Out of State DUI in California
Why You Need a Santa Barbara DUI Attorney
Following being charged for DUI in the state of California, you should immediately seek the help of a Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. The same is true for out-of-state drivers who were pulled over and subsequently charged for any type of driving under the influence charges in the state. The sooner you align your case with an experienced defense professional at our firm, the better chance you stand at avoiding an ultimate conviction.
Assuming that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of 0.08%, the officer can confiscate your California driver's license and issue a temporary one that will expire in 30 days. If, however, you are an out-of-state driver, the law enforcement officer who pulled you over will proceed somewhat differently. Rather than confiscating your state driver's license, the officer will instead issue you a notice that your privilege to drive in California will be suspended 30 days from the time that you were stopped.
Information for Out-of-State Residents
After being pulled over by a law enforcement officer and receiving a notice of suspension for your privilege to drive in the state of California,you will have only ten days to challenge the suspension with the California DMV. It is at this time that having a professional DUI defense attorney on your side can be particularly helpful, because your attorney can schedule the DMV hearing for you, and when you're an out-of-state resident it can be extremely helpful to have a local lawyer working on your behalf.
Any person who fails to request a California DMV hearing within the first ten days of an arrest automatically forfeits his or her right to challenge the license suspension. Accordingly, persons who fall into this category can expect for their license to be suspended on the 30-day mark from the time that the charges were made. This is true for both in-state and out-of state drivers who are facing DUI charges in California.
About the California DMV Hearing
Anyone who acts within ten days of their arrest and schedules a DMV Hearing can benefit from the postponement of their license suspension. Even if the hearing is scheduled for a date past that which would be 30 days from your arrest, your driver's license will not be suspended unless you are not successful at your hearing.
A DUI defendant is not required to attend the DMV Hearing; instead, your attorney can present on your behalf. In some circumstances, this type of hearing can even be conducted telephonically. At the hearing, the following must be proven in order to have your driver's license officially suspended:
- The law enforcement officer had reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence
- Your arrest was made lawfully
- Your BAC was at or above the 0.08% legal limit while you were driving
The DMV Hearing is much less formal than an actual court proceeding, however, you still have the right to retain the professional representation of an attorney at this time; and doing so could greatly enhance your chances of successfully resolving the issue at hand.
Without an attorney by your side and advocating on your behalf, you stand much more chance of losing the hearing, which would mean that your privilege to drive in the state of California will be suspended. For a first-time offense, you can expect your suspension to last for approximately 4 months. After the first 30 days of the suspension, you can move to have it converted to a restricted license that allows you to drive to and from work / school.
License suspension in CA could mean license suspension in your home state!
The Interstate Driver's License Compact, or IDLC, provides that every driver in the country has only a single driver's license and a single driving record to go along with it. Accordingly, an arrest for DUI made in California will be reported to the IDLC, at which time your home state will very likely take its own actions against your driver's license.
Currently, only five states do not participate in the IDLC: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Depending on the state in which you live, any number of penalties could result from a license suspension that was incurred in the state of California. For example, some state will take action only if the California DMV suspends your license, while others won't do anything unless a criminal conviction is made.
In some states that participate in the IDLC, a driver who is charged and convicted of DUI in California will also face a separate set of DMV penalties in his or her home state of residence. In other states, a driver could be penalized if his or her home state currently has similar DUI statutes as those that are followed in the state of California.
DUI Criminal Court Proceedings
Whether or not you win your California DMV Hearing, you will also be required to attend a DUI criminal court proceeding, because the California Superior Court takes separate action from that which is made by the DMV. In certain circumstances, you may be able to have your DUI defense attorney appear on your behalf.
For persons who must take their case to trial, the judge will be responsible for determining whether or not you must be present for the proceeding. In most cases, it's strategically wise to appear in court under such circumstances. If the judge and jury do not see you face-to-face, you are much more likely to be convicted. Again, your California DUI lawyer should be present at this time.
Assuming that your case is resolved favorably, it is unlikely that your home state will take any further legal action. If, however, you are convicted of your charges, then you will be subject to sentencing in the state of California, and your privilege to drive in California will also be suspended. It is very likely that your home state will also place similar restrictions on your driver's license upon your return home.
Any action that is taken against your driver's license by your home state cannot be fixed until all of your California DUI obligations have been fulfilled. Such obligations can include probation, fines, and the completion of California DUI School. Once these have been completed, you (or your attorney) will need to contact both the court and the DMV to have your California driving privileges reinstated. At this time, your state of residence will likely lift any other restrictions on your driver's license.