Out of State Drivers with a California DUI
California is one of the busiest destinations for holiday travel and for business travellers. As many visitors have found, it may also be very difficult to get around California cities without a vehicle. Drivers unfamiliar with the heavy traffic or busy streets may find themselves pulled over for a minor traffic violation, and end up in jail if the police officer smells any alcohol on the driver, even if they are not over the legal limit.
Not only will a DUI ruin your vacation, it may result in a suspended license in your home state. If you ignore an out-of-state DUI, it will not go away. It may follow you across state lines, and the next time you apply for a driver’s license, you may find that you have been denied. One reason a DUI can have a national impact is that most states, including California, share information and have cooperative policies through the Driver License Compact (DLC).
Even states that are not part of the DLC all share information through the National Driver Register (NDR). The NDR includes listings of all drivers with a DUI conviction, and those with a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Whenever a driver applies for a new license or a license renewal, the state may check his/her NDR listing for a status of what they consider problem drivers.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
Even if you are an out of state resident, if you are arrested for a DUI in California, you will lose your driving privileges after 30 days. If you are caught driving in California after having your privileges suspended, you may face additional charges. The only way to fight this is by requesting a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), but be aware that you only have 10 days to request the hearing. Your California DUI attorney will be able to file for a DMV hearing and represent you in person so you don’t have to take a special trip just to keep your license to drive.
Out-of-State DUI Defense Attorney
Whether you live in a neighboring state like Oregon, Nevada or Arizona, or on the other side of the country, getting back to the city where you were arrested for a DUI can be expensive and a major inconvenience, especially if you have to come back more than once. By hiring a local DUI defense lawyer, in most cases he/she will be able to represent you in court without having you come in person. This will save you thousands of dollars in travel costs and time off work.
Not only will your local California DUI defense lawyer be your advocate, but will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed so that you won’t end up with a criminal record that will follow you back to your home state, or anywhere across the country. Driving may be a necessity, and it is important that you keep that privilege. Contact your DUI attorney as soon as you can for the best chance of keeping your license to drive.