If you’re a resident of another state and were arrested and charged with an OWI while visiting Michigan, you may be wondering if you should address your out-of-state DUI charges and how to go about it. After all, you live in another state, so how can Michigan driver’s license sanctions really impact you? If you’re a Michigan resident who has been charged with an OWI in another state, you may be asking similar questions.
The consequences of an out-of-state OWI may seem remote, but failing to address these charges is a mistake that could result in warrants and further criminal penalties. Only an experienced OWI defense lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of an out-of-state OWI, and it’s important to contact one as soon as possible so you can move forward in the appropriate direction.
Reciprocity Among States
While you may be wondering how OWI charges in Michigan are going to impact your Indiana driver’s license, the reality is that most states communicate and work together to enforce sanctions levied by one another. A complicated network of reporting databases allows states to share information about driver’s license sanctions with one another. These three reporting systems are:
- The National Driver Registry – Adverse actions like suspensions or revocations are reported to this registry. If your license is being renewed or if you incur a violation in your home state, this registry will be checked, and if your Michigan OWI and subsequent suspension is found, your license will probably be suspended in your home state at this point.
- Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC) – These are cooperative laws for handling tickets and failures to appear among states. If you do not appear in court to handle your Michigan OWI, your driver’s license suspension will be reported to your home state under this compact and your home state will then move to suspend your license.
- Driver License Compact – Functions similarly to the NRVC
Other Out-Of-State DUI Consequences
Besides license suspension and countless fines and fees, your out-of-state OWI can follow you home in a variety of other ways, including:
- Rising insurance rates – Insurance providers do diligent research when evaluating the risk of insuring an individual. People who have been convicted of an OWI, even if it happened in another state, represent a much higher risk and the cost of it will be reflected in your monthly premium. In the first year after an OWI conviction, drivers pay over 90% more a month for car insurance on average.
- Difficulty passing a background check – Running a background check has become standard practice for many employers, professional licensing organizations, creditors and universities. If you’ve been convicted of an OWI, even if it didn’t occur in your home state, it could limit your ability to pass a background check and disqualify you from some opportunities altogether.
- Job loss – If you are a truck driver, bus driver or machine operator, or involved in some other profession where driving is a major component, an OWI conviction could put your career at risk. If you work with children, depending on the policy of your employer regarding criminal records and alcohol-related convictions, your job could be in jeopardy.
How A Lansing DUI Attorney Can Help
An experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer is a vital part of achieving the optimal resolution to every OWI charge, but out-of-state OWIs present even more legal hurdles and complexities than charges in your home state. For this reason and many others, it’s very important to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will conduct a detailed interview and a thorough investigation of any evidence pertaining to your case. Then, they will explain how your case will move forward, what the possible outcomes of it are and advise you on how best to proceed.
Your lawyer will be able to answer questions about how your charges may or may not impact you in your home state and what you need to do to mitigate the negative implications of them going forward. Importantly, your lawyer will make sure that you are meeting necessary deadlines and complying with Michigan courts as your case progresses so you do not face an unexpected warrant and embarrassing arrest for failure to appear.
These are just a few of the many ways that an OWI defense attorney will help you navigate your charges. To find out more about how a criminal defense attorney can help you and to begin having your case evaluated, contact DeBruin Law, PLLC, at 517-731-0353.