While a DUI can be stressful enough for those living in Los Angeles, dealing with criminal charges when you do not even live in the area can be absolutely confounding.
Let Your Attorney Do The Work
Many people visit the Los Angeles area for business and pleasure. Visitors from other areas of California, other states and even other countries come to the Los Angeles region every day to work and play. Unfortunately, some of these people end up getting arrested for a DUI offense while in the Los Angeles area and ultimately charged criminally with this offense. While a DUI can be stressful enough for those living in Los Angeles, dealing with criminal charges when you do not even live in the area can be absolutely confounding. Fortunately, the vast majority of courts in Los Angeles County permit attorneys to appear on behalf of their clients for all required court dates. This means that someone charged with a DUI in Los Angeles can theoretically handle his or her case without having to return to the area for frequent court appearances. In addition, an attorney can also handle the California Department of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing on behalf of his client even if that client lives outside of the Los Angeles area. Even drivers who did not have a California driver's license are subject to a suspension by the DMV, and all suspensions are entered into a national DMV database where other states will almost certainly enforce reciprocal license suspensions.
Satisfy DUI Penalties in Home County
For those who reside in other counties outside of Los Angeles, many of the potential DUI penalties can be satisfied in their home county. The state-mandated alcohol education classes are offered throughout the state and DUI defendants can take these classes anywhere in California, as long as the sentencing judge approves. Other conditions of probation that may be imposed, such as community service, community labor and the MADD Victim Impact Panel, can all be fulfilled in other California counties.
Notarized Plea Waivers
When a DUI defendant resides in another state or even another country, there are ways to handle a DUI criminal case and/or conviction without having to travel back into the Los Angeles area. As described above, a local DUI attorney can handle all court appearances. If the defendant ultimately pleads to charges, this can be handled with a notarized plea waiver form and would not require the defendant's presence in court. Completing the various requirements of probation can be a bit trickier. The court may require that the out-of-state defendant complete an equivalent alcohol education class in his or her home state. This may not always be available. In these cases, a judge may allow completion of an online alcohol education program. While the online program may satisfy the court, the California DMV does not accept the online alcohol education program in regards to reinstating a California driver's license. The MADD Victim Impact Panel is typically available throughout the United States, and the Los Angeles court may be flexible in allowing community service to be served out of state.
Ignition Interlock Device
One unique aspect about DUI convictions in Los Angeles is that Los Angeles County is one of a handful of California counties part of a pilot program through the DMV that requires installation of an Ignition Interlock Device ("IID") for anyone convicted of a DUI offense. The IID is an appliance that is installed in an automobile and requires the driver to blow into a tube before activating the car. If there is any alcohol on the driver's breath, the vehicle will not start. In addition, the driver must blow into the device periodically while driving. The pilot program requires the defendant to keep the device in his or her vehicle for at least five months on a first time DUI offense. Drivers who live outside of California may apply for an IID exemption if they can prove their residence in another state.
Hiring A Local DUI Attorney
Being charged with a DUI in Los Angeles can be a harrowing experience for those who do not live in LA or have any meaningful connection to the area. However, a local DUI attorney is able to make all appearances for his client so that he or she would not have to continuously travel into town. In addition, most DUI penalties can be completed in other parts of California and even outside of the state. While dealing with a DUI is never pleasant, a local DUI attorney can at least make things manageable.
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