What Happens to Out of State Residents that Fail to Appear for a DUI in NC?

An issue that carries more severity than you may realize is failing to appear (FTA) in court for a DUI charge. If you’re traveling from out of State through Asheville or its neighboring cities, and you receive a DUI, either for alcohol or because of a controlled substance, if you dismiss the court date, you may be taking on more trouble than you know. Another issue that commonly arises is an FTA because you use to reside in Asheville but have moved out of state before your court date, and didn’t return to settle the matter.

The ordinary course of events proceeding a DUI charge is the need to attend the arraignment. An arraignment is where you are officially charged with a crime. If you’ve been accused of driving while under the influence and failure to appear for the arraignment, then you can most likely expect to have your license revoked and receive a bench warrant issued by the presiding judge. This warrant on your public record, and like other warrants, will notify the police to arrest you for the infringement. 

If the judge issued a bench warrant for your arrest due to a DUI FTA, then you can be in for a troublesome time. If a police officer randomly chooses your vehicle to scan, then you’ll find yourself spending the night in a cell until you can post bail. As stated above, a bench warrant becomes a matter of public record, which means that anyone perusing the public records database can find the warrant. Anyone who runs a background check, whether it be for applying for an apartment, a loan, or even a job, the person running the check can find this information. If they’re so inclined, they can even contact the police, who will then come to place you under arrest. 

Your DUI FTA can also affect the price of the bail. However, you can remove or “quash” a bench warrant by making an appearance at the court of your own free will. In some cases, you can have an attorney stand-in for you.

A bench warrant may be on your record without you being aware of it unless you make a habit of checking the local police enforcement agency’s website. However, you’ll quickly find out if you try to fly internationally, or update your driver’s license. If you’ve found out that your license has been revoked, before your current State of residence will lift the revocation, you will need to address the NC DUI you’ve picked up. It’s unlikely that your current State will be unaware of your FTA for a DUI, as there is a database that flags licenses as being non-eligible. 

The first thing that you need to do to get your license back is to have your case reset. Once the district attorney (DA) resets the case, they need to put it on the calendar. It is up to the discretion of the State’s DA as to whether the case can be calendared or not.

If the DA resets your case, then the warrants will be recalled, and you can then reinstate your license in your resident state. However, this still hasn’t settled the matter of the DUI that you’ve failed to appear to attend back in Asheville.

It’s possible that if you’ve moved so far from North Carolina, that it would be impractical for you to appear in court, that the judge will permit a waiver to appear, and your lawyer can enter your plea in your stead. Having a lawyer appear on your behalf is not always a possibility, and you may have to make travel arrangements.

You should be aware that North Carolina takes DUIs seriously, and unless you plan to issue a guilty plea, then you should expect to have your case go to trial and be prepared to defend yourself. If you’re not fortunate enough to have your case dismissed, this could occur if there has been a substantial time lapse and evidence is missing, or the arresting officer is no longer with the force, then you need to have the benefit of a local attorney experienced in dealing with DUIs.   

An FTA for a DUI charge can have serious ramifications that you might not be expecting. So if you’ve been charged with a DUI in North Carolina’s Asheville region, and you plan on moving or have missed your arraignment, then you need to contact the lawyers at the Asheville DUI Guy. Our experienced team of lawyers can help you resolve your DUI charges. Contact our firm today: 828-759-5556.

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