Here’s What You Need to Know About Being Charged With a DWI Outside of Your Home State
In most instances, motorists understand and are familiar with the driving while intoxicated laws in their home state where their driver’s license was issued. Moreover, they are also aware of the negative effects a DWI conviction can have on their criminal record and driving privileges. In the unfortunate event that a New Hampshire motorist should receive a DWI charge in another state (e.g. while traveling or on vacation), it can be difficult to understand how to fight these charges.
It is imperative to know that, in each state, being arrested for a DWI will set into motion two different events that are different from one another. The first of these events is a suspension of your driving privileges in the state you were arrested in. The second is prosecution of a DWI charge through that state’s legal system. How each of these events is handled will produce a significant effect on your future and the case’s outcome.
How DMVs Work
Each state has its own Department of Motor Vehicles, which has their own set of procedures for suspending a driver’s license before their case appears in court. The two primary reasons a DMV utilizes for suspending one’s license are:
§ The motorist’s BAC levels were above the legal limit.
§ The motorist refused to submit to a Breathlyzer test or chemical test.
The process of having one’s license suspended begins with the filing of a report by the arresting officer in the state where the offense occurred. The defendant has a limited period of time in which to contest the suspension, and this time period varies from one state to the next. At this point in the DWI process, the suspension is applicable only in the state in which you were arrested. If you fail to file an appeal or your appeal is denied, the suspension becomes finalized.
It is at this point that State B reports the suspension to the New Hampshire DMV. New Hampshire’s laws dictate that your license will also be suspended in our state. It is also important to bear in mind that the penalties for a DWI conviction will affect you in any and all states in which your license is suspended.
How to Fight an Out of State DWI
First and foremost, if you are arrested and charged with a DWI in another state, you should seek out a professional and experienced DWI lawyer who is quite familiar with the DWI laws in the state in which you were arrested. It is imperative to employ the services of legal counsel as soon as possible after you have been arrested in order to ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
When choosing a DWI attorney to work with, there are several important elements you should look for:
§ A proven track record/extensive experience
§ Has prior experience working on DWI cases in the state in which you were arrested
§ Ideally, board certification as a DWI specialist
The experience of the DWI lawyer you choose to hire is most important – navigating a DWI between two states can be complicated and confusing. It will be to your benefit to invest a serious amount of research before selecting a lawyer.