If you are arrested in California for a DUI, you have three issues to deal with. You must settle up with the California DMV, the California Court, and your home state’s DMV. If you are an out-of-state driver, it’s best if you hire an attorney to handle your case.
CA “Stop and Snatch” Law
Under California stop and snatch law, any police officer that arrests you for a DUI must take your California driver’s license and serve a notice of suspension/temporary license on you. If you are an out-of-state driver the police officer does not have the authority to take your driver’s license issued by another state. That doesn’t mean no action will be taken against you. If you are an out-of-state driver, you will retain your out-of-state license but have the notice of suspension/temporary license served on you advising you of your rights.
Non-Resident DUI – California DMV Case
If you are arrested in California for a DUI, you should set a DMV hearing within 10 days whether you have a California license or an out-of-state license. You should never give up your right to challenge the DMV from taking you California driving privilege away. If you lose the California DMV case, your driving privilege in California will be suspended for the length of time a California driver would have their license suspended – 4 months on a first offense and 1 year on a 2nd or 3rd offense. To get your driving privilege in California reinstated you will need to wait the suspension period, show the California DMV proof of an SR-22, and pay a reinstatement fee. Your license in your home state or any other state that is not California will not be affected by you losing the California DMV hearing.
Non-resident DUI – live in California
If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Since many people move to California but don’t get a California license right away as required by law, their driving privilege can be seriously affected by a DUI. If you lose the California DMV case, your driving privilege in California will be suspended for the length of time a California driver would have their license suspended – 4 months on a first offense and 1 year on a 2nd or 3rd offense. To get your driving privilege in California reinstated you will need to show the California DMV proof of an SR-22 and pay a reinstatement fee. Your license in your home state or any other state that is not California will not be affected by you losing the California DMV hearing. If you want to get restricted driving privileges in California, you will have to enroll and complete a California DUI class and get an IID.
Non-Resident DUI – Home State DMV Case
Through an interstate compact agreement, California is one of 45 states that shares information with other states regarding DUI convictions. The only states that are not a party to the Interstate Drivers’ License Compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. This means that if you are convicted of a DUI in California, your home state DMV will be notified. Your home state DMV will notify you that they know you received a DUI in California and your home state DMV will take administrative action against your license the same as if you would have received the DUI in the home state. Go to your states DMV website to find out what action your state will take against your home state driving privilege for a DUI conviction in California.
Interstate Driver’s License Compact
The Driver License Compact is an interstate compact used by states to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the state where they are licensed known as the home state. The home state would treat the offense as if it had been committed at home, applying home state laws to the out-of-state offense. The action taken would include, but not be limited to, points assessed on a minor offense such as speeding and suspension of license or a major violation such as DUI. It is not supposed to include non-moving violations like parking tickets.
Non-Resident Court Case
It doesn’t matter if you live in California or not, you still need to resolve your California misdemeanor DUI case or a warrant will be issued for your arrest. That means you could be held in your home state on the warrant until California decides to extradite you or not. In all misdemeanor cases, you can hire an attorney to handle your case since your attorney can appear for you in court. In most cases, you can resolve your CA DUI case in such a way that you don’t have to come back to CA. This means getting the DUI class stayed or an equivalent competed in your home state and alternative sentencing can also be completed in your home state. Alternative sentencing can include community service or home electronic monitoring.
Termination of California DMV Suspension Actions
In some cases, having a DUI suspension in California will prevent you from getting or clearing your out-of-state license. In that case, you need to contact the California DMV “Mandatory Action Unit” in Sacramento and order the DL 4005, 4006 and 4007 (formerly 1650) “Waiver” forms. You will need to show proof of an SR-22 and promise not to return to California for 3 years. That’s also the only way to avoid doing the California DMV alcohol program required upon conviction or to clear most California DUI related holds on your out of state license. If you don’t file the waiver forms, you will never be allowed to drive in California without taking and completing the California DUI class. If you file the waiver, after 3 years you will be allowed to drive in California without taking the DUI class. The waiver packet has specific instructions on how to complete the affidavit and what supporting documents are required for approval by the DMV. It takes. 4-8 weeks from when the forms are received for DMV to process.
Important – DMV Hearing Date MUST BE SET Within 10 days of arrest
To get a DMV hearing you must call DMV to request a hearing, it is not automatically set for you. It is your responsibility to set your DMV hearing within 10 calendar days of the arrest. If you do not request a hearing within 10 days, your driving privilege in CA will automatically be suspended 30 days after your arrest for a period of 4 months on a first offense. In under 21 and refusal cases your driving privilege in California will be suspended for 1 year. The number to call to set your DMV hearing is on your Temporary License/Notice of Suspension.
