Q: I had a DUI in PA I was paying my fines perfectly. I took a better job offer and moved to Colorado. The job didn’t work out as expected and I fell behind in my fines. I managed to get an even better job and inquired how much was still owed. They said I have a warrant for unpaid fines. Would it be a better idea to call the court there and explain my situation or turn myself in here and see if PA even wants to extradite me wouldn’t that end the warrant?
A: You may have a bench warrant. This will sit there forever unless removed by the judge who signed it. Turning yourself in on a warrant may result in you sitting in jail for weeks in CO before PA refuses to extradite you. First, you may want to call your probation officer or the probation department in that county in PA to see if this can be cleared up by a payment. It may or may not work. Next, I would call your attorney in PA or hire an attorney in PA to see if it can be handled through a motion. To have a better chance of removing the warrant, a substantial payment may need to be made. Full payment of all costs, fines and restitution may put the whole matter to rest. Follow your attorney’s advice
Q: This is my 1st offense DUI with no injuries but I did refuse the breath test. I don’t live in PA. I live in Michigan. If I’m found guilty or I plead guilty what will my penalty be? Jail time? Fines? I posted a $2000 cash bond. Also, would they extradite from Michigan for failing to appear on it? I guess I’m just asking what I’ll get if found guilty and or if they will extradite? A: Whatever you do, do not blow this off. Get an attorney in Pittsburgh and get advice. Not appearing in court here will end up with a warrant for your arrest which will be active in Michigan. They will not come looking for you with the task force. However, if you have contact with police in Michigan or anywhere, even for something as harmless as a traffic ticket, if they see the warrant, they will take you to jail. You will wait at least 20 days in jail to see if PA will extradite you, which they probably won’t. Handle this now. If you have no prior record, you may be eligible for a first-time offender’s program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) which will be like a slap on the wrist, albeit an expensive one. There is no jail time, and more importantly no conviction on your record if you complete the program successfully. Unfortunately, the refusal of the BAC testing will hurt. It is a one year license suspension which will be sent from PennDOT to the DMV in Michigan for enforcement according to Michigan law. I suggest a DUI bicycle. Michigan is relatively flat.