You Got an Out of State DUI: Now What?
The hodge-podge mixture of crimes – whether they be misdemeanors or felonies – that exist from state to state can be confusing and perplexing. What might not be illegal in one state may be in another, and for those who travel, this can result in some pretty sticky situations if the situation is not properly understood beforehand. While a DUI is against the law in all 50 states – and the legal limit is defined by the federal government – the exact penalties and procedures for what happens to someone who obtains a DUI in another state can be confusing. That’s why we’ve put together this short article to help people navigate the situation if they find themselves charged with an out of state DUI.
The Variance of Laws
In many states, out-of-state DUI recipients are treated differently than their in-state peers. While in some cases this may mean a lighter punishment, in many states, the penalties faced can be substantially larger. Whether they be fines, imprisonment or both, it is generally less desirable to be charged with a DUI in a non-native state. Many states (44 as of this publication) have entered into an interstate driver’s license agreement, which means that the penalties you’d face back home for committing the same crime will apply to your license regardless. The first course of action in such a circumstance should be to contact a criminal defense attorney who is trained in this field and understands how interstate charges in this nature will play out.
States that have agreements with other states can often result in double punishment. This means that the state in which the offense was committed reports to the local police department in your city or town to inform them of the situation. In some cases, you will only be punished by your home state. In other cases, both your home state and the state in which the offense was committed can choose to punish you with jail time, fines and/or penalties to your license. The state in which it happened can also choose to revoke your ability to drive legally within their boundaries, which can make travel difficult if you frequent this state often. When charged, it is important not to admit guilt to the authorities. Instead, contact an effective criminal defense attorney from a firm like You Are Innocent to help guide you.
Your Action is Critical
What you say and what you do (and of course, what you don’t say and do) are critical in achieving a favorable outcome. Never admit guilt, and contact a competent criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to navigate the maze of state-specific laws that govern out of state DUI processes to ensure that you are treated fairly, and in many cases, acquitted of the charge. While driving under the influence is never a good idea and always comes with consequences, it can be even more harmful if it is done out of state.
Do the Right Thing
Always be aware of your rights and the penalties you may face for these actions; by avoiding the excessive consumption of alcohol before hitting the road, you can avoid this entire situation in the first place and keep everyone on the road safe!