“While on Spring Break in another state, I was charged with a crime. Now what?”
Turn to a DUI attorney in Columbus, Ohio if you face trouble in paradise
It’s the height of spring break, and you’re wishing you could stay here forever. You and your friends talked about it for years, and finally, you saved up enough money and vacation time to make it to Panama City Beach. All of your worries are left behind in Columbus, Ohio. Nothing else matters. Paradise now.
But, in an instant, paradise can tailspin into a headache. You were pulled over for joyriding at 90 mph in a 65 mph zone. Or, worse, you’ve found yourself Breathalyzed and behind bars for driving while under the influence. What happens next? A million questions race through your mind, zooming even faster than your car just was.
Will I have to remain in the state?
Defending yourself against a criminal charge is complicated. Defending yourself can be even more difficult when the crime occurs outside of your permanent state.
Legally, the state where your alleged offense occurs has authority over your prosecution. For example, although you’re a Columbus, Ohio, resident, because you were stopped for DUI in Panama City Beach, the state of Florida has jurisdiction, meaning you must appear in a Florida courtroom until the case is closed.
Don’t let it go out of sight, out of mind. It is critical to attend to the charges. Some believe that it is not necessary to follow up on speeding tickets, fines and arrests they receive in other states, assuming that their home state will never be informed and, consequently, it will be forgotten about and fall off. Incorrect.
In an effort to regulate nationwide safety, the Driver License Compact mandates that states report all convictions of a person from another state when occurring within its jurisdiction. The legal arrangement is binding among 45 states and the District of Columbia. This means that the state of Ohio will know about the speeding ticket you received in Florida and, unless you fight it and win, Ohio will apply points to your license for the Florida ticket.
You cannot run from it. But, with the right criminal defense attorney, you might not have to keep running back to settle the offense.
How do I represent myself from afar?
Because another state legally has the right to prosecute the offense, you could have to deal with extensive travel for attorney visits and multiple court appearances, not only costing you trip expenses but also time away from work and representation fees.
When charged in a state other than your residence, finding a local criminal defense attorney who is familiar with nationwide laws is the best choice for combating the need to return for in-person court appearances.
Even in the case of misdemeanor charges, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, an educated DUI attorney can appear for the defendant.
Does my record follow me?
You worry whether your record moves with you from state to state—what will this mean if you want to move away, if you want to switch jobs, if you want to apply for an apartment or new car loan?
If convicted of a criminal charge, in most circumstances, the verdict becomes part of your public record. No matter the state, a DUI or OVI conviction can have detrimental effects on your future plans, including the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Hiring a DUI attorney you trust to defend your case increases the likelihood of a reduced sentence, or even a dropped case, allowing you to more quickly return to your daily life.
From Columbus, Ohio, but charged elsewhere? You need a DUI attorney
Knowing, and following, the exact rules in the jurisdiction in which you are visiting can help you avoid criminal charges. But, understanding doesn’t always translate to adherence, and realistically, you don’t have time to be a master of every state’s laws.
That’s what the attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer are here for. If you’re facing a traffic violation or even losing your license because of a DUI charge, get in touch with us today. We’re available 24/7 to guide you through your defense.