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Can I Move Out of State After a DUI Arrest?

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Jun 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

It is very common for a DUI arrest to occur shortly before someone has to move out of state. Getting arrested and having to deal with a criminal court case and driver's license suspension can be very disruptive to your plans to move out of state. The good news is that with an experienced East Bay DUI defense lawyer, you will have someone local to handle your DUI and minimize interruptions to your life. 

Drivers who move out of state after a DUI arrest still have to deal with the criminal court case, driver's license restrictions, and probation requirements to get their license reinstated. Contact an experienced East Bay DUI lawyer to understand what you have to do before leaving the state, what your lawyer can do when you're out of town, and ways to clear up the DUI without having to come back to California multiple times.  

Do Not Ignore the DUI 

Drivers who get a DUI in the East Bay may have to leave the state or even the country to go to school, start a new job, or pursue some other opportunity. However, simply ignoring an arrest and pending criminal charges is not a good idea. Even if you move a few states away, your California driver's license suspension will likely follow to a new state and you may be unable to get a new license or be able to drive. 

Additionally, ignoring court dates with a pending criminal charge may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. Along with financial penalties for failure to appear (FTA), you may eventually get stopped for a minor traffic violation, get stopped at the airport, or have a run-in with law enforcement in another state who will see your warrant and place you under arrest. 

Can I get my driver's license back so I can move out of state?

The consequences of a DUI arrest involve both the criminal charges and the administrative process. After an arrest, the police will generally take away your license and issue you a temporary license that is only good for 30 days. After 30 days, your driving privileges will be suspended. 

You may be able to delay your license suspension or avoid a DMV license suspension if you immediately (within 10 days) request a formal administrative per se suspension (APS) hearing from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In many cases, your lawyer will be able to appear on your behalf at the DMV hearing so you do not have to. This may allow you to keep your license from an administrative suspension so you do not have to delay your plans to move out of state. 

Can I handle the criminal court case while out of state? 

Whether you can handle your criminal court case while out of state may depend on a number of factors, including the specific criminal charge, the strength of your case, where you are located, and whether you are pleading guilty or taking your case to trial. 

If the judge agrees, you may be able to make appearances for your court dates by phone or video call. For other court appearances, your attorney may be able to go to court on your behalf so you do not have to return to California for every meeting. However, the court may require you to appear in person for certain proceedings. Talk to your attorney about if and how often you may be required to appear in person for a DUI case. 

Can I just get a new driver's license in another state if my California license is suspended?  

In most states, you will not be able to get a new driver's license if your California license is suspended. You may be required to complete the terms of your probation or DMV requirements to clear you California license before you can get approved for a new license. This is one of the complicated requirements for getting a DUI in another state or moving to a new state shortly after a drunk driving arrest. 

California, and the majority of other states, share information through the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC). Even if you do not mention a prior DUI, the licensing agency for another state will likely see your traffic-related arrests and license suspensions in other states. This may make you ineligible to get a license in that state.  

East Bay DUI Defense Attorney Lynn Gorelick

 East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of California criminal defense experience and has helped clients who have to deal with a DUI when moving out of state. If you have been arrested for a DUI in the East Bay and need to move for school or work, contact Lynn Gorelick today.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for over 36 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the Immediate Past President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense. Lynn is a Specialist Member of the California DUI Lawyers Association and lectures frequently to other attorneys regarding DUI and DMV issues.


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