Out of State DUI Offenses: Why You Can’t Go Home and Ignore the Charge
An out of state motorist was recently charged with driving under the influence after hitting another vehicle and then crashing his 2015 Nissan into a tree near the James Monroe Highway and Lime Kiln Road intersection. No one else was injured but unfortunately, the accused Maryland man suffered serious injuries. Despite his life threatening condition, he was nonetheless charged with a DUI.
The motorist charged with the DUI was from Maryland, and you may wonder what would happen if he simply paid his bail and went back home. Would his home state be any the wiser of his recent criminal charge? In short, yes. Both Virginia and Maryland are members of the Driver’s License Compact (DLC) and thus share information with each other regarding driving offenses. Essentially, this means that if a person is charged with an out of state DUI, but that person is a resident of Virginia, then they will be penalized under the laws of Virginia for the out of state offense.
What is the Driver’s License Compact?
The DLC is an agreement to share driving offense related data among various states. Almost all states, including Virginia, are members of the compact. The only states that are not members are Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Tennessee. It is important to know, however, that just because the states share driving record data, each state’s treatment of the data is different. In general, the DLC provides that a person charged with a driving offense in another state will be prosecuted for that offense under the laws of their home state.
Accordingly, if you are arrested for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you will need an experienced Virginia defense attorney to help you navigate Virginia’s DUI laws.
If Your License is Suspended, You May Be Able to Obtain a Restricted Driver’s License
In Virginia, a DUI conviction will result in the mandatory suspension of your Virginia driver’s license. So what if your driver’s license was issued by another state? In that case, Virginia will revoke your privilege of driving within its state boundaries but your home state will ultimately determine whether or not you keep your driver’s license.
If your driver’s license or your driving privileges have been revoked within the state of Virginia, there are certain circumstances where you may be able to obtain a restricted license so that you can get to places of necessity, such as to and from work. Although no court is ever required to order a restricted license, a knowledgeable Virginia DUI attorney can help you make the best argument in favor of a restricted license.
DUI Charges Require Legal Skill
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, either out of state or in Virginia, your best course of action is to immediately contact a Virginia DUI attorney. The penalties that come with a DUI conviction can include monetary fines, loss of driving privileges, increased insurance premiums and jail time. At Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC, we have significant experience in DUI and DWI defense. With superior attorneys and resources, our aggressive criminal defense team can help you navigate one of Virginia’s strictest areas of law.