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DUI in a different state

Washington |

I got a DUI while living in Texas, and now got another one while in California. Will this count as a second conviction, even though they were in different states? How will California know about the Texas conviction? What kind of punishment am I facing?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. California and Texas share what is known as an interstate compact. In essence, it is an agreement between the two states to share criminal conviction data. Therefore, your new charge in California will be counted as a second offense. However the penalties for the second offense will be determined by (1) the disposition of your new charge (i.e. guilty, amended charge, etc) and (2) California’s legislatively imposed mandatory penalties for subsequent offenses. For example, in Washington State, a subsequent offense within a seven year period will result in much more significant mandatory jail time and license implications than subsequent offenses outside of seven years. Nevertheless, even if your subsequent offense was outside of seven years, the trial court has the authority to sentence the offender up to the maximum sentence (in Washington State the maximum sentence for a DUI is a $5000 fine and 365 days in jail).

    I am happy to further discuss the consequences of your DUI charge; simply visit my site at http://www.WashingtonDUIArrest.com for contact information.


  2. There is a database under a statute that all the states use to share DUI information. California will find out about it, but I have been able to have some out-of-state DUIs not counted against the client based on differences in laws under which the client was convicted.

    This is way too much for me to go into here, but California will know and you do need an attorney to help you because in California, with a second DUI within a certain period of time, you are facing a 1 year license suspension.


  3. An interstate compact provides for the DMVs of the various states to share DUI conviction information. This information is researched by prosecutors in California when they file DUI charges. In California, you face up to one year in jail, probation of up to five years, fines (including fees and assessments, etc.) of up to almost $4,000.00, a one-year loss of your driving privilege, and an 18 month DUI school. If you are still on probation in Texas, it is possible that you face additional punishment in Texas as well. You should consult with experienced criminal defense lawyers in both California and Texas for specific legal advice.

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