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What To Do As an Out of State Driver Charged With Drunk Driving in San Diego

If you are from outside California and were stopped, tested and charged with DUI in the San Diego area, you may not be fully aware of the repercussions. The laws surrounding out of state DUIs are extremely complicated and will not only affect your driving privileges in California, but also in your own state. In addition to facing criminal charges, you may also have to attend a DUI hearing at a California DMV. Both of these elements should be handled with an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer at your side to ensure you do not face the full ramifications of the law.

You need to act now to retain before your case progresses any further through the system! If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI, contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately to schedule a free consultation. Our San Diego out of state DUI lawyer has extensive experience defending clients in both criminal cases and DUI hearings, leading to either reduced charges or complete dismissals of cases. To get started on your case, contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 or request a free evaluation online today so that we can review your charges right away.

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How Out of State DUIs Are Processed

There are two aspects to your DUI offense; one is the criminal aspect, which will take place in the criminal justice system, and the second is the administrative matter related to your license suspension, which takes place at the DMV.

When you were stopped, the officer gave you a notice telling you that your driving privileges in California would be suspended in 30 days. California officers do not have the legal authority to take away your license, but they can notify the DMV to suspend your license. The notice also says you must request the Department of Motor Vehicles for a hearing within 10 days of arrest. If you fail to schedule or attend this hearing, you will automatically lose both your driving privileges in California and in your home state.

However, you do have the right to challenge this suspension. A DMV hearing is your opportunity to argue your side of the case and, if you work with the right attorney, you may avoid a suspension or only receive a restricted license. While DMV hearings are difficult, the ruling can be overturned by a higher court so long as you did not refuse a roadside test.

On the other side of the issue are your criminal charges. The state of California has the right to pursue a criminal office for a DUI if you were operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or, if you are a commercial driver, a BAC of over 0.04%. If this is your first or second offense and no one was injured during your arrest, you may only face a misdemeanor charge. For third or subsequent offenses and DUIs that caused injuries, you could face felony charges.

The difference between misdemeanor and felony charges can significantly impact how the court processes your case. For misdemeanor charges, you may appoint an attorney to represent you at all court appearances and return home, rather than having to stay in the state for the entire trial. This has its pros and cons, but it may allow you to return back to your home state if you were on vacation or are between semesters at college during the DUI charge.

Felony charges, on the other hand, do not offer this privilege. Instead, you must remain within California throughout your entire trial unless the court grants you permission to travel out of state. You will be expected to attend all court appearances and may face significant charges if convicted.

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Consequences of a DUI

California courts take DUIs extremely seriously, which is why our state administers both DUI suspensions and criminal charges for offenders. With regard to the criminal charges, DUIs are repeatable offenses, meaning the courts can increase your penalties if you have previous DUI charges on your criminal record.

However, this is not always the case with an out of state charge. If you have a previous conviction of a DUI in your home state, it is up to the prosecutor in your California case to check your records. If they are not aware of your previous conviction, then they may only charge you as a first-time offender. If they do become aware of that conviction, then you could face the penalties for a second-time offender, but only if they adhere to the same standards as California’s laws.

In addition, the California criminal justice system may share this conviction with your home state’s court. If your home state also has repeat offenses, then you could be charged with an enhancement if you are arrested for a DUI in your home state.

Typically, DUI charges are shared between states using the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact (IDLC) system. California is a member of this system and will share your conviction with any other state that uses it. Currently, 45 states and Washington D.C. use the system, which the exclusions being:

  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Tennessee

In either situation, it is important to understand the charges for a first-time offender in California, which can include a misdemeanor punishment of:

  • Two days to six months in a county jail
  • A maximum of $1,000 in fines plus penalty assessments
  • Community service requirements

While your San Diego defense attorney may be able to get your jail time to probation, second and subsequent offenses can require mandatory jail time, which you will have to serve in California. Bottom line is that an out of state DUI charge can significantly impact your entire life and be extremely hard to defend against if you do not work with a knowledgeable attorney.

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Defending Out of State Clients

Not just any law firm or public defender can protect you from an out of state DUI charge. You will want to work with an attorney who has extensive experience handling a variety of DUI cases and defending clients in DMV hearings. That is where jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys comes in. At our firm, our founding attorney can provide a thorough defense by offering clients:

  • 30+ years of experience in the criminal field
  • Insight from a former police detective
  • The skill and knowledge of a board-certified criminal law specialist
  • Confidence in hundreds of criminal cases tried

When we take on a client, we handle both sides of the case: the criminal charges and license suspension. Based on our significant experience, we can advocate for reduced charges or a complete case dismissal by:

  • Exposing police errors and violations
  • Demonstrating that there was an illegal stop
  • Proving the incorrect administration of tests

Never enter the courtroom on a DUI offense without representation. jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys makes every effort to accommodate non-California residents needing to travel to appear at hearings and will use all of our skill and expertise to defend you in both a trial and DMV hearing.

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Secure the Experience of a Skilled San Diego Drunk Driving Lawyer

Whatever DUI charges you are up against, you need to do everything in your power to minimize the repercussions. That means contacting a San Diego DUI lawyer immediately. As a former LAPD investigator, our founding attorney can thoroughly review all evidence against you to build a defense strategy. During the trial, he can skillfully cross-examine the arresting police officers to expose procedural violations, vague answers, and contradictions in their testimony, which may prove vital in the outcome of your case. The firm provides superior, personalized service and a passionate, well-crafted and professional defense against charges. You can be confident that your rights and interests will be protected and fought for by a highly experienced legal professional.

If you are facing serious drunk driving charges, be sure to contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 now for a free consultation.

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