Getting arrested by police and charged with DUI is a terribly difficult situation when it happens in your home state, but when you receive a DUI in another state your problems are multiplied. You may be tempted to just plead guilty and move on, or simply drive back to your home state vowing to never again step foot in that state, thinking the penalties of the DUI will not follow you home. Be warned: A DUI conviction and its penalties can be effective in the state you were arrested in and your home state.
Should I hire a DUI attorney?
You will face all of the same penalties and procedures as if you were a resident of that state. Although each state has its own unique DUI laws and statutes, you will likely face two court proceedings. One is the criminal case against you and the other is the revocation of your license through an administrative license suspension. An experienced DUI attorney can look at the specifics of your DUI case and guide you through both of these procedures.
One of the main benefits for hiring an attorney is that he can appear on your behalf in court. DUI proceedings can generally take anywhere between two months and one year to resolve. It can get expensive and burdensome to travel back and forth every time you are scheduled to appear in court or at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You could recoup some of what you pay in attorneys fees and save yourself a lot of stress and loss of personal time by hiring a DUI attorney to assist you.
In which state should I hire my DUI attorney?
As stated previously, each state has its own DUI laws and penalties. They could vary widely. An attorney from the state where your DUI will be prosecuted will be an expert in that states laws and could have invaluable relationships and knowledge of the courts and how they work. These things could be vital when it comes to dealing with the Prosecutor on your behalf and working out an agreeable plea bargain. A skilled attorney can make sure any alcohol education programs or community service be performed in your home state.
One more item for consideration: an in-state DUI attorney will know about any diversion programs that could get you out of a potential conviction.
What happens if I go back to my home state and ignore the drunk driving charge?
Due to the Interstate Driver Compact, 45 of 50 states share information regarding all driving related offenses, including DUI. This means that a DUI conviction in one state will follow you to your home state. You will lose the privilege to drive in both states.
If you fail to appear in Court, a warrant for your arrest will be issued. Some states, upon finding the warrant will not allow you to renew your license or even arrest you and force you to go back and handle the issue. If you fail to follow through on the terms of your plea agreement then you could also be taken into custody.
Being charged with an out-of-state DUI is definitely a hassle. Dont compound the problem by entering a quick guilty plea or burying your head in the sand and running back home, hoping it will all go away. Protect your rights by hiring an experienced DUI attorney in the state where you were arrested.