When a motorist from another state is caught driving under the influence within the state of California, they get charged in both states by law enforcers.
Under California law, a driver driving under the influence has two legal cases to handle. The first proceeding is at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The other judicial process is done in a California court. Whatever happens to your driver’s license remains in the jurisdiction of these two institutions.
Depending on your state, if arrested with a DUI, the law enforcer issues you a notice that strips your privilege to handle a motor vehicle in one month/30 days. Out-of-state drivers typically do not understand the complex California laws.
A DUI conviction in Orange County, California, can have a toll on the lives of non-residents. See, you can risk deportation if you come from the US, get excluded from the US admission, have your work visa revoked, or even face jail time.
You want a competent DUI defense attorney to help you with your out-of-state DUI case and DMV hearing. Our reputable Orange County DUI Defense Attorney Law Firm has, for many years, helped drivers with their out-of-state DUI convictions. We know the weight of out-of-state DUI arrest, and no other law firm can help with reinstating your suspended out-of-state driver’s license better.
Out of State Drivers and California DUI Arrests
It is illegal to drive under the influence in California. You violate the law in California if you drive any vehicle with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or above. During your arrest, the law officer first determines your identity: your name and location. After establishing your residence, they can do the following:
- As an out-of-state motorist, the arresting officer offers a notice stating that your driving privilege in California ends in 30 days
- If you are a resident of California, the law enforcer seizes your license and offers you a momentary one. Usually, this license expires after 30 days.
The DMV, in some instances, allows DUI offenders to drive with suspended licenses. Before the permit, drivers must install an ignition interlock device in the vehicles. According to California Senate Bill 1046 of 2018 states that out-of-state DUI defendants can obtain a 1650 waiver to undertake their rehabilitation program sentences in the home states.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles receives immediate notice of your DUI arrest. The DMV also receives notifications from the arresting officer if the enforcer confiscates your driver’s license or revokes the privilege to drive in California. However, defendants have up to ten days from the arresting date to dispute against the suspension.
Filing a dispute against your driver's license suspension needs you to have a reputable DUI defense lawyer. Your attorney can ask for a California DMV hearing regardless of your home state.
After requesting a DMV hearing, the authorities postpone your license suspension until the sentencing is made.
Out of State Drivers and The California DMV
You lose your right to ask for a California DMV hearing if you don’t do so in ten days after your arrest for driving under the influence. After 30 days, the suspension of your driver's license becomes active.
A California DMV Hearing
The suspension of your driver's license is put on hold if you request a California DMV hearing before ten days after your DUI arrest. However, the suspension becomes active the moment you refuse to appear before the hearing. California law allows attorneys to attend the hearing on behalf of the defendants. The hearing could also occur over the phone.
Before the DMV can revoke your privilege to drive in California, the law enforcer must prove that:
- They arrested you in a lawful manner
- You were driving with a 0.08 percent BAC or over at the time of the arrest
- Without reasonable doubt, during the time of arrest, you drove under the influence
You want to have a competent DUI defense attorney with you for your DMV hearing, even if this proceeding is not as formal as a court proceeding. A good attorney goes a long way to prevent the suspension of your driver’s license.
But your California driving privilege is revoked if you or your defense lawyer loses the hearing. The California DMV suspends your rights for a certain period depending on your history of DUI convictions.
Typically, if it's your first DUI offense in California, your suspension period is four months. Also, after 30 days, the DMV can offer a restricted license that allows you to only to drive to your place of work, drug rehabilitation center, and back home. In other instances, the DMV can allow your drive your vehicle but with an IID installed.
What Is a Notice of Suspension?
The notice of suspension is a pink document offer to you during your drunk driving arrest. The document is a temporary license, and it’s is active for only 30 days. Also, this notice entitles you to a California DMV DUI hearing, where the decision whether to suspend your license is determined.
Remember, you are allowed to request a DMV hearing before ten days. Your driver's license suspension becomes active automatically after 30 days if you do not require a DMV hearing. To have your license reinstate in California, you must:
- Settle the reinstatement fee, which is $125
- Install an IID in your vehicle if ordered so in an hour DMV proceeding
- Complete your drug rehabilitation program
- Forward an SR-22 insurance form
The Interstate Drives License Compact (DLC)
While in California, upon a DUI conviction, you lose your driving privilege, your license can get suspended in your home state. Note that not all states in the US belong to the Interstate Drivers License Compact (IDLC). States exempted from IDLC include Tennessee, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
Speaking of IDLC, here, the concept is that each driver should hold one driver’s license and one driver’s record. When you get arrested for DUI in any of the states that belong to the IDLC, the authorities share your arrest account to your home state. Thus, if your DUI arrest happens in California, the prosecution in your home state also presses DUI charges against you.
