No matter where it happens, getting arrested for a DUI is scary. But it can be even worse if your arrest occurred in another state where you do not know the laws. Regardless of where it happened, it can have severe consequences in that state and here in California.
For more information on what to do after a DUI outside of California, read these questions and then give us a call to schedule a consultation to discuss your case: 951-274-0003.
Can an out-of-state DUI conviction affect me once I am back in California?
Yes. Although it can be tempting to pretend an out-of-state DUI arrest never happened, ignoring such an arrest can have serious consequences at home in California.
Even if you never plan to return to the state where you were arrested, you need to follow up with the case, attend hearings, and, if possible, fight the charges.
I was arrested for an out-of-state DUI, when can I return home to California?
After an out-of-state DUI arrest, the state may force you to remain in the state of arrest longer than you intended. However, this extended stay is typically limited to the time you are sitting in a jail cell.
Unless your DUI stemmed from a traffic accident where someone was killed or seriously injured, your jail sentence will most likely be rather short.
Once the arresting officer releases you from jail or after you post bail, you will likely be free to leave the state. However, keep in mind that you may need to return to attend a hearing or make a court appearance once the trial starts.
Are DUI laws and procedures the same in every state?
No. DUI laws and procedures are not uniform across the United States. You are probably somewhat familiar with how a DUI charges work in California, but each state handles these kinds of cases a little differently.
An out-of-state DUI arrest will start you on a complicated, multistep process that you should not ignore. Each state has different deadlines and procedures for DUI cases.
Can I continue to drive after an out-of-state DUI arrest?
Every state has slightly different regulations, but typically you can expect that after a DUI arrest, the state in which you were arrested will try to suspend your driving privilege (license). You can request a hearing to appeal this suspension.
In most states, if you lose your appeal or fail to request a hearing, your suspension will become final.
At that point, the state where you were arrested will likely report the suspension to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In order to be able to drive in the state where you were arrested, you may need to attend driving classes or pay reinstatement fees.
Unless you receive notification otherwise, you will still be able to drive legally in California.
What steps do I need to take to resolve the DUI case against me?
In addition to the administrative suspension, you will need to visit the court in the state in which you were arrested.
You will need to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Regardless of when you enter your plea, you must adhere to important deadlines and appear in court when requested. Missing deadlines or failing to appear in court can hurt your case and/or result in a warrant for your arrest.
Do I need to hire an out-of-state lawyer?
Yes. Most California attorneys will be of little use to you in your out-of-state DUI case. Instead, you will want to hire an attorney licensed in the state where your DUI occurred.
These attorneys will have the experience needed to successfully defend you in that state. Furthermore, if you hire an in-state attorney, you may be able to have the attorney appear in court on your behalf, thus saving you a trip back to the state.
What consequences might California drivers face for out-of-state DUI convictions?
There are real consequences for California drivers who receive a DUI conviction in another state. In addition to the fines and potential jail time that you will face in the state where you were arrested, consequences could follow you home to California.
First, if you do not appear in court for your out-of-state case, your privilege to drive in California could be revoked in addition to losing the right to drive in the state where you were initially arrested.
This is because California and 43 others are part of a legal agreement known as the Interstate Driver License Compact. These states have agreed to share information regarding DUI offenses and punish citizens of their own state who refuse to submit to an out-of-state court. Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are not part of the Compact.
Another potential consequence is that the out-of-state conviction could count as a prior DUI conviction in California.
For example, if you are arrested for a DUI in California, the court could treat you as a repeat offender even if it is the first time you have been arrested for a DUI in California. If the state considers you a repeat offender, you will face a harsher punishment from the California court.
Contact Greenberg & Greenberg for Help Defending a California DUI Case
A good DUI defense attorney can help you minimize the negative effects of a DUI. For help defending against a California DUI charge or for advice about an out-of-state arrest for driving under the influence, contact the defense attorneys of Greenberg & Greenberg today: 951-274-0003.