You are in Hawaii on vacation and have too much to drink; you make the wrong decision and get behind the wheel of your rental car. Too late, you do not realize the huge mistake you have made until you see the flashing red lights behind you and a voice on a loudspeaker telling you to pull your car to the side of the road. You are given a field sobriety test, arrested, and eventually charged with driving under the influence (DUI). This eventually leads to a conviction after a trial for a DUI. Your next question to your criminal defense attorney in Hawaii after your conviction but before you have been sentenced is what will happen to your Florida driver’s license as a result of your conviction, given that many states require you to (i) surrender your driver’s license and (ii) administratively suspend your driver’s license as a result of any DUI conviction. However, you do not have a Hawaii driver’s license; instead you have a Florida’s driver’s license, so you rightfully question what effect this Hawaii DUI conviction will have on your Florida driver’s license.
You are correct to specifically wonder what it means for your Florida driver’s license. Florida, not Hawaii, the state in which you received and were convicted of a DUI, is where you live and work. After all, it is your Florida driver’s license which permits you to drive to work every day, to take your kids to school, and all the other things you do daily on Florida’s roads as a part of your normal routine. You should not blow off this issue if you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Hawaii or any other state, however. You should instead hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in that jurisdiction and fight any charges you may face in another state. The consequences of a DUI conviction in another state can potentially include the suspension of your license by Florida if you are convicted of a DUI offense in any other state. The same is true if you are a visitor to Florida and you are arrested for or charged with a DUI in Palm Beach County or anywhere else in Florida and you are convicted of a DUI offense.
Will Florida Authorities Be Notified of My DUI Conviction from Another State?
If you are convicted of a DUI in another state, Florida will be notified by that state of your conviction. Florida is a member of the Drivers License Compact and the Non-Resident Violators Compact. States that are a part of these two Compacts, or agreements among a number of different states, have agreed to exchange information about driver’s license suspensions and traffic violations that are committed in one state by residents of other states. Member states like Florida that have joined the Compact agree to treat a criminal offense committed outside of the state as if it had been committed at home. Information among the states is shared easily using a centralized computerized database called the National Driver Registry, or NDR. Florida posts DUI convictions and other traffic offenses committed by non-Florida residents to the NDR and the Sunshine State is forwarded information on convictions its own state residents receive in other Compact states. Therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI in Hawaii while on vacation and Hawaii is a member of the Compact, then it will post information regarding your conviction to the NDR and Florida authorities will be notified of your conviction.
Florida Law Regarding the Recognition of DUI Convictions from Other States
Under Florida law and the Compacts, Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles will recognize an administrative driver’s suspension imposed by another state. For example, if you get arrested for DUI in Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles will impose its own administrative suspension of your driver’s license. However, given that you do not have a Hawaii driver’s license, this ultimately may not mean anything to you at first. However, Florida will take action against your license as the result of Hawaii’s action if Hawaii is a Compact state. So, if you ultimately avoid conviction for DUI in Hawaii, you will never lose your license here in Florida. On the other hand, if you are convicted of a DUI offense in Hawaii and the Hawaii court orders that your license be suspended as a part of your sentence, Florida will honor that Hawaii conviction and will suspend your license for however long the Hawaii court ordered. In addition, you also will not be able to get your Florida driver’s license back until you satisfy any and all other obligations imposed by the Hawaii court, including payment of any outstanding fines, satisfaction of a sentence of community service, etc.
Contact Experienced Palm Beach County DUI Defense Attorney Bryan Raymond
If you have been arrested or stopped by police for driving under the influence in Palm Beach County, Florida, you will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will fight the charges against you tooth and nail. This is particularly true if you are from out of state and you are visiting Palm Beach County. Like Florida, many other states will recognize a license suspension as a result of a DUI conviction in Florida, which is one reason it is so important to contest DUI charges in the event you are charged with a DUI offense, no matter whether you are a Floridian facing those charges in Hawaii or someone from another state who has been pulled over for a DUI in Florida. If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI in Palm Beach County and need an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact Bryan M. Raymond of the Law Office of Bryan Raymond today and you can be assured of aggressive, zealous representation to ensure that you can keep the ability to drive to work, take your kids to school, and go about your daily life in a society that is almost wholly dependent upon cars. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a DUI in Palm Beach County, contact experienced criminal defense attorney Bryan Raymond today at (561) 682-1115 or email@example.com.