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What Happens if I blow Off an out-of-state DUI Hearing?

Lots of information and personal experiences around this question: What can happen if I blow off a DUI hearing for out-of-state DUI charge? The general consensus: Do not blow it off as nothing good will happen because of it. There was not one single happy ending in the collection of incidences related.

The important point to bring up is that nothing bad may happen to you right away, but the specter of “bad events in your future” now rises. What generally happens in any state in our Union when you do not show up for your scheduled out of state hearing is this: you are automatically found guilty of the charge, a DUI conviction, and, a bench warrant often occurs for the charge of “failure to appear”. In many states now, a DUI conviction means a mandatory suspended license unless you are there to negotiate for some alternative or option. This now means that almost any routine check on your car and / or your license could lead to your immediate arrest for driving on a suspended license. “Huh? How can this be?”, you ask, surprised.

Well, the world of modern technology and amazing computerization has given rise to inter-state communications for outstanding convictions, charges, and warrants. The sovereign states of our fair country have been bonding together using this technology to help each other to track you scofflaws down. Seriously, though, the states have had a computerized and electronic communications network for some decades, passing this exact type of info on to each other. As a result of this ready information, the many bad things that can happen in your future grow. In some cases, once you are arrested, you can be extradited to the state holding the conviction / warrant. Nevada is such a state. You can be prohibited from renewing your car insurance, causing the loss of your right to drive, your car registration and plates. To resolve the situation, you may have to appear in person because of the conviction / warrant. Hindsight will tell you that it might have been better to have contacted a lawyer in the state where your offense occurred to determine what could be resolved without you having to appear. After the conviction and warrant, everything becomes a lot more complicated.

The system now in place is the Interstate Compact, a multi-state agreement between participating states to share information and reciprocate actions against violators. Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan are all Non-compact states and do not share DUI conviction information.

If you have any specific questions about how the Interstate Compact Act may apply in your case, you may want to contact a DUI/DMV specialist in your state. States vary in their respective actions.

To summarize, it is not good to ignore an out of state summons on a DUI. Too many bad events await you in your future. Being proactive may not get you everything you want, but you will quickly find out what you need to do to resolve the situation, rather than suffer surprising actions.


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