Sometimes, Pennsylvania residents visit other states, go to a game or party or concert, drink, and then get busted for drunk driving while still in that other state. The laws around DUI are complex and often difficult to understand, and getting arrested for drunk driving in another state will make your life far more complicated than you could ever imagine. It’s of vital importance that you hire an experienced DUI attorney to represent you.
In Pennsylvania, we call the charge a DUI (Driving Under the Influence); in some other states, it’s referred to as a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). In most states, the determining factor for a DUI is the same: a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. Additional levels that add sentencing enhancements to the penalties for a DUI kick in when the person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.10 percent or higher. In Pennsylvania, there is an added third level that adds sentencing enhancements when a person’s BAC is 0.16 percent or higher. In Utah, beginning in December of 2018, a new BAC level will be enforced of 0.05 percent.
If you get convicted of Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated in another state, you will face consequences in two places: the state in which you were drunk driving, and here at home in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is one of fifty-six states that participate in something called the Driver’s License Compact. This agreement calls for all states who participate to exchange information about traffic violations, including Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence. Unless you live in Tennessee, Nevada, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, or Michigan, your DUI/DWI will be reported back to Pennsylvania. In one of those five aforementioned states, your conviction might or might not be reported to PA.
The laws vary among the states, so you could face a range of consequences in the other state, including jail time. However, here at home, the penalties will be similar to those you would receive had you gotten the DUI leaving your neighborhood bar.
If the DUI was your first, you probably will not get your driver’s license suspended here in PA, though you will not be allowed to drive in the state in which you were convicted. If you have a previous conviction in Pennsylvania or anywhere else, no matter how long ago, your driver’s license will definitely be suspended.
You will need to return to the state in which you got your DUI to face your charges. This means you will also need a criminal defense attorney who has been accepted to the bar in that state. Your attorney from your home state can contract with one from the other state, who will stand in for him. This is called Appearance of Counsel. If you don’t have an attorney in Pennsylvania or would rather just deal with someone in the other state, you can hire one directly. Just make sure to check out whomever you hire, and make sure they specialize in DUI defense.
If you make a plea deal in the other state, or if worse comes to worst and you are convicted, you will have to serve whatever penalty is handed down in that state, as well as pay any fines levied. Pennsylvania will know, and you will face consequences here, as well.
Have you or a loved one been charged with Driving Under the Influence in another state? If so, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. The Logue Criminal Defense team has the experience and dedication that will serve you best. With offices in Pittsburgh, PA, West Virginia, and Ohio, they are convenient and easy to find. To schedule a free initial consultation with Sean Logue and his associates at Logue Law Group, call (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. We can be contacted online, as well.
Call an attorney as soon as you are arrested! The longer you wait to hire a DUI lawyer, the more difficult it becomes to get the outcome you want and need. Call today!