What happens if you live in another state but are arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) in Orange County, California? This is an important issue to consider, as you face unique challenges and proceedings best addressed by an experienced professional.
In California, a DUI arrest automatically initiates driver’s license suspension proceedings. The standard procedure is for the arresting officer to confiscate the driver's license and provide the driver with a temporary license that expires in 30 days, at which point the license suspension goes into effect.
What about out-of-state drivers?
If you have an out-of-state license, however, the officer lacks the authority to take this from your possession. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not have the right to suspend your driving privileges in your home state. Instead, the officer will give you a notice that your driving privileges in California will be suspended in 30 days.
As a driver who resides in another state, you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing, at which point you can challenge the suspension of your California driving privileges. If you fail to request a DMV hearing within this period of time, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended, usually for a period of several months for a first-time DUI.
You may be wondering why challenging the suspension of your driving privileges is something worth considering. Even if you lose your privilege to drive in California, you will still be able to drive in your home state, right? Not necessarily.
Interstate Drivers License Compact
All but five states in the U.S. belong to the Interstate Drivers License Compact (IDLC), which operates off the belief that a driver should have a single driver's license and a single driving record. Information regarding moving traffic violations and DUI are shared between all IDLC member states. A DUI in California is almost guaranteed to affect our driver's license in your home state.
If your driving privilege is suspended by the California DMV, your home state may impose a similar penalty on your driver's license. Some states will take action against your license based off California DMV proceedings alone, while others will only take action if you are convicted of DUI in criminal court. In either scenario, your driver's license in your home state is at risk.
You may also face imprisonment, fines and other penalties if you are charged with DUI in California. These criminal proceedings are separate from DMV proceedings, and with far harsher consequences. You may be required to return to California to participate in such proceedings, depending on the severity of your charges.
Considering the implications of a DUI arrest, it’s critical to work with an Orange County DUI defense attorney who understands the ins and outs of California DMV and criminal court proceedings.
Get a Local DUI Lawyer on Your Side
If you live in another state and were arrested in Orange County, the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. can help. Our experience with DMV hearings and criminal court cases pertaining to out-of-state drivers can make all the difference as we work to protect your driving privileges and freedom.
The IDLC may place your home state driver's license in jeopardy, and you may have to deal with the added difficulty of long-distance communication with the California DMV and criminal courts.
With a local law firm to represent your interests while working closely with you, you can feel confident that the most advantageous result is being pursued through a strategy tailored to suit your needs. Call our firm today to learn more.