warrant will go on your criminal record. Even if the police don't seek you out specifically because of your arrest, if you get stopped by police, they will arrest you because of the warrant, and take you to jail.
An FTA for a traffic violation or DUI will also result in the suspension of your license. Your license suspension will last until you get everything taken care of, getting documentation, paying fees, and applying for reinstatement from DDS. If you are driving on a suspended license, if the police pull you over for any traffic violation, including a broken tail light, you will be arrested for your warrant, and face additional charges of driving on a suspended driver's license.
If you have an FTA, and a bench warrant, you will have to get those taken care of before you can deal with your DUI charges. An Atlanta DUI attorney can get your bench warrant resolved, have your FTA taken care of, and then will be able to work on your DUI case. Your lawyer can also help you get your license reinstated after an FTA.
Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer
Don't ignore your court dates, because failing to appear in court will lead to a warrant for your arrest. If you miss your hearing, don't ignore it, or you may end up in jail. As soon as possible, contact Lawson and Berry so we can take care of your DUI and have any other issues resolved, to keep you out of jail, and maintain your driving privileges.