blog home DUI Will an Old, Out-of-State DUI Affect My Current Charge?

Will an Old, Out-of-State DUI Affect My Current Charge?

By San Diego Attorney on June 30, 2021

Having to go through the process of fighting a DUI once can be draining, especially if your case ended in a license suspension and criminal penalties. Years later, you may think the charge is far behind and that you have paid your debt to society. But if you end up on the wrong side of the law again, that old DUI charge may come back to haunt you – even if it took place in another state.

Do States Share DUI Charges?

California is a member of the Driver License Compact (DLC), which is an agreement between 45 states to share information about their drivers’ records, including traffic infractions and criminal charges. As a result of the DLC, an out-of-state DUI conviction can follow you to California and impact your current case. In addition, if you have a prior DUI from your home state and get arrested while visiting California for school, business, or vacation, then you can face additional penalties for an out-of-state DUI charge in San Diego.

The only states that are not a part of the DLC are:

  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

However, not every DUI automatically transfers between states. For an out-of-state DUI charge to follow you to California, the court must first consider whether each state follows the same procedures and standards. For an out-of-state DUI to impact your current case, it must:

  • Be enforced in the same manner in California and in the other state;
  • Follow the same standards and laws for a conviction; and
  • Have the same description under the law.

A DUI in another state may not influence your current charge if the other state follows different rules for testing and prosecution. In addition, it is up to the district attorney in your case to pull your out-of-state records. This information is only shared between DMVs, and it is not automatic in criminal cases. It will be up to the prosecution to research your prior charges and decide if they will apply them to your current case.

The Impact of Prior DUI Charges

DUIs are priorable, meaning that any DUI conviction on your record can justify an increase in the DUI penalties in your current case. While a first offense may involve no jail time so long as you complete DUI school, a second offense can lead to up to a year in jail, thousands more in fines, and a two-year license suspension. Ultimately, the more DUI convictions on your record, the more penalties you will face.

If you or someone you love is facing a DUI charge in San Diego, you should not hesitate to reach out to jD Law. Our San Diego criminal defense lawyer is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist who has spent more than 30 years fighting to get DUI charges reduced or dismissed. We can review you case in a free, confidential consultation, explain your rights, and advocate for your best interests.

Do not accept a conviction without a fight. Call jD LAW at (760) 630-2000 today.

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James N. Dicks
jD LAW, P.C.

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If you feel uncomfortable with an in-person meeting due to the recent surge in COVID-19, our office is offering remote appointments via phone and Zoom. Please call or email us to set up your appointment.

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