Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, If I have a DUI arrest in another state what will happen if I fail to show up for my DUI hearing?
Simply ignoring a problem may seem like a good way to avoid consequences but with a DUI arrest this is never the case. In fact, if you decide not to show up for your out of state DUI arrest hearing you may be automatically found guilty of DUI in that state, receive a DUI conviction, and have a bench warrant issued against you for a failure to appear in court.
What if I avoid that state?
If you are charged and convicted for DUI in one state for failing to appear for your DUI arrest you may think you are safe as long as you do not go to that state- think again. If your license has been suspended in one state, assuming your state is part of the Interstate Compact, your home state is likely to be notified of all outstanding convictions, charges, and warrants.
The Interstate Compact is a multi-state agreement between all participating states that allows states to share information. The only states which are not currently a part of this compact includeWisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan. So while you may be safe in these states for an out of state arrest, all other states will have information about your out of state DUI conviction, which means if you are stopped for any reason and your license has been suspended by another state or a bench warrant has been issued for your failure to appear you can be arrested.
National Driver Registry and License Renewal
Another issue is the National Driver Registry. Although not every state is part of the Interstate Compact all states do review the NDR when issuing or renewing a license. So even if the DUI conviction is not initially reported to your state you may have difficulty renewing or getting a new license if you have a license suspension in another state.
Other people or groups that have access to the National Driver Registry include:
- State and federal driver licensing officials.
- The Federal Railroad Administration and employers of locomotive operators.
- The Federal Aviation Administration for airman medical certification.
- The U.S. Coast Guard for merchant mariner certification.
- The National Transportation Safety Board for accident investigations.
- Federal Highway Administration for accident investigations.
- Federal Agencies performing background investigations for employment.
So, if you are convicted of DUI you are not only facing potential jail time, a license suspension and fines, it is likely your conviction will be reported to your home state and your license may be suspended.
What if I have a DUI arrest in another state?
If you have a DUI arrest, you are convicted for DUI in another state, you failed to appear for your hearing, and you are stopped and arrested in your home state the penalties will vary by state. For instance, in Nevada if you have a DUI arrest in another state you may be extradited to the state holding the conviction / warrant. Other states may limit your ability to renew your car insurance, your license, or your registration.
If you have a DUI arrest in another state the best course of action is to appear at the DUI hearing or to contact a lawyer and find out what they can do for you. Next, if you are convicted of DUI you will need to talk to the DMV in the state and find out what you have to do to lift the restrictions on your license in that state.