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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110509
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My son got a DUI in Colorado and then got another DUI in Arizona.

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My son got a DUI in Colorado and then got another DUI in Arizona. He was making payments to the court. He was arrested in Arizona and held in jail there for 10 days with no charges brought against him. He was released after detectives questioned him about an incident he witnessed at the jail when he was brought in. Again, no charges were brought against him, but while he was in jail for those 10 days he missed a court date concerning his DUI which causes a bench warrant to be issued. He never did anything about it and he lost his job because of being in jail and missing work. He hasn't been able to find other work and has been extremely depressed and won't seek any help for it. Because he hasn't been able to work he is also behind on his child support. He is in terrible trouble and he is really a good person, but he is in so deep, he feels there is no place to turn. He has no money and the family has no money. Does he have any chance at all other than to turn himself in?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Legally, I am afraid he has to begin his road to recovery and making a comeback by turning himself in on the warrant. If he sticks his head in the sand and does nothing, it will not go away I am afraid and will only get much worse and become more expensive and harder to deal with.

At this point, I know that it seems like a mountain to climb, but I am afraid that he will have to turn himself in and face his punishment and present proof he was in jail as reason he missed his court date. He will be entitled to a public defender and he needs to get one appointed to represent him as soon as he can and begin working on setting up a fine schedule and then he can get his child support arrears on track.

He also needs to file a motion to modify support in his child support case and in that he needs to explain his significant change in financial circumstances of losing his job. He does not have to get into the arrests and should not. The court can lower support and make arrangements for payments as long as he files the motion and proves to the court his loss of income as soon as possible. Failure to do this means the court will just not have any sympathy on him later down the road when it finally catches up to him and they can actually issue another suspension on his license for non-support meaning that even once his license is reinstated for the DUI he would not be able to get his license because of the support he owes.

You need to get him not only to the public defender, but you need to get him to legal aid to help him with the support issues as they are only getting worse by inaction.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has already put this off for more than 2 years. What do you think he is looking at when he turns himself in?

While there is no way to predict what the court will do, it will involve at the least paying the $1500 or so in fines and penalties for the failure to appear and mandatory substance abuse counseling which he will have to pay for, but potentially up to 1 year in jail is an option to the court.

As far as his child support arrears, the court will not reduce those arrears because he never moved the court to do so when he lost his job.

Before he turns himself in though, you need to get him to legal aid and also to the public defender (as there are two different issues) so they can try to work out a deal before he surrenders himself to the court.
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