Facing DUI charges can be a stressful and life-altering experience. That anxiety and stress are compounded when the charges are in a state other than your home state. While you may know and understand the DUI laws in your home state well, you are also required to be aware of DUI laws and other traffic regulations no matter what state you are in. And, contrary to what some may think, many different traffic offenses, including DUI charges, that occur in one state, are still in effect in another state. If you are involved in an out of state DUI charge, you might need the help of an experienced Indianapolis DUI attorney.

When it comes to DUIs, in almost every case, charges against you will be shared with what is known as the National Driver Registry (NDR). Every time you apply to renew your license, your name and information are checked against the NDR’s database to see if you have committed a serious traffic offense or have had your license revoked or suspended in another state due to a DUI. If that is the case, you will be denied a new license and face other serious consequences as well.

How to Handle Out of State DUI Charges

In order to avoid having your license revoked or suspended indefinitely, the best course of action is to face your out of state DUI charges head-on by being proactive and hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney to represent you.

If you are pulled over on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer will request you take a breathalyzer test. In many cases, refusal to take the test will result in a suspension of your license. If you do take the test and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit in that state, you will be arrested and taken to jail. 

Different states have different laws regulating how long someone arrested for a DUI has to stay in jail depending on their BAC, age, and whether or not it is their first, second, or third offense.

Furthermore, once arrested, your license will be suspended pending a court appearance. While at this point the suspension only applies to the state where the DUI occurred, a failure to appear in court or appeal the charges will result in the suspension taking effect in your home state as well. 

What happens next depends on the course of action you decide to take. By ignoring the charges and letting them fester, you could face even more serious consequences, heavy fines, and be required to take courses in order to be able to reinstate your license. The DUI will also be added to your record and will follow you wherever you go.

In many cases, however, a skilled criminal defense lawyer will know how to minimize the damage and get the matter resolved quickly. While it is never a guarantee, lawyers who specialize in representing clients with DUI charges, understand DUI laws well, and know how to get charges dismissed on procedural issues or otherwise. 

Police officers, judges, and other government officials have strict protocols they have to follow when arresting someone and charging them with a DUI and if anyone didn’t follow or anything didn’t take place according to those procedures, charges against you could be invalid.

Legal Representation is the Key

Quality legal representation and acting early to mitigate the damage of out of state DUI charges are the keys to avoiding the worst-case scenario. The earlier you hire a lawyer and begin to comply with court orders regarding your case, the better the chances your lawyer will have in minimizing your fines and punishments. 

While you may have to return to the state where the DUI charges were brought, such an inconvenience pales in comparison to what could happen if you ignore out of state DUI charges for prolonged periods of time. 

It is never worth it to try and skirt around the law. Rules and regulations are put in place to keep everyone safe on the road and appropriate recourse and appeals processes exist to give you the chance to contest any charges brought against you. However, these processes are complex and are most successful when handled by a lawyer who specializes in DUI law. 

Don’t leave your case to chance. If you are facing out of state DUI charges, contact a criminal defense attorney from the state where the charges were brought immediately. They will have the expertise to limit any stress, hassle, and punishment you face as a result of your out of state DUI.