Do DUI Convictions Transfer From State To State?

This is a very complicated area of law, and there are no absolute answers. Different states handle things quite differently and you may need to contact an attorney in the jurisdiction that is taking action against your driving privilege. As a practical matter, if you have prior DUI convictions outside of California, it is unlikely that they will be charged as part of the new criminal case in California. But, and this is a big but, California DMV will probably see out of state DUI convictions and treat your California driving privilege accordingly. Below is some general information, but if you’re in one of these situations you need to contact an attorney to deal with the specifics of your circumstances.

Some General Information:

Let’s say you got caught in Alameda County for a possible DUI charge, but you were planning to leave the state. If you are found guilty of the offense, you might face severe consequences that could prevent you from relocating. Even in the best-case scenario, the consequences of a DUI are likely to migrate from state to state.

If you’re facing a DUI accusation in the Oakland, Dublin, Alameda County region, you’ll benefit from getting your case reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney. We can connect you with a DUI lawyer who has the experience you need to manage your criminal case as well as clarify how the offense may affect your future plans.

For a free consultation, contact Alameda County DUI Attorney Louis J Goodman.

Driver License Compact (DLC)

If you are charged with a DUI in California, the conviction will likely follow you out of the state. Similarly, if you were convicted of a comparable DUI in practically any other jurisdiction, California will consider it as if you were convicted there.

Since California is a part of the Driver License Compact, it receives reciprocal treatment (DLC). This is a 45-state agreement that holds drivers to the same standards and allows member states to share information. States can use this information to check if a motorist from another member state has been charged with a driving offense, such as a DUI.

The following are the five jurisdictions that have not joined the DLC:

  • Massachusetts
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin

This does not, however, imply that individuals relocating to or from these states will be immune from the repercussions of a DUI charge. These states may exchange information with the DLC’s member states on a voluntary basis. Similarly, irrespectively of where you travel, a DUI will have an effect on your insurance for years beyond the date of conviction.

How Out of State DUIs work in California?

Although California is a part of the DLC, a DUI offense from another member state might not always immediately carry over. California mandates that certain requirements be completed before a DUI charge can be transferred from one state to another. Those requirements are as follows:

Statutes need to be essentially comparable to those in California. The laws accompanying a DUI charge must be largely similar to those in California. If a motorist can be charged with the same offense for the same actions in either state, California will carry over the DUI.

There need to be similarities when it comes to enforcement. California mandates that the implementation of another state’s DUI laws be similar in content to the penalties imposed on drivers in California.

California is not obligated by the requirements of the DLC if a DUI conviction in another state is not reported as such. In order for California to recognize a conviction under the DLC, the accusation must be substantially similar to the charge of driving while intoxicated.

What if you get charged with a DUI in California and then relocate to another state?

If you were charged with DUI in California or even had your license taken away for a DUI by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the repercussions will follow you even if you relocate to another state. There are, however, ways to make the process go more smoothly, and you may not have to fulfill all of your California DUI penalties.

We’ll go over all you need to know about relocating after a California DUI in the sections below:

  • Which fines will you face if you leave the state?
  • What to do if you have to go to court?

Which DUI consequences from California will follow me after I leave the state?

In the vast majority of situations, all of them will. Often DUI drivers are unsure how to manage their out-of-state relocation, which they may have planned for months prior to their arrest or may be required for their career, education, or family reasons. All of these are solid reasons to relocate out of state. However, relocation should not be viewed as a strategy to avoid facing DUI charges. It will not work and may have serious consequences.

You will be compelled to appear before a judge following your DUI arrest. If you fail to appear in court, the court may issue a warrant. If you are charged with a felony DUI in another state, the state of California may request that you be extradited and sent to California. But, because DUI is usually a misdemeanor, you would not be repatriated. That said, the order may cause complications, and you may be arrested and suffer far worse consequences.

Furthermore, your driver’s license will be revoked in both California and your new state. You won’t be allowed to receive a driving permit in your new state until the DUI case in California is resolved. You will be unable to drive lawfully anywhere in the United States.

Even if you have relocated out of state, the wisest thing you can do is to keep working on your California DUI charge.

I don’t reside in California, therefore do I have to go to court there?

No, you typically don’t. In court, you can also have your attorney represent you. If you give your attorney permission, he or she can attend your court hearings on your account, so you don’t have to. But, you may be asked to return to California for certain procedures.

Final Thoughts

Are you facing a DUI conviction in Alameda County?

For a free consultation, contact Alameda County DUI Attorney Louis J Goodman.

Is your life being disrupted by allegations of drunk driving? Do you want to cleanse your name after being arrested? Are you unsure about your legal rights and what defensive methods will help you avoid danger? You’ll need a local and experienced attorney who can immediately address your issues if you’ve been charged with a DUI. You’ll also need someone who can represent you right away and help you get back on your feet.

Our California DUI attorney can assist you in reducing risk, gaining peace of mind, and strengthening your defense.

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