I got charged with a DUI, but I wasn't arrested?
It is common in Fresno to cite and release a DUI suspect rather than arresting and booking them into jail. Many people believe they were only given a citation, not arrested. It can be confusing, but a misdemeanor citation comes following an arrest for DUI. It may occur at a jail during or after booking, or even upon release. But, an officer may choose to cite and release you at the scene of the stop, either tow your vehicle or allow a licensed sober driver to drive it home for you.
It leads to the false assumption that no arrest occurred. This is incorrect. It was still an arrest, and you were cited to appear in court by a certain date which is usually on the bottom of the citation.
If you fail to appear you could suffer serious consequences both in court and at the DMV. One consequence is the DMV may put a hold on your license until you resolve your court case. Other consequences could include a remand into custody, the court requiring a bail to allow you out, or worse.
If you have been cited and released for DUI, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you with your legal needs.