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What to Know About DUI Charges for People Who Live Out of State

You were on vacation, perhaps visiting a friend or relative, and you decided to have a couple of drinks. There’s nothing wrong with this, but then, thinking you were okay enough to drive, you got behind the wheel of your vehicle and started driving back to your hotel. On your way, you were stopped by a police officer, asked to take a breathalyzer test, and you blew above .08%, and you were subsequently charged with a DUI. This is an awful experience, but unfortunately, this exact scenario and others like it are far from uncommon, and if you were recently arrested for DUI while in California but you’re from out of state, you may wonder what lies ahead. Please continue reading and speak with a dedicated Tehama County DUI lawyer from Cohen Criminal Law to learn more about these cases and how we can help you through the process. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What happens if I was arrested for a DUI in California but I’m from out of state?

The first thing you should understand is that if you’re found guilty, it will impact your right to drive both in your home state, in California, and throughout the country. As an out-of-state driver, if you’re arrested for DUI, police cannot confiscate your driver’s license on the spot. They will instead inform you that you cannot drive in California alone for 30 days. However, the DMV in your home state will immediately be notified of your DUI charge, and will likely opt to suspend your driver’s license. Note that with a seasoned attorney, you can fight this suspension by requesting a hearing with the DMV (you must do so within 10 days, however). Additionally, you’ll face a wide range of consequences other than a license suspension, including jail time, high fines, and more. Your home state will recognize and honor these penalties, and you will have to serve them if you’re found guilty.

Do I need to go to court in California for a DUI if I’m from another state?

Fortunately, in most cases, you won’t have to go to court in California if you’re from another state, as long as you hire an attorney. Your attorney can attend your DMV hearing, collect evidence, and attend initial court hearings on your behalf. Often, these cases can be resolved without going to trial, but this doesn’t always happen. If by some chance, your case does go to trial, you must be present, along with your attorney. If you have any further questions about out-of-state DUI cases or you need an attorney who can fight for you, reach out to Cohen Criminal Law today.


Attorney Cohen has fought on behalf of those charged with crimes and traffic violations for over 30 years, and he is ready to fight for you, too. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm.