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Does An Out Of State DUI Defendant Have To Appear In Criminal Court?

If the case is going to go to a jury trial, you are supposed to be able to have your attorney do the jury trial for you without you being there but I would never recommend someone not being there. We’ve got 12 jurors who are sitting there and looking at an empty chair saying we’re missing spending time with our families or whatever to do this trial and we can’t be bothered to be there. I don’t want to be that attorney defending an empty chair. So you should be there if it does come to a jury trial.

How Does Sentencing Apply To An Out Of State DUI Defendant?

It depends. If your home state sees a suspension, they could suspend you in your home state, they could make you do DUI School in our home state. Those would be the two biggest issues if you are convicted in California or if you lost the DMV hearing in California. Those would be the 2 biggest areas.

Will A Prior Out Of State Arrest DUI Arrest Or Conviction Impact A DUI Case In California?

That would depend on the county you are in and whether or not the prosecutor’s office in that county sees it. Sometimes they do sometimes they don’t. Most of the time they do, but when they don’t, it’s not our responsibility to do their job for them. So if you were to get convicted in California and the DA’s office did not see a prior conviction or two or more, the penalty from the court would be less. However, the department of Motor Vehicles or DMV might see them differently in which case you could have a much longer suspension. You could be suspended for a year or two or three or more depending on how many priors they have or they are seeing.

How Has Your Experience Been In Dealing With Out Of State DUI Cases?

I have defended hundreds of out of state clients in California in DUI cases both in court and DMV. There are a lot of things that are very tricky to deal with and a lot of determinations that need to be made. The first thing that we need to find out is if someone is going to be staying in California or moving back to their home state. If they are a college student and there are some college students right now. I’ve got a client right now who lived here but just started to move back home to their home state. Every case is different. It’s just very important to know what you are facing from the beginning to help you face the stages. A lot of people will come to California and their inclination is to stay here. They get a DUI and they had not gotten their California license.

If you are here to stay for a long period of time, you are supposed to get a California license within 10 days. Most troopers don’t see that, usually officers don’t cite someone for that. However, they can and every once in a while they check how many people have chosen to stay here for a longer period of time. So one of the more complicated decisions is do I apply for a California license? I have that discussion with my clients a lot. Recently I’ve had it with a few clients because if you are going to be here for a while and if you do get suspended and you only have an out of state license, you are not going to be able to have a restricted license after one month of no driving.

You cannot get a restricted license if you have an out of state license. So if you are going to be here for a while, the way to go might be to get a California license or at least apply for one while they still let you and then as soon as the month of suspension is over, if you did not win your DMV hearing, you can apply for a work restricted license which can allow you to drive to and from work and to and from DUI school which you will take in California. There are a lot of other issues that come up. Sometimes we have a state that is a controlled state instead of a normal driving state which means that if you get a DUI for just being in a vehicle for being impaired or over the limit, that’s not the law in California.

If that’s what your prior was, we need to research it and see if we can knock out that prior when we are being charged with it because it has different comments so that’s something that I’ve dealt with a lot over the years. Also, I’m a member of the National College for DUI Defense, I‘ve got a lot of contacts and attorneys that I’ve met in many different states all over the country who I can just call up and who know me. We’ve gone to conferences or meetings and I can ask some questions about their home state and how a case would be handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles in their home state or about the DA’s office if they are on probation and find out about it and this goes for first offense misdemeanors all the way up to your more serious felony multiple offenses injury accident cases.

Every case is different but having the experience and dealing with these cases at all different levels and clients from California, from out of the state or from out of the country, that’s the type of experience you need when you are out of state and you get a DUI in California.

For more information on Out Of State Criminal DUI Hearings, 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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