A California judge issued an arrest warrant for Lindsay Lohan as she failed to appear in court for mandatory court hearing according to news accounts. The court date was to determine whether Lohan was complying with the conditions of her DUI probation. According to the news reports, it is alleged that Lohan missed alcohol counseling meetings.
As a Massachusetts DUI lawyer, Lohan’s situation is commonly faced among many charged with DUI in Massachusetts. If a person accepts a guilty plea or is found guilty after trial on a first offense OUI, as a condition of probation, the individual will have to complete the 24D alcohol education program. Attendance at the 24D alcohol education classes is a requirement to successful completion of probation. Similarly, if a motorist is found guilty of a second offense OUI in Massachusetts, the motorist will have to attend a 14 day in-patient program and complete the aftercare component. Completion of these courses is a requirement to avoiding jail time on a probation violation hearing.
Lohan faces in California what appears to be similar to a probation violation or probation surrender hearing in Massachusetts. If a motorist accepts a plea of a Continuance Without a Finding, also known as a CWOF in the court, the motorist will have to complete the 24D alcohol education program, pay fines and fees and avoid committing any new offenses. If there are any violation of probation, either the individual fails to pay the money or complete the 24D program or commits new criminal offenses, the case is brought back to court for a probation violation hearing, which proceeds in a two step process in Massachusetts.
On the initial court date, the probation department will inform the judge whether the probation department is seeking a detention pending the final surrender hearing. If the probation department seeks a detention, the probation officer must convince the judge that there is probable cause to find the defendant in violation and that the judge should detain the defendant pending the final surrender hearing. In a typical Violation on a First Offense OUI, the probation department will not ask for a detention but set the matter down for a final surrender date. Typically, the surrender is resolved if the defendant attends the alcohol education program and gets in compliance with probation. In Massachusetts, there is no right to bail on a probation warrant or probation detention. If a judge holds a defendant prior to a probation violation hearing, there is no possibility of bail.
At a probation violation hearing, a judge can revoke the CWOF given at the initial plea, and revoke the probation and impose a sentence upon to the 2.5 year maximum penalty for the OUI offense.
As an experienced Massachusetts OUI lawyer, I have defended numerous individuals charged with DUI offenses, from First, Second Offenses to charges of Third and Fourth Offense OUI. I have also represented defendants charged with probation violations on DUI charges and other criminal offenses, including drug cases, assaults and weapons possession charges. If you are charged with a Massachusetts criminal offense, you can call me directly at 508-455-4755 or send an email. I answer most calls personally and can typically schedule a consultation on the same day you call or the next day.