Florida has many visitors, which means that out-of-state drivers frequently are pulled over for traffic violations, and a good number of them are arrested for DUI. This raises some important questions: first, how does a Florida’s DUI arrest affect the driver’s license in the home state; and how does an out-of-state resident manage the legal process from a distance?
Most, but not all, states in the U.S. have agreements called “compacts” that compel them to share information concerning traffic violations that occur outside of the driver’s home state and to punish a driver in the home state who fails to resolve a traffic matter, including a DUI, in another state. Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee are not parties to these compacts, however.
The compacts are:
What does this mean to you if you receive a DUI while visiting Florida?
According to the terms of the compacts, the DUI penalties in your home state will apply to your arrest in Florida. And if Florida suspends you license for DUI, your home state will usually do so as well. Furthermore, any prior DUIs in your home state can be used to give you enhanced penalties in Florida.
These cases are more difficult to prosecute, in part because the Florida prosecutor must obtain the accused’s driving records and must be able to prove that the person arrested in Florida is the same individual whose records they have obtained, which is an added burden of proof. In many cases, this can be used to your advantage when you hire a Florida DUI attorney to represent you. Stephen Maltezos, a former Florida DUI prosecutor himself, can often handle the matter for you without your having to return to Florida for an appearance, and he has been able to obtain reduced penalties for many out-of-state clients accused of DUI.
The situation also affects Floridians driving in other states that are parties to these compacts, so if you are traveling out of state and have your license suspended for DUI, your Florida license will also be suspended, and the out-of-state DUI can be used to add enhancements to the penalties you receive should you be arrested in Florida for DUI at a later date. When this occurs, and you are represented by the law firm of Stephen Maltezos, we will seek to discredit the information obtained from out of state in order to minimize the penalties you are facing at home.