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Will I lose my out-of-state license if I get a DUI in California?

What happens to your out-of-state license if you arrested for a DUI in California will depend on that state's DUI laws. If you have a California license, the police will take away your license after a DUI arrest. However, California generally does not have authority over another state's licensing system.

Most states share information about driver's license restrictions and traffic violations. Your home state may suspend your license for a drunk driving arrest or conviction in California. In order to get your out-of-state driving privileges reinstated after a DUI, you may have to return to that state and go through the requirements to get your license back.

Dealing with a DUI in a different state can make it more difficult to get your license reinstated. If you have an out-of-state license and are arrested for a DUI in the East Bay, contact the experienced California DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

What Happens to Out-of-State License Holders in a California DUI?

For California drivers, after a DUI, the police take your license and issue you a temporary 30-day license. However, if you have an out-of-state license, California can only prohibit you from driving in California after a DUI.

After a DUI, the police will generally give an out-of-state license holder notice that their driving privileges in California will be suspended after 30 days. They should not take your out-of-state license.  If you continue to drive in California after that period, you could be arrested for driving with suspended driving privileges.

What Happens in Your Home State After a California DUI?

The Driver License Agreement (DLA) and Driver's License Compact (DLC) provide information sharing between states on traffic violations, driving restrictions, and reporting of traffic violations to the driver's home state.

Depending on the state, if California reports a DUI arrest, the home state may suspend the driver's license as if they had been arrested for a DUI in that state. Generally, drivers will not face any criminal charges in their home state (unless they violated probation by getting a DUI). However, the home state may suspend a driver's license.

In order to get driving privileges reinstated, the driver will have to meet whatever the state's requirements are for reinstating a license after a DUI-related suspension. This may require:

  • DUI School,
  • Alcohol or substance abuse assessment,
  • Paying a reinstatement fee, and
  • Waiting out the suspension period.

Can I challenge the temporary suspension of privileges for driving in California?

Out-of-state drivers may be able to challenge their California driving privileges by requesting an administrative hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This is known as an “administrative per se” (APS) hearing. The APS hearing is separate from the criminal suspension. If you request an APS hearing, your California driving suspension may be stayed until the hearing.

An experienced California DUI defense attorney can represent you in both the DMV APS hearing and the criminal case. Contact your East Bay DUI lawyer as soon as possible after a DUI arrest because you only have 10 days to request an APS hearing to try and maintain your driving privileges in California.

If I'm a college student in California, can I get an extension of my driving privileges in California so I can drive home to take care of my suspended license?

Unfortunately, the only way to keep your driving privileges in California after a California DUI is to challenge the automatic suspension from the DMV and/or apply for a California license before any suspension takes effect.  However, simply requesting an APS hearing can delay your suspension. If you do not make a formal request for a hearing, your privileges will be suspended after 30 days.

In most cases, your DUI lawyer can appear for the DMV hearing on your behalf. This means that you may be able to keep your home state driving privileges in California until your attorney challenges the administrative suspension. However, once your home license is suspended, your driving privileges will also be suspended across the country.

If your home license is suspended, you will generally not have driving privileges in any state, even if you have an APS hearing scheduled in California.

DUI Defense by East Bay Criminal Defense Lawyer

East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 30 years of DUI experience and understands how complicated a DUI can be for drivers from out-of-state. If you have an out-of-state license and were arrested for a DUI in Contra Costa County or Alameda County, contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

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