If you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense while visiting Alabama from another state, there is a possibility that you will not be required to return to Alabama for your Court appearances unless there is going to be a trial. Alabama DUI lawyers are accustomed to dealing by telephone, fax and email in DUI cases involving out-of-state residents.
One of the functions of an effective DUI attorney is the conduct of plea-bargain negotiations on behalf of the client. If your case is disposed of by way of a negotiated plea, there will be no trial. You can return to your home state while depending on your attorney to appear on your behalf at all court appearances. Such a resolution usually involves payment of a fine and your attorney may be able to arrange some sort of deferred payment arrangements. There is usually a participation requirement in some sort of court-ordered program, but this should not require a return visit to Alabama. Your attorney should be able to arrange for you to participate in some equivalent program in your home state. However, please be aware that the final decision rests with the judge so there can be no guarantee that you will not have to return.
The Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC) is an agreement between 45 participating states for the sharing of information regarding certain types of convictions, including most DUI related convictions, between the participating states. Under the Compact, when a resident of one state is convicted of a DUI related offense in another state, the driver's home state will be notified. The type of action, if any, the driver's home state will take will vary from state to state.
The National Driver Register (NDR) is a central repository of information on individuals whose privilege to drive has been revoked, suspended, canceled or denied or who have been convicted of serious traffic-related offenses. All 50 States and the District of Columbia participate in the NDR.
The records maintained at the NDR consist of identification information including name, date of birth, gender, driver license number and reporting State. All of the substantive information, the reason for the suspension or conviction and associated dates, resides in the reporting State. Driver licensing officials query the NDR to determine if an individual's license or privilege has been withdrawn by any other State. Whenever a person applies for a new license or seeks to have his or her license renewed, the application will be denied if there is an out-of-state suspension. Thus, if your right to drive in Alabama is suspended over an Alabama DUI conviction, your home state license will be denied as well.
All states provide enhanced penalties for repeat offenders, and in most cases, prior convictions in another state can be used to enhance penalties for a given DUI offense. As of early 2006, Alabama law did not permit the use of out-of-state priors to enhance penalties in an Alabama DUI prosecution. The 2006 Legislative Package prepared by the Alabama Sentencing Commission proposes the amendment of state law to provide that all repeat offenders in Alabama would face the same penalty enhancements, regardless where the prior convictions occurred.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and accused of a drunk driving related crime and require the immediate professional services and trusted legal advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, please contact The Law Offices of John T. Kirk & Matthew B. Alfreds today at 334-264-1498, or use the contact form provided on this site to schedule your initial consultation.