The penalties depend on statutes in each state – in California and home state. For example:
- Legal actions against drunk drivers in some states occur only after the suspension of their licenses after a California DMV hearing
- Legal actions against drivers in California occur only if the defendants are convicted
- Prosecutions in other states punish defendants if they have similar laws for DUI convictions as does California
Out of State DUI Driver and California Courts
You must appear before the court if you are an out-of-state driver charged with drunk driving. This is irrespective of whether you requested a California DMV hearing. Even if you lose or win a DMV proceeding, you must attend court proceedings. Note that sentences from a California Superior Court can differ from those from the California DMV.
Another disparity between California courts and California DMV hearing is that the former allows proceedings to occur telephonically while the latter doesn’t.
California law allows DUI attorney to represent defendants in court if charged with a misdemeanor. In this event, you transfer rights to the lawyer to:
- Gather evidence on your behalf
- Attend court proceedings on your behalf
- Hold negotiation talks with the prosecutors
In case you want to apply for a trial, the judge can ask you to attend the hearing. Nevertheless, it is wise that you attend the court proceeding during the trial. See, the judge who hasn’t seen your face can decide to convict you in your absence.
The probability of your home state not taking legal actions against you is high if your out-of-state DUI charges in California are dismissed or lessened. However, your home state can impose similar punishment to that which you receive in California if you are convicted for an out-of-state DUI.
Again, when your home state convicts your for DUI or revokes your driver's license, you must comply with the sentences in California before your home state can drop your charges too. For instance, for your home state to drop your DUI conviction, you must finish either our jail-time, California DUI school, or pay fines.
After serving your sentence in California or completing your punishments, you or your DUI attorney should notify the court and the DMV to restore your driving privilege in California. Additionally, your driver's license is reinstated in your home state, and your charges dropped.
You face more charges should you decide to flout the rules and drive a vehicle in California with a suspended license. According to California Code 14601 VC, it is illegal for motorists to drive cars on revoked licenses. Under California law, if you drive after your license is suspended in court or DMV, you attract extra punishment like increase fines and jail time. California can also notify your home state concerning your additional crimes under the IDLC.
The Driver License Agreement (DLA)
States in the US are pushing to replace DLC with the Drivers License Agreement (DLA). See, the DLA comes with more severe punishment for any confident driver coming from the member states. This means an out-of-state DUI criminal can face harsher consequences.
The DLA seeks to remove the disparity of crimes between states. Unlike under DLA, with the DLC, the home state cannot impose an out-of-stake license suspension or charges if there are no similar rules in the state. But with DLA, all states will have similar statutes; hence, no difference in law enforcement.
Generally, if charged in California with drunk driving, you also subject yourself to some criminal liabilities in your home state.
Fighting for your driving freedom as an out-of-state driver charged with DUI in California is as imperative as a California resident facing similar charges.
Consequences of Losing a California DMV DUI Hearing for an Out of State Driver
An out-of-state driver can lose their California DMV DUI hearing. But the DUI defense attorney can argue in court to have your charges reduced. Depending on your plea bargains, the DMV can put your license suspension on hold even when it is active. Also, the severity of your conviction or length of license suspension depends on whether you are charged with a first-offense, second-offense, or subsequent-offense DUI.
Out of State Driver’s License Suspension for First-offense DUI in California
Out-of-state drivers face a license suspension for six to ten months if they don’t request a DMV DUI hearing or lose it. But after 30 days elapse, the DMV can convert you suspended license into a restricted one. A restricted license allows you to only drive an automobile to and from your place of work and California DUI school.
The conversion is only applicable if you pay your reinstatement fee, forward your SR-22 insurance form, and join a drug rehabilitation program.
If anyone incurs injuries because of your DUI offense, and at the DMV DUI proceeding, you lose your case, you lose driving privileges in California for one year. The DMV also notifies your home state about your criminal offense. Your home state decides what punishment to impose depending on the present statutes.
Also, an out-of-state driver can have their licenses suspended in California if they refuse to take a breath test or submit a chemical blood test.
Note that you cannot convert your license suspension to a restricted one if, at your DUI hearing, the DMV officers discover that your first-offense DUI caused injuries to another person. Refusing to take a chemical blood test can also result in your license suspension without the option to get a restricted driver's license.
Another instance where your privilege to drive in California is revoked is when you are on probation for DUI and you are arrested drunk driving with a 0.01% BAC or above.
In 2019, California laws allowed out-of-state drivers to drive vehicles up to four months without restrictions if they install IID devices in the cars.
Out of State Driver’s License Suspension for Second-offense DUI in California
Out-of-state drivers charged with a second-offense DUI in California before ten years have elapsed automatically lose their California DMV DUI hearing. And, their license gets suspended for two years.
After the license suspension, you can take a plea to have the suspension converted to a restriction after a year. But the conversion is possible after completing a DUI school and other requirements by California laws. Your criminal report is also updated in your home state, and similar penalties can get imposed or according to the statutes in place.
