As we enter another tumultuous year of lockdowns and restrictions, it can be difficult to avoid the Coronavirus’s media coverage. Any Asheville DUI attorney will tell you that, if you’ve been charged with a DUI during this pandemic, it’s probably not wise, if not unethical, to meet in a public environment.
DUI attorneys in North Carolina are accustomed to dealing with seasonal flu outbreaks at this time of year. They are used to balancing schedules and calendars in fulfilling their obligations to their clients.
If you’re unsure whether or not you need to appear in court, we suggest that you contact your Asheville DUI attorney.
Numerous criminal charges and some traffic infractions can require the accused to appear in court. However, the courts are aware that circumstances may place the defendant in a position that they can’t show up.
If you are afraid to appear in court for health reasons, our defense attorneys and support personnel can attempt to minimize personal appearances through a Waiver of Presence process. However, it is necessary to understand that this waiver isn’t extended to everyone who requests it.
If you have any concerns about Asheville’s court system, we strongly advise you to consult an Asheville DUI attorney. Every case has its unique circumstances, and unless the ones surrounding your case are valid, you may be required to appear in court in person. Even if you’re aware of someone else receiving a waiver, their case may have had aspects not suitable for your legal matter.
What Happens if I am Unable to Appear in Court?
Generally, if you miss an appointed court date in Asheville, the Clerk of Court can enter a Failure to Appear or “FTA.”
In North Carolina, if an individual fails to appear for a traffic violation, the county clerk of court reports the failure to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV also gives the defendant a letter saying that if the charge is not settled within 60 days, they will revoke the offender’s license privilege.
Additionally, twenty days after the failure to appear, the court clerk enters the failure to appear into the court system, generating a $200.00 administrative penalty in addition to the court costs and fine. Consequently, even a minor traffic violation will result in license suspension and a hefty court fee. Additionally, if you are an out-of-state driver, failure to appear can prevent you from renewing your license in the state you reside in until the North Carolina ticket is resolved.
However, if your case includes egregious charges such as felony charges, misdemeanor allegations, or a DUI/DWI charge, failure to appear can result in an Order for Arrest, or “OFA.”
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that failure to appear in court for a DWI in Asheville is not a good idea. However, this is not to suggest that legal recourse is unavailable.
By speaking with an Asheville DUI attorney and giving them sufficient advance notice and time for preparation, they might be able to meet with the District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the presiding judge, to continue a matter off the docket.
Can my Case be Continued?
If you are under the weather and feel it may be a severe condition, you can request a continuance. However, waiting until the last minute complicates a continuance’s likelihood.
If you know you will be unable to appear at the scheduled court date, you can request a continuance. Although judges may be stringent, they may be amenable to some leniency depending on the circumstances. You need to ensure that the correct motion is filed several weeks in advance. Consulting an Asheville DUI attorney helps to deal with this.
The more notice you give your Asheville DUI attorney, the better your chances are at obtaining a continuance.
Obtaining a continuance of your case is typically handled on a case-by-case basis. If you give your lawyer advanced notice, they can arrange for you to gather the necessary paperwork to make your case.
The Clerk of Court will reassign court dates and appearances. Postponing your court appearance is an effective legal tactic. Bear in mind, though, that you would likely have less success with postponement if your DUI resulted in physical harm, excessive property damage, or death.
If you have missed court, face a Failure to Appear, an Order for Arrest, or a Warrant for Arrest, it is strongly advised you retain legal counsel immediately.
If you are unable to appear in court, contact us immediately. Our legal team is well aware of the current conditions affecting the world, and we will take the necessary measures to ensure that all of our clients are represented without jeopardizing their health.