This is a good question because a lot of people will come to Los Angeles, California and get a DUI and now they're in court and they want to go back to their home state because they were just visiting relatives or somebody else.
You Can Typically Return Home to Fulfill Court Obligations
The answer to this question is most of the time, we're able to get you to be able to go back to your home state and still fulfill your obligations to the court. One part of the sentence is going to be that you're put on misdemeanor probation, assuming you don't get a felony charge.
If that occurs and you're put on misdemeanor probation, then you can travel to wherever you want and back to your home state.
One of the next things you have to look at is — in addition to being put on probation — you're going to be ordered to do an alcohol program. Most alcohol programs can be fulfilled in any state in the nation.
The only thing we have to do is ask the judge that you be permitted to do your alcohol program related to your DUI in your home state.
Then my firm is able to make the appearances, the progress reports, to be able to show the court that you're actually doing your alcohol program, and then obviously when you complete it, we'll get a certificate of completion and you'll be done and won't have to worry about that any more.
DUI Alcohol Programs
There's a number of different alcohol programs depending on what is negotiated related to your DUI. There's a three-month, a six-month, a nine-month, an eighteen-month and a thirty-month program.
Most times for a first offense, you're looking at a three-month and how you have an aggravated first offense and then on a second offense, you're looking at an eighteen-month alcohol program, and for a third offense you could even be looking at longer than that.
So, those can all be fulfilled in your home state as long as it's coordinated through the court gives permission for it.
Jail Time Must Be Served in California
If you end up getting jail time for your case then you're obviously going to have to serve that jail time in California, usually in any penal institution in California. But if your case is in Los Angeles, it will probably be served in the Los Angeles County jail.
There are other areas that are a little bit more complex. For example, if you get community service, Cal Trans community labor, a lot of the judges want that work done in California to benefit California.
But, even under those circumstances, I've been able to convince courts to let the person do their community service in their home state.
Again, depending on the circumstance and depending on what exactly you were ordered to do.
Most of the other terms and conditions can be completed in your home state. For example, AA meetings, NA meetings.
Sometimes people will get a live-in program or an out-patient program. The courts are usually pretty reasonable when it comes to a DUI in letting you complete that in your home state.
The key this is your attorney has to press this on your behalf and make sure that the judge and the prosecutor know that you're not from California and they take that into consideration when they're trying to figure out how your case is going to be resolved.
So, if you have a DUI and you're from out of state and you're trying to figure out exactly how everything is going to work, pick up the phone and make the call. I'd be more than happy to help you out.
Again, if an individual from out of state receives a DUI in California, they will typically be able to complete the required DUI classes in their home state.
If a defendant wants to complete community service or labor in order to avoid a jail sentence, then that will typically need to be done in the state of California.
Over the course of my career, I have had great success in helping clients avoid community service requirements so they do not have to worry about travelling from their home state to California.
Can An Officer Confiscate My Out-Of-State Driver's License In A DUI Arrest?
Typically, law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County will not touch someone's out-of-state driver's license.
Instead, they will just issue a citation to appear in court for a DUI. Many of the computer systems are linked up now, which allows for what's called reciprocity between states.
If someone's information from their home state is linked up with the DMV in California and they end up with a conviction from California, then their home state could find out about the DUI and take action against them.
For example, when people come into California with a DUI from another state, they will usually have to complete a first-offender alcohol program and other requirements before obtaining a California driver's license.
Attending Court For A Felony DUI In California If I Live Out Of State
Any time a person is charged with a felony DUI in Los Angeles, California, they're going to have to appear in court in California; failure to do so will result in a warrant for their arrest.
Additionally, if someone gets put on felony probation in California, they will probably have to serve that probation in California.
This is a big battle that I frequently have to deal with when I represent out-of-state clients who have received felony DUIs in California.
In every case, I will try to find these clients not guilty, but if that isn't possible, then we will have to come up with an alternative way of getting that client back to their life in their home state.