Out Of State Tickets and DUI
I’m often asked two types of questions when a visitor or new resident to Florida receives a DUI or traffic offense.
1) The first question is, what if I have a DUI, criminal traffic offense, or even a simple infraction, how do those out of state DUI and traffic matters affect me in either obtaining my license in Florida or keeping my Florida license?
2) The second question is, what if I live in another state and receive a Florida DUI, a criminal traffic offense, or civil infraction?
As to the first question, the answer lies in the “compacts” between the states. There are 2 primary compacts regarding the sharing of ticketing information with other states. These are the Drivers License Compact (DLC) and Non-Resident Violators Compact.
The DLC compels member states to tell of infractions received by drivers in that State to the driver’s home State. This compact has provisions which allow member states to notify the out-of-state driver’s licensing state. It also requires home states to do the same thing in their home state as if the violation occurred in the home state. The home state can even deny the right to issuance of a driver's license especially if it is a suspended in another state. It should be noted that Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Tennessee do not participate in the DLC, however, they often have other methods to share this important information which could impact your license.
A completely different, but related, compact is the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC) which has the effect of suspending your Driver's Licenses from your home state if you fail to comply with or fail to pay an out of State traffic matter. The NVRC forces member states to suspend the driver's license of those who get traffic infractions for moving citations in other states, but then fail to pay those tickets. Again, not all states participate, among them, Alaska, Oregon, California, Montana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
As far as the second question posed above, it should be known that a DUI from another State can be used, and oftentimes is used, to enhance a DUI received in Florida. However, it is still the state’s burden to prove the out of State charge is actually the person presently being charged in Florida. Often this situation allows us to get a lesser sentence than they would normally get because the out of state prior can not be proven.
Even if a person has no prior record, but while visiting Florida they pick up an infraction or criminal traffic charge such as a DUI, our office can take care of this matter in a way that would not require you to even return to court in most circumstances. Many times it can be resolved via mail. Furthermore, as your attorney I can represent to the court that you are not from the area, which sometimes can be beneficial for the outcome of your case, whether it be a simple traffic infraction to keep points off in your home state, or even a DUI, where the charge can attempt to be amended or even if mandatory conditions can be completed in your home state. Either way, having an attorney on your side here, that knows the system in all courts throughout the Tampa Bay area, is the best thing you can do to help your case, as our office has the knowledge to ease the stress of feeling that you are not in control of a case that is outside of where you live.
Call my office so that we can fight on your behalf and so that you can leave that obvious worry for you in my office’s very capable hands. We will give you a free consultation, over the phone if you live out of the area, so that we can fight whatever charge it is you that you have. Having someone local that knows the system and the people involved in it, is the best thing you can do when you are not able to be present for your charges in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, or Pasco counties.