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I Have an Out of State License, and Have Been Arrested on Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, What Happens Next?

If you have been reviewing our website, it should come as no surprise that California has enacted some of the harshest, and punishing, laws relating to driving under the influence in the Country. California DUI laws apply regardless of whether you live in the state of California, or are just visiting from another state; if you have been arrested for driving under the influence in California, we will be subject to the strictest DUI laws in the country, and will face the harshest penalties in the country as well. 

If you are stopped while driving in California with an out of state driver’s license, and you have a BAC of 0.08% at that time, you will be arrested for driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code §23152. In most cases, the arresting officer does not have the legal power to confiscate your license . The arresting officer will provide the arrested individual what is called an “Order of Suspension”, which informs you that your driving privileges will be suspended. At this point, you will have 10 days to contact the DMV and request a DMV Hearing.

Everyone knows that if you want to get around Los Angeles in a timely fashion, you need to be able to drive; it is a “nececcity of life.” What most people don’t know, is that this “necessity of life” is not a right, it is a privilege, and the state of California can take it away. Most individuals take driving for granted in the city, and don’t realize just how much they need the ability to drive until that privilege is about to be taken away from them as a result of being arrested for driving under the influence. Suddenly being able to drive in Los Angeles raises questions people never thought they would have to face before they were arrested for a DUI. How do I get from place to place during rush hou traffic without a car? How do you get to school? Appointments? How do you pick your children up from school? It is unfortunate, but a DUI in Los Angeles can ruin you life. Los Angeles is not known for it’s stellar public transit system  

As mentioned above, you will have ten (10) days to request a hearing with the DMV after you have been arrested for driving under the influence to advocate against the suspension of your license. At the outset, the reader should be aware that a DMV hearing is not structured in a manner that provides you a great chance at success. Frequently, they occur for appearances only as they are not bound by the same rules as a Court of Law. The administrative judge at your hearing will not be moved by pleas to their kindness, or long-winded arguments about how not having a car will ruin your life. The judge knows you need your car, that’s why they impose the suspension penalty in the first place – to keep people from driving under the influence in the first place. You will have the best chance of succeeding at your DMV Hearing, and avoid the suspension of your license, if you retain skilled legal counsel. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles County, contact an attorney at Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm immediately so they can obtain all the information about your arrest while you still remember everything. Once we have all the facts, we will begin crafting a unique defense to you, and your situation, ultimately improving your chances of a favorable outcome at your DMV hearing and maximizing your odds of a favorable outcome at trial. 

Once you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, or other arresting agency, likely took away your California Driver’s License immediately following your arrest. If you have a driver’s license from another state, please refer to our DMV article “Out of State Driver’s Licenses.” In addition to taking your driver’s license away from you, the arresting agency will provide you with a temporary license, which will be on a pink piece of paper; this is referred to as an “Admin Per Se.” The clock begins ticking on your right to request a hearing with the DMV to advocate for the return of your driver’s license, without any restrictions on it. You have ten (10) days from the day you were arrested, including weekends, to contact the DMV and request a DMV hearing. If you are considering being represented by an attorney at this hearing, which we highly recommend you do, if you truly want your license back, contact the attorneys at Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm prior to contacting the DMV. Our skilled attorneys contact the DMV to schedule your hearing date, file a request with the DMV to delay suspending your license until the DMV hearing has reached a resolution, gathered all the necessary information and reports necessary for a successful defense, and determine if our goals will be best served by an “in-person” hearing or a “telephonic” hearing. Many of the attorneys at Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm are “specialists” in administrative law; their entire job is appearing at administrative proceedings; specifically, DMV hearings.

What Happens When if I am Successful in my DMV Hearing?

If the administrative judge determines that there is not sufficient evidence to support a license suspension, they will set aside the license suspension, and your driving privileges will be restored. While it is true that the finding of fact will not benefit you in the criminal proceedings against you, it does serve as a useful bargaining tool for your attorney when they speak with the District Attorney who has been assigned the case. Your attorney can attempt to gain leverage in the bargaining process by pointing out that the DMV opted to set aside your license suspension based on the facts of your case. It is important to note that if the ultimate outcome of your case results in a conviction for a DUI, or a “plea bargain” is reached where you plead guilty to a charge that involves driving and drugs/alcohol, the DMV may suspend your license at that point; this is why it is important to have competent representation throughout the entire process. 

What Happens if I Lose my DMV Hearing?

If the administrative judge reaches the conclusion that a license suspension is appropriate, they will issue their finding of facts, and it will inform you of the date that your driving privileges will be restored; this is usually a year. As a word of caution, the consequences of a DMV license suspension are different for every license you have; and the consequences to your license(s) will also depend on whether or not the current DUI charge is your first offense. Once again, it should be kept in mind that even if the DMV decides to suspend your license, it has no bearing on the outcome of the criminal case against you.

I have an out of state license and have been convicted of driving under the influence in California, what are the penalties I may face?

Many states subscribe to what is known as the “Interstate Driver’s License Compact” or “IDLC.” If the state you live in subscribes to this compact, the California DMV will inform the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state you live of your arrest, and subsequent conviction. The IDLC compiles complete driving records of every driver, utilizing information from every state. If you have an out of state license, and have ben convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles, you may face the following penalties:

  • Community service, substantial fines, probation, and/or incarceration;
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug treatment
  • Insurance consequences (SR22)
  • The arrest and conviction will appear on your criminal background check.
  • Installation of devices such as Ingnittion Interlock Device (“IID”), or utilizing a SCRAM bracelet.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding an out-of-state DUI

What impact will a California DUI impact my driver’s license in the state I live?

California, along with 44 other states subscribe to the IDLC. As a member of the compact, California provides information about the driving records of every person in their system with each other. As of right now, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Massachusetts are the only states that are not members of the IDLC.

If I live outside of the state, but have to come back for my DMV hearing and criminal case, can Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm assist me?

Los Angeles DUI Attorney can appear in Court for you in most misdemeanor cases. This can be a significant aid to individuals who do not call California home; there are often multiple Court appearances required through a criminal case, and having an attorney to make those appearances for you will save you time and money. In virtually all felony proceedings, the law requires you to bepresent at all curt appearances; having a skilled attorney with knowledge of the law and the difficulties of out-of-state cases will provide the best outcome.

What Can my Attorney do to Improve my Chances of Winning at the DMV Hearing?

Under the supervision of attorney Vincent Ross, the attorneys at Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm have gained the benefit of tutelage from an attorney who has practiced, and obtained superior results for nearly three decades. Having been trained by the best, our attorneys know every trick in the book to improve the chances of a favorable outcome at your DMV hearing. Some of these strategies/arguments include:

  1. At the time you were stopped, and subsequently arrest, you weren’t actually in physical control of a vehicle:  
  2. Your arrest occurred as the result of a DUI checkpoint that was not in compliance with the requirements set forth by the California Supreme Court:
  3. There was insufficient reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first the place:
  4. The officer who performed the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (“PAS”) Test did not wait the required 15 minutes between the stop and performance of the test:

If you have been charged with a DUI in California, and reside in another state, contact Los Angeles DUI Attorney Law Firm at 424-285-5400 for a FREE consultation.

i This is in stark contrast to the officer’s authority to confiscate a California Driver’s License

ii It should be noted that Los Angeles has been making substantial efforts to improve the transit system, but it’s still safe to say that is not where it needs to be in order to be a viable option.

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