A DUI charge while out of state can cause a whirlwind of confusion. Many people falsely believe that they will only deal with courts in the state where they were arrested for a DUI, but that's usually not the case. The state where you get a DUI can, of course, charge you for breaking their laws, but they cannot revoke your driver's license. That doesn't mean you are in the free and clear and can keep your driving privileges.
Most states have entered into what is called the Driver License Compact, which is an interstate agreement that says a home state would apply their laws to the offense that occurred in another state included in the compact. Here's what you need to know if you get charged with a DUI in a state other than your home state.
Check the requirements before you go home
Whether you were on vacation or a business trip when you got your DUI, you will probably want to return to your home state before your next court appearance. This will likely be possible, unless bail is involved. If you were released on bail, make sure that one of your requirements isn't to stay in the immediate area while you wait for court date. If it is and you don't have the financial means to stay in a hotel while you wait, speak with an attorney in the state where you were arrested to see if your court date can be moved up.
Appear for the out of state court date
Don't become complacent and avoid your out of state court date. Even though the charge is in a different state, the court can send a bench warrant for your arrest in your home state if you fail to show up on your court date in the state where you were arrested. Be certain to know exactly where you need to be and when you need to be there. Your out of state lawyer can keep you abreast of the date and location as well as any changes that you need to be aware of.
Keep watch of your mail box
Your home state will send you information regarding your driver's license and if it will be revoked or suspended. They will also tell you what procedures are in place, if any, for you to be able to have a restricted driver's license so you will be able to drive back and forth to work, to medical appointments, court dates, and to run errands. Make certain that your state has an accurate mailing address for you. They will use the address that is listed on your driver's license.