Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

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Latest post 05-01-2012 8:31 PM by gemini47. 17 replies.
  • 12-31-2011 5:29 AM

    • Vreyes79
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    Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    I have a question. I didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI and I recieved a notice that I have a warrant out for my arrest. The bail is set at 15,000. Will I have to stay in jail if I can't pay the bail amount?

  • 12-31-2011 5:30 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    If so, you should have a hearing within a couple of days.

  • 12-31-2011 5:40 AM In reply to

    • Vreyes79
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    I don't understand. Will they make me stay there in jail if I turn myself in and can't pay the bail amount?

  • 12-31-2011 5:41 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    they can.   Will they?  thats anyones guess.  From their point of view, you were given one chance at no jail already and you failed to comply and failed to ask for a extension.

  • 12-31-2011 5:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Call the clerk's office.  I'm not in your state.

    The court file likely has the motion for probation violation in it.  $15k seems REALLY high for a single allegation PV on a misdemeanor DUI.  This IS a misdemeanor, right?  Not a felony?

    If you can get a clerk on the phone to look at the file (or send a friend or relative in person to look at the file) the motion will tell you what's up.

    If you get arrested on the warrant, you probably have to appear before a judge very quickly, and if you are arrested in the county where the charge was sentenced, the judge may have the power to reduce that bail amount.

    Most of the time when someone has a warrant there is nobody actually looking for you.  Warrants show up during traffic stops and other chance encounters with cops.

    You can also try to complete the community service - assuming it is done in some manner that doesn't cause you to come into contact with law enforcement - and get that proof to the court file BEFORE you are arrested.  That would give a judge reason to reduce that bail amount, although it also may be an admission that you did not complete the service as originally ordered.

    Consult an attorney.

  • 12-31-2011 5:47 AM In reply to

    • Vreyes79
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    thanks for the reply!

  • 12-31-2011 5:52 AM In reply to

    • Vreyes79
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    yeah they reduced my DUI to a mistermeanor. My blood alchohol was .09 and the limit is .08 here in CA, and this was my first offense so they gave me and exhibition of speed. Thats how I understood it, of course I'm very ignorant of the system becuae I don't have a record. 

    So If I talk to the clerk, I may not have to turn myself in at all? Because if I do I'd rather just go tomorrow and get it over with. I just dont have the money to pay the bail.

  • 12-31-2011 5:57 AM In reply to

    • Vreyes79
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    I am so stupid. I honestly thought that if I didnt finish it in time they would just send me something to come before the judge again, and at that point is when I could ask for an extension. 

  • 12-31-2011 12:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Don't kick yourself too bad.  Most people don't follow court orders.

    A sentence is an ORDER from the court.  Judges like the power they have and they expect their ORDERS to be followed.  Your suspicion won't wash because absolutely nothing the judge would have told you in court, or in your judgment document if you didn't actually see a judge, will say anything about "Feel free to ignore this order and make us come look for you so that you can ask for a THIRD chance."  (First chance was not getting the DUI.  Second chance was not getting put in jail for the DUI.  You are now in the position of asking for a third chance to obey the law.  Obviously, that isn't a good position.)

    How much community service?  Through a government office or just "go find some place to do this"?

    A misdemeanor is traditionally punishable by county jail time.  Felonies are punishable by state prison time.  Infractions are things like speeding tickets - punishable by a fine.

    If this was a felony, you almost certainly would have had a probation officer breathing down your neck about getting the service done.

  • 12-31-2011 1:53 PM In reply to

    • Vreyes79
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    I'm not sure if it was a "go find some place and do this" I actually volunteer my time though to a non profit and have been and do every weekend.. I hope that there is a way for me to use that but just not sure.

  • 12-31-2011 6:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Vreyes79:
    I'm not sure if it was a "go find some place and do this"

    First you said you didn't complete them on time.  Now you're saying you don't even know if you were supposed to sign up at a specific place or not?  Most counties have a specific place that administers the community service hours and defendants are told by the court at the time they are sentenced to go sign up with them.  The information would also be on your sentencing slip which, if the particular court follows protocol, you had to sign and were then given a copy before you left the courtroom.  The onus is on YOU to get signed up and get the hours done.  If you weren't sure, you could have asked your attorney OR just called the clerk's office for clarification.  Waiting until after the deadline to think about what you were supposed to do is a little late.  You realize now that expecting the court to send you a reminder was also a mistake.  You need to take care of the warrant immediately.  Since community service is usually given in lieu of paying a fine, not doing the hours is akin to not paying the fine.  If that's the case, it's more tha likely the court sent notice of your noncompliance to DMV and your license could or may already be suspended again.  Consult local counsel. 

