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What Rights Does An Out Of State DUI Defendant Have In California?

If you are from out of state, you have all the same rights as someone from in the state has. It’s pretty much the same. One thing the arresting officers are not supposed to do is take your out of state license because it’s not California property. They are supposed to let you keep your physical license and what they are supposed to do is give you a pink sheet of paper which is a carbon of a DMV administrative per se suspension and notice of hearing. That paper notifies you that you have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV from the date of your arrest. So if you get arrested on say, the 12th, day one would be the 13th and then you would have until, let’s say the 22nd which would be the last date. I would have an attorney that you hired to contact the DMV but you could contact them yourself.

There are reasons to have an attorney, very big reasons which I can discuss at length later but you want to request that hearing which will allow you to continue to drive in California. It will also allow you to keep your privilege to drive in California from being suspended until there has been a hearing and decision at the DMV or if you were to get convicted in the court that would result in the suspension of your driving privilege in California. When things like this happen, when you are from out of state, a lot of times and I’ve seen this recently, the police officers will give you incorrect information. I just saw some police officers in Napa County give a client, according to the client and what it looked like in the police report, they told the client that they were not allowed to drive on the temporary license.

That pink sheet allows you to drive for 30 days. The officers told them that they might as well not request a hearing with the DMV because it’s not going to make a difference. They still can’t drive in California. That’s wrong, it’s incorrect information. It’s very important to request that hearing with DMV because if you get suspended in California, your home state can potentially see that in the Interstate Compact that all the DMVs have in the country, almost all of them are a part of it. Almost all states are connected and once you get suspended in California and the home state sees your suspension, it’s very difficult to avoid repercussions in your home state. There are ways to make it a little more difficult for your home state to see a conviction or a suspension but it requires proper timing, obviously some luck but I’ve seen it work many times where a client from out of state does everything we tell him to do timely and the home state does not find out about it and we are able to clean the whole thing up in California even if they get convicted. Therefore they avoid repercussions in their home state.

What Are The First Steps An Out Of State DUI Defendant Should Take In California?

The first thing is they need to hire a DUI lawyer and that DUI lawyer can usually handle the whole case without having that person come back to California except the most serious offenses involving injury or accident or multiple offenses. That person might have to come back at some point and deal with something but well over 90% of the cases that I handle are for clients who live out of state. I’ve represented hundreds of people who live out of state over the last 31 years. They do not need to come back to California. I can handle everything for them. A DUI lawyer is familiar with the county that you are arrested in. A DUI lawyer that does almost exclusively or exclusively DUI defense, someone who is very experienced. That’s what you need to find.

Find someone who is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. California DUI lawyers’ association. That would be the first step in finding an experienced lawyer who has dealt with out of state DUIs. Ask them all the questions that you have, you can check their websites, look up their reviews. You can look at AVVO, look on Yelp, and look on others. I would say there are different DUI sites, find one that looks complete and gives you a lot of information about the lawyer, scroll through that lawyer’s clients and then talk to the lawyer. Make sure that you talk to the lawyer that is going to be representing you. If you have a lawyer that is going to have an associate do the case, talk to the associate. Make sure that the person knows what’s going on as well.

However, just talking to somebody who is a secretary or doing an intake or a paralegal, that’s not going to be able to give you the complete rundown on this attorney’s experience and you also need to get a feel for the attorney who is going to be representing you so you should talk to them yourself. But do that quickly within the first few days or weeks of getting arrested because you need to get the best advice that you can. Do not delay, get on this as quickly as possible. Then if you are still in California when this happens, see if you can meet him in person. If not, give them a call. Attorneys should be able to get back to you within 24 hours, technically they should be able to get back to you as soon as possible but obviously they are in court, in trial or in hearings, in meetings or doing other things.

So if someone doesn’t play it back right away, it doesn’t mean that they are not interested in your case, it just might mean that they are busy with something or they are a very good and popular attorney which is why they are busy. So, talk to a few attorneys, find who you are comfortable with, find who is experienced and then hire them to take care of it for you.

For more information on Out Of State DUI In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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