Legal Question in DUI Law in Washington

I got charged with a dui in November 2017. My license was suspended but I reinstated it with the DMV June 2018. I never received anything in writing from the courts to appear and now have received a voice mail message for an arraignment September 2018. If I don't show up will I have a warrant issued for my arrest indefinitely or for two years?

Asked on 9/09/18, 10:02 am

1 Answer from Attorneys


It depends. Normally, the courts do not use voice mail to inform a defendant of an arraignment because it is too difficult to prove service of the summons or notice to appear the proof of which is required in order to issue a warrant if the defendant fails to appear for the arraignment. You can either call the court clerk to verify the arraignment date and time or you can call an attorney who can check the court system to verify the arraignment. If you fail to appear for the arraignment, then a bench warrant will issue for your arrest with a stated amount of bail and that warrant will be valid for three years, not two, and will continue to be re-issued for additional three year periods indefinitely until a judge decides to no longer re-issue the warrant. Your failure to appear will also result in the court clerk notifying the Department of Licensing that you have a FTA hold on your license and if you are stopped after the FTA is issued, you could not only be arrested on the warrant, depending upon where in Washington you were stopped, but you could also be charged with driving while suspended which is a criminal traffic charge.. You should consult with a very experienced attorney who has the level of knowledge similar to mine so you can get proper guidance and advice as to what your possible courses of action are in your case. Good Luck!

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Answered on 9/09/18, 5:34 pm

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