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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23551
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Im brazillian, illegal and I just got a DUI for the first

Customer Question

I'm brazillian, illegal and I just got a DUI for the first time last friday and the court date is in 2 months what should i do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

You want to get yourself a lawyer and come to court on your court date. If you fail to show up, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest. Once you're found because of the warrant, you will end up in jail for long enough for immigration to find you. Since you are illegal, that will put you in a very bad situation.

On the other hand if you attend, your immigration status is not likely to arise. And the DA may not notify immigration.

Generally a first DUi is going to result in a suspension of your license if you have one, hefty fines and some form of unsupervised probation for anywhere from 3 to 5 years, along with driving classes. There's a mandatory 48 hour jail sentence which can be waived in favor of community service.

There is also some bargaining leeway. California allows for a plea to a "wet reckless" -- an alcohol related reckless driving charge. The advantage to that is that the penalties are lower and there is no license suspension. Such a disposition would have to be bargained for, which is one more reason to make sure you have a lawyer with you when you come to court.

If you are indigent and affording a criminal lawyer would cause you extreme hardship, you can plead NOT GUILTY at your arraignment and ask the court to appoint you a public defense lawyer.

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