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Top Ten Questions > From Non-Residents

10. Will my home state license be affected?

The best Sonoma County DUI lawyers will answer that, as discussed above in Question #4, the answers to any questions about consequences in another state, of a Sonoma County DUI arrest, conviction or adverse DMV action, require knowledge about your home state law. Therefore you must always seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your home state, or the state which issued your license, about such consequences before and after any California suspension or conviction results.

This is especially true because different states react differently to a Sonoma County DUI. For example, remember that there are two separate proceedings in a typical DUI case, Sonoma County criminal court and Santa Rosa DMV; some states typically do nothing to your home state license if the California DMV suspends your privilege to drive here, but may act against your home state license if you suffer a court conviction. As a general rule, according to the Interstate Driver License Compact, one may anticipate that your home state will act against your license the same as if the California conviction occurred at home. (CVC 15023), but the actual experience in most states vary widely.

The best Santa Rosa DUI attorneys fully understand that sometimes home state consequences can be quite severe. For example, Illinois treats out-of-state DUI convictions as the equivalent of a second DUI in Illinois with very long and cumbersome licensing suspension consequences, devastating to unsuspecting Illinois licensees. In many cases, such draconian results may be avoided with the right Sonoma DUI lawyer, working in tandem with a home state lawyer. Here is an Illinois lawyer email to one of Jake's clients: Hey D.F., thanks for having the [California] statute forwarded to me. It appears to me that your California DUI lawyer [Dave Jake Schwartz] has done an outstanding job. I am confident that the statute to which you are pleading no contest is not something that would cause Illinois to suspend or revoke your license. Your lawyer couldn't have done a better job given the circumstances. You ought to name your firstborn after him. Attorney Paul Heinrich, Geneva, Illinois. Although every case, and expected results, are unique to a particular client circumstances, it is important for your DUI lawyer to recognize and plan for these collateral consequences.

However, understand that your home state can only act against your license if your home state knows about an adverse action in Sonoma County. It is possible a state may never find out, or may decide not to act in a particular case. It is always wise to carefully examine any notice you receive from your home state licensing agency and consult with an attorney there. A knowledgeable Sonoma County DUI lawyer will often advise that it is best to end any California driving suspension as soon as possible after the minimum required time, by contacting the California DMV in Sacramento to request and return a form attesting to out-of-state residency. CVC 13353.5

In addition, California is only directed to inform your home state of this incident if a conviction actually occurs (CVC 15022) or if DMV actually suspends or revokes your driving privilege here (CVC 13552). This is why it is so very important to fight or carefully navigate through the court and DMV proceedings with a local Sonoma County DUI lawyer in order to try to avoid a Sonoma County conviction or Santa Rosa DMV suspension before California reporting requirements are triggered. Click on Ten Tips For the First 48 Hours After Arrest and Ten Tips For Fighting a DUI Arrest on this site for a more detailed discussion of how to avoid adverse consequences in your home state by avoiding adverse results here first. Consult with a Santa Rosa DUI lawyer about your specific case.

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Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Sonoma County resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of Sonoma County DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz