Out-of-State DUI Issues
If you have ever gotten a speeding ticket in another state, you have an idea of how inconvenient it can be to deal with or fight charges outside of your home state. This is exponentially worse, though, if you are given a DUI out of state.
In Pennsylvania, your out-of-state license cannot legally be revoked in Pennsylvania courts for a DUI, but that doesn’t mean you don’t face serious consequences if you are convicted. First of all, any probation, jail time, or fines ordered by the Pennsylvania courts will still be applicable to you, even if you do not live here. Furthermore, your driving privileges within the state of Pennsylvania can be revoked, so if you are a common commuter, your life will get much more complicated.
Even worse, a conviction will follow you home. Pennsylvania is a member of the Driver License Compact (DLC), along with 46 other states. That means that your Pennsylvania offense will be treated (and punished) the same as if it occurred in their state, which means that a license suspension can be reciprocal. Unless you are from Georgia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, or Tennessee, Pennsylvania is required to report the DUI conviction to its department of motor vehicles under the DLC.
You will then be punished for the DUI as if it happened in your state. In other words, if your state suspends your license, adds points to your license, or requires ignition interlock after a DUI, you will still face the same consequences—even though the DUI technically happened somewhere else. Even if your state isn’t a DLC member, it is likely to have some agreement with Pennsylvania through which the violation is reported, so the same home consequences may apply.
Fighting an Out of State DUI Can Be a Challenge
As you can see, the consequences of a conviction for an out-of-state DUI can sometimes be even more severe than if you were arrested for a DUI at home. Because of this, it is so important to fight the charges and try to get your name—and record—cleared.
Still, this is a challenge for many people. Important court deadlines and notices are often missed by people who return to their state without hiring a local attorney to take care of the legal issues on their behalf. This can lead to serious consequences or even an automatic conviction. Plus, even if you have legal knowledge of how a DUI works in your own state, as well as how to enter a defense, each local jurisdiction is different. An effective Pittsburgh DUI defense is going to look much different than one in Richmond or Columbus. When the stakes are as great as they are for a DUI, it becomes a huge risk not to ensure that someone within Pennsylvania is responsible for keeping on top of your DUI case.
If you have been accused of a DUI in Pennsylvania, you need to take it seriously, especially if you are from out of state. Start building the ideal Pittsburgh DUI defense for your unique situation with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer today. Call us at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC for a free consultation at right away. Find out how we can help minimize the consequences to you here, as well as those that follow you home.