Felony DUI Statutes of Limitations by State
What is the purpose of DUI statutes of limitations?
On DUI prosecutions, there are statute of limitations which are designed to prevent "stale" prosecutions, meaning that the State in which you are charged has specific limitations on how long to wait in prosecuting, expunging, or delaying your particular case. Each State has established their own rules and limits that are dependent upon the degree of dunk driving violation, or on the possible sentences for the violations. The purpose of these statutes is to protect you from extended charges being filed against you after a certain length of time. These statutes cannot help you, however, if you have already had the charges filed against you in court. Once a court has officially charged you, if you choose to not show up to accept the charges the court will issue a bench warrent for your arrest and force you to be present to accept the charges, either by turning yourself in or through forced arrest. If you believe you have had a bench warrent sent out against you, it is in your best interest to hire a professional and experienced DUI lawyer to help assist you in your process. They will understand your particular needs, determine if your case warrents an expungment, and provide wisdom in the steps necessary to navigate the complicated tasks ahead. Failing to appear will only severely complicate your chances of gaining a favorable sentencing from the judge, as the perception is that you care not for the process and are disrespecting the court directly. Being compliant will aid in your ability to possibly receive a probation sentencing from either the prosecution or the judge.
What are felony DUI statute of limitations?
When faced with a felony DUI, the statutes of limitations are significantly longer than if you had been charged with a misdemeanor no matter what State you live in. Drinking and driving are never condoned under the law, and a felony charge added to your list of violations only complicates your specific situatuion. Another part of this process that complicates your violation charges with DUI or DWI, is when aggrivating factors come into play with the felony charge. Simply stated, when you have additional circumstances that are added to your DUI or DWI charges, they increase the severity of the felony DUI statute of limitations. Some of those aggrivations could be, but are not limited to, the following:
- multiple charges for drunk driving or driving under the influence
- accident or injury
- excessive BAC (blood alcohol content)
- evading arrest
- presence of a minor in the vehicle
Once you have been charged, and those charges have been filed in accordance with the law of that State, missing your court date or attempting to leave the state until the felony DUI statute of limitations runs will in no way help your case or cause confidence within the court system. You would be wise to hire an experienced and professional DUI attorney and follow their directions as to how you should best proceed. Show the process respect, and those in authority within that process, and you will find that the conditions of your case will be much more managable than if you resist and flee. Officially filed charges will ensure that you must do what is outlined for you within those guidelines, and the statute of limitations will no longer work on your behalf.