California laws allow out-of-state drivers arrested with a DUI for a second time to request for a restricted license after 90 days if:
- Your out-of-state DUI crime involved alcohol only. You right to obtain a limited license is stripped if you combine alcohol with other drugs
- There were no extra aggravating issues like an exceedingly high BAC
- You show proof that there is an IID installed in your car
- You show evidence that you are enrolled in a California DUI school for about 18 to 30 months
If you cause injuries to another person, your license suspension remains inactive for not below three years. But there is the possibility of conversion of the suspension to a restriction after a year too.
If an out-of-state driver refuses to take a breath test, their license is suspended for two years. The first-year suspension is because of refusing to take a breath test, and the other year is an extra year for your second DUI.
California law was updated in 2019, and, now, second-time DUI offenders from other states can drive on Californian roads without restriction only if they have IIDs installed in the automobiles.
Out of State Driver’s License Suspension for Third-offense DUI in California
Drivers from other states arrested with a third DUI crime have their licenses revoked for three years. However, conversating the revoked licenses to restricted one is only possible after a year and after complying with the statutory regulations.
If your third DUI offense occurs before ten years have elapsed, you lose the privilege to drive in California for five years. California authorities also submit your criminal history to your home state for updating purposes.
The refusal to take blood or breath test results in a license suspension for three years. Just as the first and second time DUI crimes, out-of-state motorists are free to drive in California for one year but after installing IID in the automobiles.
Out of State Driver’s License Suspension for Fourth and Subsequent DUI Cases in California
A fourth or subsequent DUI convictions in California before ten years lapse from your previous DUI crime is a felony DUI. Here, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspends driver licenses for out-of-state motorists for four years if the motorists don't request for a DMV DUI hearing within ten days after the arrest.
California law imposes different penalties to commercial drivers for felony DUIs. Out-of-state drivers are eligible to have their suspended licenses converted to restricted licenses after 12 months but after complying with conditions set for second and third-time DUIs.
California Resident Out of State DUI
You are likely to face two convictions if you are a California resident and arrested for drunk driving in another state. The other state within IDCL shares your criminal case with law enforcers in California or the Depart of Motor Vehicle.
You must complete the penalties imposed for your DUI conviction case in another state before your charges can be dropped in California.
The other state can need you to enroll in a California DUI class or submit an SR-22 insurance form. Your DMV hearing can happen over the phone while you are in California, but with court proceedings like trials, the juror can order you to appear in court physically.
Non-US Driver’s License Suspension for DUI in California
Overseas drivers visiting California and arrested for drunk driving can attract severe penalties. You are not required to travel back to California for your court or DMV hearing if you hire a local DUI defense attorney.
International tourists who want to take a plea can sign an agreement with their attorneys. You must attend the court proceedings during the trial; however, trials for drunk-driving crimes are not common.
Remember to find out from your DUI defense lawyer about potential repercussions of your DUI charges. For instance, the consequences of your case can have on your ability to remain or come back to the US and traveling to other countries.
Do not, as a non-US citizen, overlook your DUI case. If you do so, the juror issues an arrest warrant, which bars you from acquiring a US visa again. Any attempt to enter the US results in your arrest at the airport.
Can You Get Deported for A DUI in California?
Under California law, an international visitor cannot get imported for a DUI crime. But the immigration department has specific penalties for a DUI conviction. Often penalties from immigration vary from one to another.
You want to hire a competent defense lawyer to help you have your DUI charges dropped or converted to a non-removable offense in need be.
Out of State DUIs for Minors
California law terms any person below the age of 21 as underage. If you are an underage driver, you cannot handle a car with a BAC of 0.01 percent or above. California’s zero-tolerance law is strict to underage persons, and if caught drunk driving, they must attend DMV and court proceedings.
As an out-of-state driver, during your DUI arrest, the arresting officer cannot seize your license but will offer a notice that expires in ten days. Whiting these ten days, you can request, with the help of your attorney, a DMV hearing.
Your driver’s license gets suspended for a year should you lose your DMV hearing. Your criminal charges are shared with your home state too. If you have no license at the time of your arrest, your home state delays to issue you with on for a year.
Remember that your charges in your home state -depending on your home state, are only dropped if you complete your sentence of punishment in California.
Resisting a breath test as an out-of-state and underage driver causes the suspension of your driver’s license for a period not exceeding three years.
Find an Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm Near Me
Imagine facing jail time or having your California driving privileges stripped following your DUI conviction. You could avoid these repercussions through proper presentation of your criminal case in California, even if you are in your home state.
We have a proven track record of not only helping out-of-state drivers with their DUI cases but also international visitors. Our able attorneys focus on the demands of our customers and ensure that the needs are fulfilled with A-class guidance and resources. When you choose our Orange County DUI Defense Attorney Law Firm, you enjoy dedicated representation in your court and DMV proceedings, quality resources, and one-on-one attention. For these and more services for your DUI and DMV matters, call us on 714-740-7866.