Even if a person has hired a DC DUI lawyer prior to their initial court appearance, the defendant is always required to appear at every court hearing with their lawyer. There are rare circumstances in which a defendant would not be required to appear for a court appearance, however, in order for a defendant to have their presence waived, that person’s lawyer needs to get prior permission from either the court or the prosecutor involved. Only when a person has been granted approval to not be present at their court date, can they have a lawyer appear on their behalf.
If a person doesn’t appear for a required DUI court hearing, that person could face a number of different consequences. For example, the defendant could have a bench warrant issued for his arrest by the judge or the individual could also face an additional criminal charge for not appearing at the court hearing. This additional offense could carry separate penalties, aside from the DUI charge.
If a person is not from the DC area and will need to travel to Washington DC to appear at a court hearing, then it is possible to change their court date in order to make that travel more feasible both for scheduling purposes and for financial purposes. In order to do that, a person can have a lawyer make that request with the arraignment judge to reschedule the person’s initial court appearance.
If a person has not hired a lawyer, then the defendant can make a request to change his court appearance through the DC Court’s Criminal Information Office which is located on the 4th floor of the DC Superior Court.
If a person from out of state misses a court date and has not received prior permission to miss the court date, that person could potentially expose himself to the same penalties as anyone else for missing a court date. That person could have a bench warrant issued for his or her arrest and could also face a separate criminal charge for missing a court date that could carry criminal penalties aside from the underlying DUI charge.
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