What Happens If I Miss a Court Date (Failure to Appear)?

Court cases can take a long time. Even if you are involved in a simple legal case, the sheer time for case resolution can be demanding for all participants. If you happen to be a defendant, the prosecuting attorneys can and will use every tool at their disposal to ensure the best outcome for them. That includes painting you as a scofflaw who should be considered guilty based on your absence alone. A crucial consideration here is having a competent, principled advocate on your side to defend you from these rather gray area tactics.

As a defendant, you are likely to be called to appear in court several times before the case is resolved. Missing a mandatory court date can result in the judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. A bench warrant means the defendant will be arrested to ensure their appearance in court. Although this is legal, is it just?

Often, people have commitments that they need to maintain, like their jobs or taking care of someone in your care. If this results in a missed court date, the courts and the prosecuting attorneys have a toolbox full of additional charges they can use to make the defendant’s life tougher. Failure to appear can result in “bail jumping” charges and even considering the absence as “flight evidence.” Flight evidence implies that failure to appear means that you are habitually trying to avoid appearing in court because you know that you are guilty of the charges. Quite a stretch, wouldn’t you say? And not exactly in line with “guilty until proven innocent.”

But the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that missing a single appearance is not an indication of willful avoidance, especially when the defendant showed for their next appearance. The court essentially clarified the definition of “flight evidence” and noted that it should be used when it can be established that a person has consciousness of guilt. This is as opposed to a blanket punishment for not appearing in court.

Being a defendant in a legal case can be overwhelming and stressful. That said, most of the issues that can result from failure to appear can be avoided by keeping a solid line of communication with legal counsel. By appearing in court and reassuring the court of the nature of the absence, the likelihood of complications arising are greatly reduced.

What Restrictions Can You Incur With a Pending DUI Charge?

In the United State’s legal system, a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. But when charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you’ll face restrictions even before a conviction.

Convictions can result in fines and jail time. Acquiring strong legal help before you move forward in the DUI process will only help strengthen your cases and reduce the chances of facing long term restrictions.

What Restrictions Can You Incur With a Pending DUI Charge?

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI and your court date is pending, the DMV will generally suspend your license. When you are pulled over, if you refuse a field sobriety test, know your license will automatically be suspended.

You may fight the suspension by requesting a hearing with the DMV within seven days of your arrest. If the hearing examiner grants your license back, you can drive until your legal hearing.

It’s important to note even if the DMV hearing grants you your license back pending a trial, if you’re convicted, your license will be revoked again, and a DMV hearing won’t help.

If you lose your hearing, the suspension will last anywhere from 90 days to two years, depending on your charge and past record severity.

The DMV will likely make your driver’s license probationary for the next five years if convicted.

What Should I Do If I’m Facing A Pending DUI Charge?

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact the offices of VanWa Legal right away. Sometimes, DUI hearings happen quickly, so speaking with our expert lawyers right away will strengthen your chances and your case.

VanWa Legal offers free consultations within 24 hours of you reaching out to us. Washington DUI laws evolve constantly, so having an experienced lawyer based in the area will give you a strong advantage. A typical DUI case features expert witness and scientific evidence that we need to start collecting right away to build your strategy.

Often, our expert lawyers can avoid a DUI trial’s stress and cost by negotiating a positive outcome for you.

Understanding Bail in Domestic Abuse Cases

When accused of domestic violence, Washington State requires mandatory arrest when probable cause exists.

This means the alleged accuser faces defending their innocence, as well as posting a hefty bail sum before being allowed to walk free pending trial. If you’re worried about posting bail in a domestic abuse case, you have a few options available to you.

What Are The Conditions Of Bail In A Domestic Abuse Case?

Depending on the severity of the charge and the alleged abuser’s record, a judge will rule in the following ways; the alleged abuser is

  • released on own recognizance, with no bail, which means the accused promises to return for future proceedings
  • released on own recognizance, with bail
  • detained until the pending trial is completed
  • released only if bail or cash bond is paid
  • not allowed to contact the victim
  • not allowed to have any firearms pending trial
  • not allowed to possess or consume alcohol or drugs while pending trial
  • subject to random urine analysis or drug and alcohol assessments
  • subject to pretrial supervision

If you live with your accuser and the judge demands a no-contact order, you need to find temporary housing during the trial.

How Can I Pay For Bail In A Domestic Abuse Case?

A judge will set bail for alleged domestic abusers based on previous offenses and their crimes’ severity. Bail may be set at a lower amount the accused can quickly pay in cash.

However, for larger bail sums, the accused can reach out to friends and family for help or work with a bond dealer to pay for their release. Typically, you’ll need to pay about 15 percent of the total bail amount for a bond dealer to post your bail.

What Should I Do If I Need To Post Bail In A Domestic Abuse Case?

