Traveling is meant to be a time of fun and enjoyment. Unfortunately, this enjoyment has led many people to end up with DUI charges. A DUI conviction is a serious matter that can affect a person’s job, car insurance, family life and even their freedom. Many people know of the hassles that can accompany getting a DUI charge in their own state, but most are unprepared for what occurs if they are arrested for drinking and driving while traveling to another state. Getting a DUI in a different state is going to be a hassle no matter what, but there are five ways to make the process go by more smoothly.
Don’t Refuse Breathalyzer
Every state has implied consent laws. These laws state that if a person is going to legally drive in a state, they have given their implied consent to submit to alcohol chemical tests. If a person declines this test, the state where they are arrested will automatically assume they were drunk and immediately suspend their license. A person’s home state will receive notice of this suspension, and in most cases that home state will suspend the person’s license as well. It is better for a person to fight a DUI after the fact than to have the DMV automatically revoke their driving privileges.
Get out of Jail
Getting out of jail quickly is important when your traveling. Waiting for a judge to set a bail amount can make a person miss their flight, their ride home or even just the remainder of their traveling time. Most localities have DUIs listed on their bail schedule; this means there is a preset bail amount to get out of jail on this charge. It is often best to call a bail bond agency due to the fact that they can get a person out of jail in a matter of hours for a fraction of the actual bail amount.
Decide How to Handle the Charge
A person has the choice to either plead guilty or not guilty to the DUI charge. Pleading guilty will save the hassle of a trial, but it also brings the possibility of jail time, license suspension and fines. If a person pleads guilty to a DUI in Pennsylvania, there isn’t much a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney can do for them. It is often better to plead not guilty, as the consequences are very likely the same if a person is found guilty after trial.
Contact a Lawyer
It is always advisable to have a lawyer before pleading not guilty, especially when charged with a DUI while traveling. A lawyer can attend many court appearances in lieu of the accused. Staying with the Pennsylvania example, a Philadelphia DUI attorney will also know the best defenses against a DUI charge in a state. In the end, having an attorney in the state a person was charged in will save them the hassle of having to repeatedly come back for trial dates.
Follow All the Rules
After being released after a DUI charge, there usually isn’t any law restricting a person from going back to their home state. In these cases, however, a person may have to come back for trial. Having a lawyer will greatly reduce the chances of this, but some courts may still require the accused to show up for some dates. Any date or rule that a court sets forward should be strictly followed. Not obeying the orders of the judge can lead to bench warrants or additional charges being filed, which will only make matters worse.
DUI convictions can overturn a person’s entire life. It is hard enough to deal with these charges when a person lives in the town they were arrested in, but when they are arrested several states away from their home, a whole other set of complications arises. It is important for a person to know how the legal system works and to use it to their advantage whenever possible. An out-of-state DUI charge can be a hassle, but it can be managed if handled appropriately.
Krista Langford is a researcher and a contributing writer for the Pennsylvania law office of Steven E. Kellis. Mr. Kellis has twenty years of jury trial experience, and he will personally handle your case. This law firm specializes in drunken driving, field sobriety tests, and breath, blood and urine test refusal.