First Court Date
After you are released from jail, you are given a court date for your arraignment. Arraignment is where the government tells you the charges and potential punishment you face. If you hire an attorney, your attorney can appear for you on a misdemeanor DUI so you never have to go to court. If you don’t hire an attorney, you must appear at your first court date or a warrant will be issued. Don’t confuse your court date with your DMV Hearing date.
Notice of Suspension
The notice of suspension notifies you of your right to a hearing to contest the action against your driving privilege. Most people don’t read it, but it explains that you need to request your hearing within 10 days. You must read your temporary license and notice of suspension because it contains important information regarding your legal rights.
Work Restricted Driver’s License
If you plan on staying in California and your license was valid, you will be eligible for a work restricted driver’s license.
If you plan on staying in California and want to get your driving privilege reinstated after your DMV suspension or after your court conviction, you will need to obtain an SR-22. An SR-22 form is a certificate filed by your car insurance company with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To obtain an SR-22, you would contact your car insurance company to inform them of your need for an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility. The costs of an SR22 vary by insurance company. The costs of filing the certificate itself from your insurance company should be between $25 and $50.
Reduced DUI Charges – Wet Reckless (VC23103/VC23103.5)
A wet reckless is reckless driving involving alcohol or drugs. In cases where there is a low alcohol level usually below 0.10% or drugs like marijuana or prescription medications, your attorney can negotiate for a wet reckless disposition. A wet reckless is a good resolution for out of state drivers because it usually just comes with a fine.
Reduced DUI Charges – Reckless Driving (VC23103)
A dry reckless is reckless driving not involving alcohol or drugs. A dry reckless is a good resolution for out of state drivers because it usually just comes with a fine.
DUI probation is 4 years, is informal, and the terms include: no driving with any alcohol in your system, no refusal of chemical tests, submit to search and seizure for blood/breath, enrolling and completing the DUI class, paying fines/fee paying restitution, obeying all laws, don’t drive unless properly licensed and insured, completing your jail sentence, and showing up for all court ordered appearances. These can be done in your home state.
In most DUI cases, the court will allow you to apply for alternative sentencing. This means instead of actual jail time you would satisfy your jail sentence by doing some form of alternative sentencing like community service or home electronic monitoring. These can be done in your home state.
DUI Fines and Fees
You can expect to pay approximately $2000 or more if you are convicted of a DUI. Most courts will allow you to make payments. If you fail to make payments, you will be referred to collections. If you are referred to collections, you may have your probation violated for not making payments. In some jurisdictions, you may be able to convert you your fines/fees to alternative sentencing which can save you a lot of money.
Violating DUI Probation
You will be in violation of probation if you fail to comply with the court ordered probation terms. If probation is violated, the judge will issue a bench warrant which will be sent to law enforcement. You will then be arrested and brought back to court to answer for the violation of probation.
DUI Violation of Probation Punishment
Violating DUI probation results in additional punishment. This could include actual jail time instead of alternative sentencing.
Even if you are convicted of a reckless driving, you can still get your case expunged. An expungement allows you to lawfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime. To be eligible, you must have successfully completed probation, paid all your fines and fees, and completed the terms of your probation. We can help you with your expungement when you become eligible so that your criminal record and history are as clean as possible.
You don’t have to plead guilty, contact our office today for a free same day consultation
We have successfully represented many out-of-state drivers accused of DUI. We have successfully obtained acquittals, dismissals and reductions of DUI charges and have had DMV suspensions set aside. Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 to speak directly to an attorney about your out-of-state DUI case. We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.
California Vehicle Code Section 13353.5 – Termination of Action
(a) If a person whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked under Section 13352, former Section 13352.4, Section 13352.4, 13352.6, paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section 23247, or paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 23575 is a resident of another state at the time the mandatory period of suspension or revocation expires, the department may terminate the suspension or revocation, upon written application of the person, for the purpose of allowing the person to apply for a license in his or her state of residence. The application shall include, but need not be limited to, evidence satisfactory to the department that the applicant now resides in another state.
(b) If the person submits an application for a California driver’s license within three years after the date of the action to terminate suspension or revocation pursuant to subdivision (a), a license shall not be issued until evidence satisfactory to the department establishes that the person is qualified for reinstatement and no grounds exist including, but not limited to, one or more subsequent convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that would support a refusal to issue a license. The department may waive the three-year requirement if the person provides the department with proof of financial responsibility, as defined in Section 16430, and proof satisfactory to the department of successful completion of a driving-under-the-influence program described in Section 13352, and the driving-under-the-influence program is of the length required under paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 13352.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “state” includes a foreign province or country.
(d) This section shall become operative on September 20, 2005.