Out-of-State DUIs

Your Trusted Modesto DUI Lawyer – (209) 326-1533

Getting a DUI away from home can be a stressful experience. Even though every state has a legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC), you may be dealing with unfamiliar laws and legal processes. California has some of the nation’s strictest DUI laws, and your defense is critical to protecting your driving privileges, both in California and in your home state. Navigating an unfamiliar legal system can be a challenge, but a qualified California DUI attorney can help you if you’re an out-of-state driver who has been charged in California.

Begin your defense today. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Girdner today.

Protecting Your License

Even if you’re an out-of-state driver, you are subject to the same laws and penalties as a California resident. When a California driver is arrested for a DUI, their license is suspended and they are issued a temporary license that is good for 30 days. The process of your DUI arrest may be a little different, however.

Out-of-State Driver DUI Process:

  • The police cannot take away your out-of-state license, but they can suspend your California driving privileges for 30 days. They must warn you of this at the time of arrest. You will be able to keep your driver’s license.
  • Your home state will be notified of the DUI charges pending against you. Your state’s DMV may choose to suspend your license.
  • You can request a hearing with the DMV to fight the suspension of your driving privileges in California. You have 10 days after your request to file your claim.

A DMV hearing may take months to be scheduled, but until then, your license cannot be revoked or suspended. You may have already handled your DUI charges in criminal court by the time the DMV hearing date arrives, but you shouldn’t hesitate to file for a DMV hearing. Missing the deadline means that you forfeit the right to protect your license in a DMV hearing. Your California DUI lawyer can handle the DMV hearing on your behalf, even if you are no longer in California by the hearing date.

Fighting Your DUI Charge

Separate from the DMV hearing, you will be required to attend a criminal hearing to defend yourself from your DUI charges. You will need to go through the California court system to fight your DUI charges, even as an out-of-state driver. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will be faced with the California DUI penalties, which include:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to $2,600 in penalty assessments
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Up to 6 months suspension of your license or California driving privileges
  • Up to 30 days of vehicle impoundment
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device

It is likely that California and your home state will work cooperatively to ensure the terms of your sentence are met. Your home state may suspend your license until the California court system notifies your state that you have met the conditions of your conviction.

The California DUI Proceedings

If you live outside of California, you may be thousands of miles from the court handling your case. Often, those convicted of a DUI outside of their home state worry if they are required to be present at the proceedings. Making travel arrangements, taking time off work, and organizing child or pet care can place a strain on the accused. Often, you are not required to be present at the proceedings, if you are represented by a California DUI attorney.

  • DMV Hearing: You can conduct this hearing over the phone, but it often works in your favor to have your lawyer appear at the hearing on your behalf. They are able to attend without you being present.
  • Evidence Collection: Your attorney is able to collect evidence without your presence. During this time, your lawyer will pressure the prosecution to drop the case against you or to offer a reduced penalty in exchange for your cooperation. Defendants are rarely present for this portion of the proceedings.
  • Initial Court Proceedings: Your attorney can attend initial hearings on your behalf, but you must attend these proceedings yourself if you do not have representation.
  • Trial: The only part of the proceedings you must attend is the trial. Your lawyer can request that you are excused from appearing, but juries and judges are often more sympathetic when the defendant is present.

Often, California DUI cases are resolved before making it to trial.

Why Should I Have Representation?

It isn’t legally required that you have representation from a California DUI attorney to face your trial, but your lawyer can provide valuable insight and can do much of the “leg work” during the proceedings.

Benefits of a California DUI Lawyer:

  • They can handle most of your case, so you don’t need to travel to California for each step of the proceedings.
  • They offer dedicated knowledge regarding California laws and DUI cases.
  • They may be familiar with local judges and prosecutors, and can use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • They may be able to negotiate a deal that is in your favor, such as reduced penalties or dropped charges.

Your attorney can help with your charges in California, but your choice must be licensed to practice in the state. Look for a local DUI lawyer. If you need help with the process at home, your California attorney may even be able to recommend a lawyer in your area. When looking for an attorney to represent you, be sure to ask about their experience with out-of-state DUIs.

Get Help from a Top California DUI Attorney

At the Law Offices of Mark Girdner, we know how frustrating a DUI can be when you are only in California for a temporary reason. Your California DUI charge can have repercussions in your home state as well, so we understand how critical it is to defend you from these charges. Our Modesto DUI attorney, Mark Girdner, will tirelessly fight your charges and can offer you’re the knowledge and experience of a former prosecutor.

Our offices are ready to take your call anytime, day or night. Don’t hesitate to call our team and begin your out-of-state DUI defense today.

Contact the Law Offices of Mark Girdner by calling (209) 326-1533 to request a free initial consultation.