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Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

What If You Are an Out-of-State Driver and You Receive a DUI in California?


Interviewer: What if you are an out-of-state driver that’s facing a DUI violation in California? Obviously the DMV laws that apply to your state might not apply to theirs. How does that work?

California Requires That Out-of-State Drivers Know the Laws of California

Aaron: The way it works is when you come into California and you get behind the wheel, California requires that you understand the laws of California. You’re held to those laws. For example, someone who comes to California may be from a state where you’d be advised not to in some situations take a chemical test if pulled over for a DUI. They don’t have the refusal laws that we do that are so punitive but they’re held under California law for that.

Out-of-State Drivers Cannot Qualify for the Restricted License

If you reside in another state and are convicted in California, you’re not going to be able to get a suspension from California lifted. You’re not going to be able to get a restricted license in California because you don’t have a California license.

What you would have to do, is wait until the six-month suspension is over. Then you would have to show Sacramento DMV, the Mandatory Actions Unit there, that you have an SR22 insurance. Basically you would need to fill out forms and let them know that you’re not going to be driving in California for the next two years.

There are ways to get the suspension lifted, which is what you need to do because your home state may say, “Wait a minute,” or if you move to another state they may say, “We’re not going to give you a license while you’re not allowed to drive in another state.”

You May Be Subject to a Suspension in Your Home State after a California DUI Conviction

Your home state may find out about your conviction or suspension in California and decide to suspend your license or make you fulfill other requirements. Every state is different.

Interviewer: I imagine the interstate license compact applies here?

California Enforces the Interstate Compact

Aaron: Yes. I believe almost every state now is a member of the interstate compact. One of the nice resources that people can use is if you are from another state and you want to find someone who’s a really good DUI lawyer. You need an attorney who’s going to understand the laws of that state that you’re from and may have contacts in California or vice versa is there’s a national college for DUI defense.

Out-of-State Drivers Can Utilize Online Resources to Contact an Attorney Such as Attorney Bortel to Assist Them with This Process

They’re online. There are lawyers in every state. These are lawyers who practice mostly DUI or like myself exclusively DUI defense and DMV hearings. We can usually walk you through the process of what you’re going to need to do in court and with DMV, help you with timelines and help you make decisions.

SR22 Insurance and a DUI Conviction

Interviewer: Now you had mentioned the SR22 which is a high-risk insurance. Is that something that would apply to even a first-time offender or is it only required for drivers that have more than one violation?

In California, a First Offense DUI Will Require Obtaining the SR22 Insurance

Aaron: That’s a good question. A first-time conviction in court or suspension for DUI with the DMV will result in needing to obtain SR22 insurance and actually maintaining it for three years. If you ever let it lapse, for example, if you don’t make a payment, your license will go into suspension.

Speeding Tickets and the California DMV

Interviewer: This might be one that’s more related to DMV. What if I’m ticketed for speeding but I don’t believe that I was. Is there a way to fight that or should I just pay the ticket?

Aaron: Most of the violations that I deal with are going to be for DUIs or for other offenses where someone would need a DMV hearing. But we do handle many of these along with the DUIs. Some counties will charge those offenses. Some won’t.

It Is Advisable to Consult with an Attorney after Any Traffic Infraction; Most Attorneys Will Offer a Free Initial Consultation

A straight speeding ticket or illegal lane change, running a light, those kinds of tickets are usually one point. Some of the more extreme infractions can be two points, especially reckless driving. I would always recommend consulting with an attorney. You can always get a free consultation for a speeding ticket or any type of violation.

If an attorney won’t give you a free consultation, you call another attorney but fighting them in many cases is a good idea. There are defenses like the officer’s not showing up or not having the report. Sometimes you can go to court and the officer for whatever reason may decide that he doesn’t want to go forward. You never know what’s going to happen.

Then you want to always look at a way to keep these violations off of your record or avoid the points. Sometimes if you can’t win it but if you’re eligible for traffic school, you want to do that if the violation is a point violation. Sometimes the judge will agree to reduce a violation to a no-point violation. That can be helpful as well. You can save money especially with your insurance.

By Aaron Bortel

Aaron Bortel

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