Out of State DUIs for California Residents
When you travel or are trying to enjoy a vacation, you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being accused of DUI in a state other than California.
Handling a DUI outside of California.
If you are a California resident and have a DUI elsewhere, you can’t have that case transferred to California. You will need to have an attorney in that state handle the case for you, or travel back and forth to meet that state’s requirements. This page discusses out of State DUIs for California residents.
If you hire a DUI defense attorney that works in the state where you got the DUI, in most cases that lawyer can manage the complete case, from start to finish, without you having to be there at all. If you choose to represent yourself or requests the public defender, then typically, you would need to be present for all court appearances.
You can discover attorneys that practice in DUI defense through the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) or thru the DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) state directories. You may not need a California DUI lawyer at all, although you may want to consult with one, as the California DMV may take action against your license.
You may also wonder how an out of state DUI will affect your California Driver’s License or your driving privileges in California. That depends on what state your DUI was in. Some states, but not all, agree to exchange driver’s license data and information through a law that acts as a treaty between states, called “The Driver’s License Compact”.
What is the Driver’s License Compact?
The Driver License Compact is an interstate agreement between certain States of the USA to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the state where they are licensed known as the home state.
What states do not exchange information regarding suspensions and violations?
Every state in the United States of America sends information regarding DMV actions, suspensions, and violations to the California DMV under the Driver’s License Compact, except the following five:
- Michigan, and
Note that Nevada, which was the first member of the Driver’s Compact, is no longer technically a member, but still agrees to share information on DUI actions with the California DMV.
If you’re arrested in a Driver’s License Compact state, that state will take whatever procedural action they normally take for DUI offenders. However, as the holder of a California license, only the California DMV has jurisdiction over your license, and only California can take action affecting your license.
If in an interstate compact state, you would have a right to a DMV hearing for a DUI, with one of two results:
- If you win the hearing, no information would be communicated with the California DMV, and thus no action would be taken against your license; or
- If you lose the DMV hearing in that state, that state’s DMV will communicate that fact to the California DMV and would suspend your California driver’s license. You would then need to take the necessary steps to get a restricted license if you choose to and to reinstate your license. That means attending a California DUI class or school, paying $125, and submitting an SR-22 to the California DMV. The DMV in CA will treat the case just like they would any California DUI. That includes treating it as a second time DUI, if there is prior, or treating it as a DUI with a refusal if that allegation was proven.
What if the Court asks me to do an alcohol school or program in their state?
In other states, the court will allow you to an alcohol school, alcohol program, or alcohol classes in California, to satisfy their state’s requirements. Since the DMV in California may require that you do whatever first-time offenders in California are required to do, including alcohol classes or programs, that keeps you from doing two schools (one in the state with the DUI, and one in California). It is a similar situation to the reverse, out of state residents that get a DUI in California. One program would give you credit for both the other state’s court and also for the California DMV.
Contact us today if you have questions about an out of State DUI for California residents, contact our team of Los Angeles DUI Attorneys, featuring DUI Lawyer Robert Miller, to get your questions answered.