A client from Montana was visiting family during the holidays and picked up an out of state DUI in California. While in California, he was charged with a DUI and got into an accident. He could not remain in the state for the 30 to 45 days required for DUI proceedings. Consequently, he needed representation to handle everything on his behalf at the Fullerton Courthouse. After returning to Montana to tend to his responsibilities, including caring for his horses, he enlisted our services. We successfully resolved his DUI case as an out-of-state visitor. Ultimately, we were also able to have his DUI expunged from his record. Furthermore, we negotiated with the court to permit him to attend his mandatory alcohol education classes in his home state. We managed to accomplish all of this without him having to appear in court.
How can an out-of-state DUI be handled without having to appear in court?
A person who resides outside of California and receives a DUI within the state typically has to appear in court. Alternatively, if they hire an attorney, the attorney can attend court on their behalf, assuming the case is not a felony. Under Penal Code 977(a), the attorney can represent them at nearly all hearings. In many of our cases, clients do not have to appear in court at all.
What are the steps to expunge a DUI from my record if I live in another state?
The process to expunge a DUI from your record is the same whether you live in another state or not. You must prepare and serve a petition on the appropriate parties. Some courts may also require a court appearance for expungement.
Is it possible to complete DUI-mandated courses in my home state for a charge in another state?
In an out of state DUI It is possible to complete DUI-mandated courses in your home state for a charge incurred in another state. Many courses now allow you to enroll in person and complete classes remotely. Courts have also permitted individuals to complete their courses in their home state, asking them to enroll in a first-time equivalent DUI program. Alternatively, with the judge’s permission, you can enroll in an online DUI course that lasts three, six, or nine months.
Who can represent me in court for a DUI if I cannot be there in person?
The only person who can represent you in court for an out of state DUI if you cannot be there in person is an attorney. Relatives such as an aunt, uncle, or brother cannot appear for you—only an attorney can make decisions on your case.
Can DUI charges affect my out-of-state driver’s license?
Yes, a DUI charge in California can affect your out-of-state driver’s license. Many states have reciprocity agreements to respect each other’s rulings on the statuses of driver’s licenses. If your California license gets suspended, another state will typically honor that suspension and not allow you to drive. This can be problematic for DUIs because the California DMV only recognizes in-person classes. If this is the case, you may need to relinquish your California license to obtain a new one in the state you reside in.
What should I do immediately after getting a DUI in a state I’m visiting?
If you receive a DUI in a state you’re visiting, your best option is to hire an attorney to represent you, unless you choose to appear in person. Failing to appear for a DUI case will result in a bench warrant for your arrest, which can cause travel issues and complications with immigration proceedings.
Are there additional costs associated with handling a DUI from out of state?
There are no additional costs associated with handling a out of state DUI. The costs are the same as if you were to manage the DUI in-state. There is no “out-of-state tax” for those who come to California and receive a DUI.