What Are The Top Misconceptions About Out-of-State DUIs?
The biggest misconception about people with out-of-state DUIs is that, once they get back to their home state of Utah, they can just forget about it and they won’t have to follow through with anything the judge in the other states told them. They think they’ll get home and back to their normal routine and they’ll just kind of forget that they were supposed to notify the court of a treatment provider and provide proof of community service or that they have the ignition interlock or provide a name and a number for someone in probation who will monitor the case.
Another thing we see is, if there is a license suspension by the other state, many think it won’t apply here in Utah, but that’s not always the case because of an interstate compact on driver’s licenses; the states in the compact share information and support each other’s suspension requirements. People just ignore those facts and they end up with a warrant, and an arrest for not complying with the other court order and that warrant can place a suspension on their license if there isn’t one already; just failure to appear in court can result in a license suspension here in Utah or a warrant being issued; those are the problems I see when people get out-of-state DUIs.
Do A Lot of People Underestimate the Seriousness of Out-of-State DUI Charges?
A lot of people think that a DUI in another state is no big deal, which is not a very reasonable thing to believe. The courts will typically have their address, have their date of birth and all their information, and if they don’t comply with those court orders, handle the case properly and get a DUI attorney, then an arrest warrant can be issued and their license can be suspended in both states. They could be on their way to work in Utah and get stopped for a simple traffic violation and next thing you know, they’re in handcuffs, they’re in backseat of patrol car and off to jail, where they’ll typically sit for a couple of days while they find out if the other state will come and pick them up or just demand money for their release. I see that happening quite a bit when people just ignore their out-of-state DUI.
A lot of people think they can hide and the DUI or the court orders will all just go away, but that’s just not the case. With computers, the states can talk to each other and exchange information about warrants, court orders, license suspensions and license statuses and eventually it catches up with them and when it does, the sanctions are a lot harsher, with larger fines and more requirements because the judge will be worried and wonder if you’ll run away and not comply with the court orders again. In some cases, the judge will just hold them in jail until they feel they’ve served enough jail time.
If I am Charged, Arrested and Detained for an Out-of-State DUI, What Should I Do?
The most important thing to do is to contact a DUI attorney in either state who can help them to, first of all, help them secure their release. Often, when someone charged with DUI hires an attorney, it’s an indicator to the court that the person won’t run and will take care of it. By hiring and having that attorney they will go a long way in assuring the court that the case will be resolved and the individual won’t run. That’s the first thing to do; contact a DUI attorney because they will know the judge, be familiar with the court procedures and policies, and know if the case can be resolved without the need for the driver to come back.
I have a lot of people who receive DUIs here in Utah and they’re only here for temporarily and they really don’t want to have to come back to deal with the court, and a lot of times, it’s not necessary. By knowing the court, knowing the judge, my experience and expertise, I can usually work something out so that the driver does not have to come back into the state to handle it. Often, we can just do it all through the mail; a DUI attorney in the jurisdiction where they were arrested can help them do that.
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