How Will an Out-of-State DUI Affect My License?
With any crime, it doesn’t matter where you’re from but where you committed the crime. Wherever you commit a crime in the United States, that state will be where you are put on trial. Unless a crime was extreme and needs to be tried at the state or federal level, you may even have to go to the town where you committed the crime. Such crimes include DUIs.
If you are charged for an out-of-state DUI in a state other than Pennsylvania, or you are a resident of another state and are charged in Pennsylvania, the lawyers at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam can explain.
How Do Traffic Violations Work Between States?
The complicated thing about DUIs and other traffic violations is that they are tracked to driver’s licenses, which are issued by your home state. Thanks to two agreements between most of the states in the United States, they report traffic violations to each other. These two agreements are the Driver’s License Compact (DLC) and the Nonresident Violator Compact (NVC). Through these agreements, you can be punished by your home state for committing a traffic violation in another state.
The DLC is a promise between states that if someone commits a traffic violation in one state, they will report it to the home state. The home state will then put points on or even suspend the person’s license, but the cost of the ticket will still be paid to the state where the violation occurred.
The NVC is for when the offender doesn’t pay the ticket or fine. The home state will suspend the offender’s license until they pay for the fine or otherwise resolve the ticket.
Not all states are a part of both pacts, but Pennsylvania is and so are its neighboring states.
How Does An Out-of-State DUI Affect My License?
A DUI is a traffic violation and a criminal charge. This means the DUI–even if there are no victims and you left no property damage–will follow you to your home state.
While the DLC states that you will receive a punishment for traffic violations if you commit a crime in another state, Pennsylvania will not add points to your license, and most states will do the same. This means that minor DUIs don’t put an offender at risk for a loss of license due to points, but it remains on their record. If you get another DUI, but in Pennsylvania for the first time, it will be treated like your second.
If your out-of-state DUI is serious, necessitating the loss of your license in the state where you were charged, Pennsylvania will suspend your license. In most cases, if you are not a Pennsylvania resident but get a serious DUI charge here, your license will be suspended by your home state.
Even if your state is one of the few states that’s not a part of the DLC or NVC, a serious DUI will still follow you home. It’s a serious offense, which can lead to criminal charges and necessitate you coming back to the state you were charged in. The only time that being from a state that’s not in the DLC or NVC may protect you from the consequences would be if it was the most minor out-of-state DUI, and that’s not likely. You would need to consult a lawyer with the specifics of your situation to find out for sure.
What States Aren’t a Part of the DLC or NVC?
Most states are a part of both agreements, but some states are part of one compact and others are not a part of either compact. The DLC–which is a promise between states to enforce traffic violations and allow outside states to collect tickets–was not agreed to by:
The NVC–which is a promise to suspend the licenses of out-of-state drivers who don’t pay their tickets–was not agreed to by:
Two states, Michigan and Wisconsin, are not a part of either.
Contact MVSK Law for Help Fighting an Out-of-State DUI
For most of Pennsylvania, it’s rare to experience an out-of-state DUI. But in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area, Scranton especially, there are several universities. The University of Scranton and Marywood University are in and around the city. This means there are many students from other states who are prone to partying and drinking that may get an out-of-state DUI.
If you’re in Scranton or the NEPA area and are charged with an out-of-state DUI, the criminal defense attorneys at MVSK Law are the perfect attorneys to help you. We’re locals who know the area and have been helping visitors and college students for years. If you’re in legal trouble over a DUI, don’t hesitate to contact us today.