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Do I Have to Come Back to California After a DUI?

A drunk driving arrest in Oakland or anywhere in the East Bay can be hanging over your head for months. Criminal cases are not handled as quickly as most people would like. It may take weeks or months before you find out the status of your case after a DUI arrest. Many people do not have the luxury of just hanging out and waiting for their case to come through. If you plan to leave the state, do you have to come back if there are pending criminal charges? You may be able to contact a local DUI lawyer who can handle your case while you are out of state.

After a DUI/OWI/DWI on Vacation in California

There are plenty of great reasons to visit California, including vacation, looking at colleges, or going for a business trip. When visiting from another state, visitors are still subject to California criminal laws. After a few drinks with dinner, you may not be familiar with the area and pulled over by police for some unknown traffic violation. This can lead to a DUI arrest if your breath test shows you have a BAC of 0.08% or higher.  

After an arrest, booking, and release on your own reconnaissance, you may have to return home. However, the California DUI charges will still be back in California. You cannot transfer the criminal case to your state. Instead, you may have to contact a local California DUI defense lawyer in the jurisdiction where your case is being handled

An out-of-state DUI can be more complicated to deal with compared to a DUI in your hometown. In most cases, your home state will find out about your California DUI arrest, shared through the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC). Your home state may also restrict your driver's license after a DUI arrest or conviction in another state.

If you live in a different state, you may be able to have a California DUI defense lawyer appear on your behalf for any court appearances. If you do not contact an East Bay DUI lawyer, you will be responsible for appearing in California court. Talk to your attorney about handling DUI charges without having to come back to California for every court appearance. 

Moving Out of California With Pending Charges

Living in the East Bay can be expensive and crowded. Residents may decide it is time to move to a different state, or even another country. Even if you like where you live, you may have to move for your job or business opportunities. If you have pending criminal charges and are planning to move, make sure you take care of your criminal matter before you leave. You can contact a local California criminal defense attorney who will be able to handle the case and keep you informed after you move. 

Can the Police Bring Me Back Into the State?

Even if you do not live in California anymore, the courts still have ways to make sure you answer to criminal charges. Failing to show up to court does not get rid of the criminal charges. Instead, failing to respond to criminal charges may result in a bench warrant for your arrest. Warrants are not limited to serious violent felonies. After failing to respond to a court hearing, the court may automatically issue a bench warrant. 

A bench warrant arises from a failure to adhere to the terms and conditions of a pre-existing offense. This may include violating probation, failing to pay a fine, or missing a court appearance. Even if you don't think your offense was that serious, you could end up under arrest and put into jail for the warrant. 

If you move to Idaho or Colorado, how will the courts in California be able to force you to come back to the state to go to trial? There will not very likely be a “manhunt” for failing to respond to DUI charges. However, whenever you have any run-in with the police, even in a different state, they may become aware of your warrant. 

For example, after a DUI arrest in Oakland, California, you move out to Utah and ignore any court notices. For 2 years, you have no problems and no further arrests. However, the Utah police pull you over for rolling through a stop sign. When the police run your license, even if it is not a California driver's license, they will likely see that you have an outstanding warrant. The police can arrest you and book you into jail with an out-of-state warrant.

Can a California DUI Suspend My License in Another State?

California has authority over driving privileges in California. Other states have authority over driving within their state borders. However, states share driving records and criminal offense information for drivers. This means that a DUI in California could result in driver's license consequences in your home state. Your state could suspend your license or fail to renew your license based on an out-of-state DUI, criminal convictions, or where there is an outstanding warrant.

You should not just sit back and ignore any criminal charges, court hearings, or bench warrant notices. It is better to deal with any out-of-state issues proactively, before they become legal issues. You may even face employment complications if your employer conducts a background check. The easiest way to handle pending criminal charges after moving out of state is to contact an attorney based in the East Bay, where your criminal case is being handled. 

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney 

Lynn Gorelick has years of criminal DUI defense experience and understands the penalties involved with first offense DUI charges. She understands how to approach the individual facts of each case for the greatest chance of success to keep her clients out of jail. If you are facing drunk driving charges anywhere in Alameda County, contact Lynn Gorelick. Even if you move out of state after your arrest, don't put your license at risk of suspension.

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