Santa Rosa & Sonoma County DUI Defense Attorney
Although all states have the same legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) level when determining illegal driver intoxication, not all states
have the same process of handling a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. For this reason, a non-California resident arrested for a DUI
in California will go through an altogether different legal process than
someone who primarily resides in the state. In general, this also means
the process is understandably more confusing.
Were you arrested for a DUI while visiting California but you do not live
here? The Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. and our Santa Rosa DUI defense
attorney can help you sort out your legal options to uphold your rights
and maintain your driving privileges. It is imperative that you act as
soon as possible, as you might only have a few days left to take defensive action.
Call 707.418.5352 or
contact us online right away to start your case.
California’s Out-of-State DUI Process
When a California police officer makes the decision to arrest an out-of-state
visitor for a DUI, it begins with the notification that the driver’s
privilege to legally drive in California will be suspended in 30 days.
Keep in mind that a driver can be labeled illegally intoxicated in California
under these circumstances:
- Over 0.08% BAC – any driver
- Over 0.04% BAC – commercial driver
- Over 0.01% BAC – minor driver
- Over 0.01% BAC and driving dangerously – any age
The police officer, or the clerk at the local police station, will notify
the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that same day that you
have been arrested for an out-of-state DUI, and it will begin the process of
suspending your license. Even though you do not live in California, you need to tell the DMV that
you want to challenge the automatic suspension within
10 days of your arrest. This is where you should
contact Sonoma County DUI attorney Evan Zelig of our firm. With his help, you
can confidently challenge your license’s suspension and get to work
preparing for your
California DMV Hearings for Out-of-State Drivers
Requesting a DMV hearing is
crucial. It will stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license
until the day after your hearing. If you succeed at the hearing, then
the suspension will never happen.
At your hearing, you will challenge the arresting officer on any combination
of three grounds:
- Your stop was not reasonable – you did not exhibit dangerous driving
- Your arrest was unjust – you did not show signs of intoxication.
- Your BAC level was below the legal limit when you were arrested.
Being able to defeat the officer on any of these grounds could win your
DMV hearing and stop the suspension. Since you will probably not be in
California to come to the DMV hearing, you can actually send our Santa
Rosa DUI defense lawyer to the court in your place. There is also an option
to have you call into the courtroom to discuss matters with the judge,
our attorney, and the officer. The point being that you do not need to
return to California for your out-of-state DMV hearing.
If you are not successful at your DMV hearing, or you do not schedule one
at all, odds are high that your own home state will take similar penalizing
actions against your license there. 45 states – Georgia, Massachusetts,
Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Michigan are the exclusions – are part
of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC), and share DUI
suspension and conviction information with one another. If you live in
an IDLC state and fail at your California DMV hearing, then you can expect
that your license will be suspended in your own state as well.
DUI Court Dates in California
Protecting your license from automatic suspension at a DMV hearing is
not the same as preventing a DUI conviction. If you and your criminal defense
attorney decide to take your case to trial due to a high chance of success,
then you must next await for the judge to decide if you are required to
show up to the trial. For out-of-state DUIs of minimal severity –
misdemeanors, nonviolent, etc. – you might be able to send your
attorney to the court while you stay in your home state. If you are convicted,
you will be sentenced based on California law but may face all punishments
in your state, such as incarceration.
Reliable Defense for In-State & Out-of-State Drivers
The Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. is highly-experienced when it comes
to protecting the rights and privileges of out-of-state drivers arrested
for a DUI in California, as well as California drivers arrested for a
DUI in another state. No matter where you ran into trouble with the law,
we want to be the team that stands by your side and shields you from unjust
legal penalties. Start with a
free case review with our DUI defense attorney in Santa Rosa today.