  • 12-31-2011 7:18 PM In reply to

    • Vreyes79
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Yes I realize all of those things which you so kindly pointed out. I didnt feel the need to hire a lawyer and still dont because I dont have the money to do so. Did I wait too long, yes thats obvious. Am I ignorant as to how the court system works yes thats obvious. Was it dumb to assume that they would send me a letter requesting my presence again yes.. again obvious. Was it my responsibility... uh yeah.. that would again fall under the obvious catergory. Should I take care of this ASAP? again.... anyone... obviously. I think you just caught the conversation late. What I was reffering to was the fact that I volunteer with a local non profit. I signed up through an agency, one of many that the court suggested that I work through depending on where in the county that I lived, and didnt like what they signed me up for... dumb yes... I think everyone including myself can agree.. I was asking about what to do moving forward.. not what I did wrong looking back.

  • 12-31-2011 7:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Vreyes79:
    I didnt feel the need to hire a lawyer and still dont because I dont have the money to do so.

    You are entitled to counsel appointed by the court if you cannot afford counsel, and if it is considered a serious charge or if jail is on the table.  (In some states you can't get appointed counsel on a first, regular DUI...)  You should always consider asking the court to appoint counsel.  Attorneys are like hired guns.  The state has one - the prosecutor.  You aren't a legal gunslinger and you shouldn't go head-to-head against the prosecutor.  Probation normally means that there is a suspended sentence in place.  In my state you'd likely have 175 days of jail suspended.  If you violate probation, for ANYTHING, the easiest thing in the world is for a judge to find a probation violation and put you in jail.  In my city/state, a failure to do community service wouldn't cause the judge to freak out, unless we are talking many, many years back.  However, you WOULD be looking at additional penalties because you are making the state expend more resources getting you to comply with the original order.

    If you had to sign up with some agency/county office, they probably notified the court or the prosecutor that you didn't comply.

    Vreyes79:
    didn't like what they signed me up for...

    Please don't EVER tell a judge that.  The community service was likely a grant of leniency from the judge, quite possibly in lieu of jail.  Punishment isn't supposed to be fun and if you say something like that to the judge he might give you a chance to see if you like sitting in county jail.

    Part of the boards, and Gemini's comments, is that other people come along and read situations that other people have gotten themselves into, and potentially learn from that experience.

  • 12-31-2011 8:13 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Maybe the judge will have a good day and allow that volunteer work. But, I am not thinking that one is going to fly.

    Usually, when an agency agrees to participate, they complete paperwork verifying your hours, etc. They may even agree to send in the reports. You probably have none of that where you are volunteering at present.

    Again, you seem to have decided to take it upon yourself to determine the terms of your sentence with respect to the community service portion. You have ASSUMED that what you were doing would be OK. You know what they say when you ASSUME something. You make an a** out of you and me.

    In your future dealings with the court, I recommend that you be much more proactive.

    Firstly, if you still want to complete your community service at the agency for which you currently volunteer, verify that both this agency and the court will accept this agency before making any further commitments.

    Secondly, as Ford stated, court orders are not "suggestions".

    Finally, if it so happens that you actually enjoy the community service work at the assigned agency, consider it a bonus. But, don't go with the idea that you will or that you can change your mind and go off and work somewhere else without any notice to anyone. The system is almost certainly somewhat rigid and bureaucratic. If you don't dot your "i's" and cross your "t's", count on problems.I would recommend that you get a copy of any required paperwork that the agency may send about your service. Paperwork gets lost all the time.

    Since there is a possibility that the judge could throw you in jail, you probably can ask for the assistance of the public defender at any forthcoming hearing. If you do get additional time to complete the community service, you need to understand that the judge is calling the shots. The burden is on you to toe the line as ordered and not somehow believe that an exception exists because you don't like the assigned community service work, etc. That ain't the way this works.

     

  • 12-31-2011 8:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Didn't finish my community service in time on a DUI

    Vreyes79:
    I was asking about what to do moving forward.. not what I did wrong looking back.

    And I told you--you need to take care of the warrant ASAP.  That means contacting the clerk's office and finding out what you need to do to surrender on it.  Some courts require you to show up to put yourself on calendar and others want you to call to schedule your surrender.  Either way, you need to find out and take care of it.  I wouldn't suggest you tell the court you didn't like where the volunteer bureau assigned you.  The volunteer hours are something the court does NOT have to allow you to do in lieu of the fine and so where you are sent is not something you get to choose.  You might try going back to the volunteer bureau and signing up again before court.  That *might* convince the court you are serious about getting the hours done.  Yes, the court can incarcerate you for violating probation, it can also just  delete the hours and convert it back to the fine (with a hefty penalty assessment added on to the amount previously ordered), or it can tack on more hours for you to complete on top of the ones you already didn't do.  Understand that you don't get to choose where you go to do the hours.  You go where the court tells you and your follow it to the letter.  Where you go and what you are told to do are not optional.  As I also told you, the failure to complete the hours may have been reported to DMV so you need to check to make sure your license hasn't been suspended.  If it has been reported and becomes suspended for failure to pay the fine or complete the hours in lieu of the fine, it will remain suspended until you pay in full or complete the hours entirely.  Not something to mess around with...

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