Bench Warrant DUI. Tips on Handling and Getting Dismissals

August 26, 2015

Tips on Handling (and Getting Dismissals For) Some DUI Cases in a Bench Warrant  DUI Status (Serna Motions)

Bench Warrant DUIWhen a defendant fails to appear in court after he was cited to appear by the arresting officer or fails to appear after a court order, the court may issue a warrant for arrest of the defendant.  Having a Bench Warrant DUI for an arrest can be very stressful and dangerous because any contact with a police officer can end up with a defendant being arrested.  Many DUI cases in Los Angeles result in bench warrants simply because DUI defendants who are cited out forget to appear in court.  Part of our Los Angeles DUI attorney practice is to handle cases in such bench warrant statuses.

Yet, a Bench Warrant DUI that has been outstanding for a period of time, where the government failed to contact the defendant to let him or her know of the bench warrant, can be helpful in defending his or her DUI Los Angeles case.  The defendant, unaware of the bench warrant and brought to court months or years later, is arguably denied his speedy trial rights.  In California, statutory law gives defendants speedy trial rights to have a jury (or a court) trial within 30 days of arraignment in misdemeanor in-custody cases; within 45 days of arraignment in misdemeanor out-of-custody cases; and within 60 days of arraignment in felony cases (pursuant to California Penal Code section 1382).  A significant delay in prosecution, where defendant’s speedy trial rights were violated and where defendant was prejudiced by the delay (including such prejudice as loss of memory) can be used to get a dismissal of the criminal case when the defendant is not brought to trial within the statutory time.  Not only there is statutory speedy trial rights but there are also speedy constitutional rights.  Where as speedy constitutional rights attach before the arraignment, the speedy statutory rights attach after the arraignment.  Depending on a situation, California statutory speedy trial rights or California and Federal Constitutional speedy trial rights can be violated by an unjustified delay in prosecution.  The constitutional speedy trial rights can be found in Article 1, Section 15 of the California Constitution and the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A violation of defendant’s statutory speedy trial rights can be an independent basis for a dismissal of a criminal case.  The logic and precedents for such dismissals are quite different from the focus of this article and are mostly based on Rhinehart v. Municipal Court line of cases.  It will be a focus of future articles and discussion.  Here, as explained above, the focus is a denial of constitutional speedy trial right, which deals with pre-arraignment delay, and is based on very commonly cited California Supreme Court case.

Attorney DUI Los Angeles are well experienced in handling bench warrant DUI cases and will get you the best possible result in you are in fact have a bench warrant DUI.  We recommend that you contact DUI lawyer Los Angeles right away if you have bench warrant DUI.  We can help you recall the bench warrant often without you having to go to court.  Please call our office (818) 921 7744  to get free consultation.  We provide quality representation at affordable price and are hoping we get the chance to help you.

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