Legal Question in DUI Law in California

California DUI

I was stationed in California with the military when I received a DUI, pled guilty and did all my time except pay the fine, so a warrant was issued. one year later I was arrested for another DUI while in a parking lot charging my cell phone. I was being deployed the next week so I did not have the time to resolve the charges. After 7 months my enlistment ended, I was honorably discharged and I returned back to the US from my deployment. I have lived in NY and MA since and am afraid to try and resolve the issues in california as I do not have the money. I have a valid license from NY and a passport that is valid. If when I return to CA its been several years since the arrest would my license in NY then be suspended from that point on? Will I be able to travel internationally in the meantime? And as an additional question, I am planning on applying for law school in the next year or two, is this something that they will look at? Will it prevent me from ever being able to practice law?


Asked on 1/26/08, 4:16 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: California DUI

With outstanding arrest warrants on two cases, you risk arrest and transport to court in handcuffs any time you come in contact with law enforcement anywhere, and that includes airport security check-in. Your only valid option is to turn yourself into the courts and straighten out the mess by dealing properly with the charges. If you get counsel to represent you on these, it may be possible to avoid you having to personally appear in court; misdemeanors can sometimes be handled by counsel with notarized paperwork from the client. It means several court appearances for counsel, which you'll pay for. On the first case, it may be possible to convince the court to withdraw and cancel the warrant with a deal for you to pay the original fine in full, and pay a fine for the Failure To Appear. On the second case, in addition to seeking withdrawal and cancellation of warrant in return for fines, the attorney will have to negotiate a 'deal' on the charges. That would likely include more fines, penalties, alcohol program, license suspension by court and DMV, probation, etc. If either court demands it, you'll be required to come in person to court. I would recommend you come personally, as it is more certain of getting lenient treatment, and would likely cost less in attorney fees, as each case could be done with fewer court appearances. Feel free to contact me if serious about handling these, IF they are in Southern California courts.

Read more
Answered on 1/28/08, 3:13 pm


Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: California DUI

With outstanding arrest warrants on two cases, you risk arrest and transport to court in handcuffs any time you come in contact with law enforcement anywhere, and that includes airport security check-in. Your only valid option is to turn yourself into the courts and straighten out the mess by dealing properly with the charges. If you get counsel to represent you on these, it may be possible to avoid you having to personally appear in court; misdemeanors can sometimes be handled by counsel with notarized paperwork from the client. It means several court appearances for counsel, which you'll pay for. On the first case, it may be possible to convince the court to withdraw and cancel the warrant with a deal for you to pay the original fine in full, and pay a fine for the Failure To Appear. On the second case, in addition to seeking withdrawal and cancellation of warrant in return for fines, the attorney will have to negotiate a 'deal' on the charges. That would likely include more fines, penalties, alcohol program, license suspension by court and DMV, probation, etc. If either court demands it, you'll be required to come in person to court. I would recommend you come personally, as it is more certain of getting lenient treatment, and would likely cost less in attorney fees, as each case could be done with fewer court appearances. Feel free to contact me if serious about handling these, IF they are in Southern California courts.

On the issue of law school, dream on about being accepted into school or the State Bar if you have warrants outstanding. IF you get the cases properly resolved, you then can discuss the possibility of qualifying for admission with the school you are interested in. Whether they think they and the State Bar will let you in is the question.

Read more
Answered on 1/28/08, 3:16 pm
Debra Palazzo Law Offices of Debra Palazzo, LLC

Re: California DUI

If you did not return to court on 2nd DUI, there most likely is another warrant for your arrest. Next time you are "pulled over" you most likely will be arrested.

You must resolve these issues. Law school applications ask about ALL legal matters that you have been involved with. You will have to disclose this and yes, it can prevent you from being admitted to the Bar.

Read more
Answered on 1/27/08, 12:47 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: California DUI

With outstanding arrest warrants on two cases, you risk arrest and transport to court in handcuffs any time you come in contact with law enforcement anywhere, and that includes airport security check-in. Your only valid option is to turn yourself into the courts and straighten out the mess by dealing properly with the charges. If you get counsel to represent you on these, it may be possible to avoid you having to personally appear in court; misdemeanors can sometimes be handled by counsel with notarized paperwork from the client. It means several court appearances for counsel, which you'll pay for. On the first case, it may be possible to convince the court to withdraw and cancel the warrant with a deal for you to pay the original fine in full, and pay a fine for the Failure To Appear. On the second case, in addition to seeking withdrawal and cancellation of warrant in return for fines, the attorney will have to negotiate a 'deal' on the charges. That would likely include more fines, penalties, alcohol program, license suspension by court and DMV, probation, etc. If either court demands it, you'll be required to come in person to court. I would recommend you come personally, as it is more certain of getting lenient treatment, and would likely cost less in attorney fees, as each case could be done with fewer court appearances. Feel free to contact me if serious about handling these, IF they are in Southern California courts.

On the issue of law school, dream on about being accepted into school or the State Bar if you have warrants outstanding. IF you get the cases properly resolved, you then can discuss the possibility of qualifying for admission with the school you are interested in. Whether they think they and the State Bar will let you in is the question.

Read more
Answered on 1/28/08, 4:46 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Drunk Driving & DUI Law questions and answers in California