What happens if I'm arrested while visiting California?
Were you arrested for drunk driving in California? Even drivers with out-of-state driver's license are subject to California DUI penalties. If you were arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Modesto or the surrounding area, you need a lawyer who understands the unique circumstances that surround your case. You need an attorney from Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated.
The Process for Out-of-State Defendants
After an arrest, law enforcement will notify the California Department of Motor Vehicles that you were arrested under suspicion of drunk driving. From the time of your arrested, you have ten days to schedule a DMV hearing to re-obtain your license. After ten days, the DMV will automatically suspend you driving privilege for at least thirty days.
If your license is suspended in California, you will most likely be unable to legally drive in your home-state as well. During the DUI process, motor vehicle departments from both states will remain in communication with each other and certain actions (such as a suspension) may trigger additional penalties in the state where you live.
The Interstate Driver's License Compact (DLC)
The interstate Driver's License Compact is an agreement between the states in the U.S. that allows each state to exchange information regarding traffic violations and out-of-state drivers. In other words, the compact allows California to communicate with your home state regarding DUI arrests or other traffic violations. Georgia, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Michigan, and Massachusetts are not part of the interstate DLC. Other states adhere to certain restrictions and exemptions. For instance, certain states will only communicate with other states if you are accused of a major traffic violation.
What happens if I'm convicted of DUI in California?
Out-of-state DUI defendants are subject to the same penalties as California drivers. In all fifty states, it is illegal to driving under the influence of alcohol. Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code states that it is unlawful for any driver to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be subject to the following consequences:
- First Offense – You may be sentenced to six months in jail for your first DUI offense in California. You may be subject to a $1,000 fine, penalty assessment fees, driver's license suspension (six months), DUI programs, and a $125 driver's license reinstatement fee. Some California counties require first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices.
- Subsequent Offenses – If you are convicted of drunk driving twice within a ten-year span, you may be subjected to elevated penalties. For instance, your driver's license could be suspended for several years and the court may require you to install an ignition interlock device in your car. If you are convicted of injuring another person while driving under the influence, you may be subject to 25 years in prison.
Helping Out-of-State Drivers in Modesto, Turlock, and Stockton
If you were arrested for drunk driving in Modesto or the surrounding area, Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated can help you avoid a criminal conviction. In California, drunk driving is a serious crime with serious consequences. Contact our Modesto DUI lawyer to retain the high-quality legal representation that you need, or call our office today to see what Scot Mitchell Law Offices can do for you. To tell us more about your unique case, fill out a free, no-obligation case evaluation form. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can stand up for your rights in court.