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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27070
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have a similar situation to this page, except for a DUI. I

Customer Question

I have a similar situation to this page, except for a DUI. I was convicted of a DUI in California about 30 years ago. I never appeared in court myself, but I did send a lawyer to plead on my behalf as I didn't live in the state. I was convicted of course, but the lawyer told me I could pay the fine and he would take care of the other things like public service, or just don't comr back to California and I didn't have to worry about it. After about 10 years I wanted to take care of it so I called the San Diego police where I got the DUI and they could find no record of it. Its now 20 more years and I want to move to California. I went to a PI today to pull a copy of my criminal records so I at least know for sure what is on there, but my real question is after all this time is there likely a live arrest warrant out for me, and if so, how can I satisfy this 30 year old conviction without going to jail. Also is it likely to show up if I go to change my DL to California?
JA: What was the underlying charge? Is this a first-time offense?
Customer: yes it was a first time offense, I was about 24 and I am now 55
JA: In what state did this occur? And has an attorney been consulted?
Customer: California. no not yet. I believe the charge was Driving while intoxicated. It was pretty bad. I believe the BAC was over .24
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not that I can think of
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.

What you really need to do is to get yourself fingerprinted and order a copy of your criminal history. If you have an unresolved case and a warrant outstanding it will be there on your record. If you weren't printed by the PI you went to, you may not get an accurate result. And you'd want your record from the FBI data base, which has a 50-state recrd, because if you're not in California and only order your present state record nothing will show up.

If your lawyer did what you paid him for, the worst you're facing is a warrant for failure to pay a fine, which may have interest and penalties. But once you get your official RAP sheet, if it shows a case, you'd then want to get a California lawyer to pave the way for your safest possible return on the case. He may be able after all this time to resolve it quite easily but you don't want to come in by yourself and end up possibly having to sit in jail for as long as it will take for the court and the DA to find their 30-year old files.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.