If you or a loved one have been arrested for domestic abuse, contact the legal team at VanWa Legal right away to help you navigate your case, discuss your options for posting bail, and push for a speedy release.

Van Wa Legal’s team boasts vast experience in criminal defense cases and specifically domestic abuse. We specialize in Washington State law and can help you understand what you’re up against. Washington prosecutors take domestic abuse allegations very seriously and push for conviction, so you’ll need someone as equally vigilant on your side.

Bond already presents as a hefty expense, so VanWa Legal offers free consultations to potential clients. We can help you create a proper defense, petition for a no-contact order to be dropped, and help with your unique domestic violence case.

Can You Fight a Restraining Order in Washington State?

If you believe you have been wrongfully served with a restraining order in Washington State, you do have a chance to fight this order.

To effectively fight the restraining order, you’ll need expert legal counsel and carefully follow the letter of the law.

Can You Fight a Restraining Order in Washington State?

Before a judge allows a restraining order, a temporary restraining order will be served. A judge can serve a temporary restraining order without you present and sets a date for a more formal hearing that you will appear. Fight Restraining Order

During this second hearing will be your chance to fight the restraining order. During this hearing will be your chance to tell your side of the story. Once the judge has ruled, an appeal rarely overturns the judge’s decision, so it’s important to get this right.

After the initial hearing, if you are looking to terminate the order, Washington law requires that you file a motion to set aside the restraining order. With the help of a lawyer, put a specific reason you feel the restraining order should be terminated in your motion.

Next, send a copy of the motion to terminate the mail’s restraining order to the person who filed for the original restraining order. Delivering the motion via the mail is critical; delivering it in person would violate the restraining order and could land you in bigger trouble.

Then, you’ll need a hearing date from either the clerk of the court or from the administrative assistant of the judge assigned to the case. Written notification of the hearing date needs to be sent to the person who filed the restraining order. At the hearing, your lawyer will present evidence as to why the restraining order should be terminated.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Severed With A Restraining Order In Washington State?

If you have been served with a temporary restraining order in Washington State, reach out to the legal team at VanWa Legal right away. Our team can advise you on your rights and potential next steps.

Responding on time to the temporary order sets the tone for your entire case, and sometimes you’ll have less than four days to respond. Because of this time limit, it’s critical you call VanWa Legal right away. Your best shot at fighting the restraining order requires a seasoned criminal attorney on your side.

During the hearing, we will help you fight the restraining order. This brief hearing is your one shot to fight the restraining order, so it’s essential you have the proper representation right away.

Can I Get a Commercial Driver’s License With a DUI in Washington State?

Commercial Drivers and Truckers

Motorists convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Washington State may face fines and jail time. For drivers who planned to pursue a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or already have one, your DUI has jeopardized your status and possibly your ability to keep that particular license.

If the state revokes your CDL, your livelihood and career may be in jeopardy.

How Long Will Washington State Revoke For My Commerciale Driver’s License After A DUI?

When a driver who has a CDL commits their first DUI, regardless if they were driving a commercial vehicle or another vehicle, their CDL will be revoked for one year. However, if the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time of the DUI, their CDL will be revoked for three years.

If a driver commits a second DUI offense, their CDL will be revoked for life.

How Do I Requalify For A Commercial Driver’s License After A DUI Offense?

If you have been charged with a DUI and want to requalify for a CDL, first you’ll need to wait one year. You will need to pay a $35 re-qualification fee and pass the CDL knowledge and skills tests again. If you were driving with hazardous materials, you’d need to pass an additional knowledge test and possibly pass a background check.

If you have been convicted of two or more DUI’s, you will be banned from requalifying. However, you can request an administrative review to appeal this decision.

Will I Face Additional Penalties For A DUI Besides Losing My CDL?

If you were caught and convicted of a DUI, regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving, you have more to worry about than only losing your CDL. You may need to pay a hefty fine or even face jail time.

If it’s your first offense, you face one to 364 days in jail or $350 to $5,000 in fines. For second offenses, you may need to serve 30 to 364 days in jail or $500 to $5,000 in fines. For third offenses, Washington States imposes a jail sentence of 90 to 364 days and/or a $1,000 to $5,000 fine.

Your regular driver’s license may also be revoked anywhere from 90 days for first offenses to three years for a third offense.

What Should I Do Next If A DUI Revoked My Commercial Driver’s License In Washington?

If you have been charged with a DUI and fear your CDL will be revoked, contact Roger Priest at VanWa Legal right away.

Roger Priest has years of experience handling hundreds of criminal defense cases, specifically related to DUI in Clark County. The priest has handled countless DUI cases and has won dozens of DUI trials. In many cases, Preist and the VanWa Legal team will negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for your DUI penalty and reduce the cost of a trial to you.

The priest can help you minimize the damage of a DUI charge in Vancouver, WA, and help guide you to requalify for your CDL.

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