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Bappelman, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience:  Former Public Defender, Founder and Criminal Defense Attorney at Appelman Criminal Defense LLC.
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I got a DUI in North Carolina in March of 2007 but lived in

Customer Question

I got a DUI in North Carolina in March of 2007 but lived in CA at the time. I took care of eveything i was supposed to (community service and assessment and education treatment), and my license was taken off hold from NC DMV. In June, 2009, I went to the local DMV office in California to add a motorcycle endorsment to my license and get a print out. At this time, the print out only showed a ticket I had gotten in 2004. A few months later, I got a letter from the DMV stating that I needed to submit an SR-22 and proof of my assessment and education treatment. I returned all that information and then got another letter from the DMV in October 2009 saying that my license is suspended effective April 25th, 2008 (How is this possible if I have a print out that doesnt show anything on June 2009???). The letter states that I am required to pay fines, go to more educational treatments, and pay reinstatment fees. If North Carolina accepted everything I had to do to get my license reinstated, how can CA come back and hit me with everything again? This feels like double jeopardy to me....
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Bappelman replied 7 years ago.

Unfortunately you are seeing the effects of a program called the "Interstate Driver's License Compact." (IDLC)

This is a contract between most of the states that lets them share driver's license information with each other.

So when you got the DUI in NC in 2007, the Secretary of State in NC put your DUI on the website of the IDLC, which allowed all the other states to see it. When you went into the DMV in California last June they looked up your record on the IDLC and saw the DUI. So at that point California started to make you go through their own process for DUI's. Thus, the new treatment and fees CA is demanding that you pay.

This is quite common these days. I handle many DUI's each year, and out-of state DUI's cause many problems for my clients. The only solution is to do what CA wants you to do.

Driving a car is considered a "priviledge", not a "right". So the state can take away your driver's license anytime they want, and it is very difficult to sue the state to get it back.

This is not considered "double Jeopardy" because this is not a criminal case, it is a civil matter dealing with the secretary of state, not the criminal courts.

Your only real chance of getting your license back is to do what California wants you to do. I realize that this seems incredibly unfair, and I agree. However, I do not make the laws, I can only tell you how to work with the laws to get your desired result.

I wish you the best of luck in getting your driver's license back!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Are the treatment classes I went to acceptable for the CA, or do I need to re-do them?
Expert:  Bappelman replied 7 years ago.
That is up to the CA DMV. They will have specific guidelines about what the treatment must contain. If the treatment you did in NC is equal to those guidelines you should not have to redo the treatment.

This is a FAQ page dealing with DUI's in California, from the DMV website. I suggest calling your local branch to get the info you need about the treatment.

Edited by Bappelman on 2/1/2010 at 9:29 PM EST