What Are the Consequences If I Got a DUI in Pennsylvania and Move to Another State?
If you faced conviction for a DUI in Pennsylvania and move to another state, your conviction remains on your record permanently, no matter where you relocate.
All criminal convictions—including drunk driving—become matters of the public record. Consequently, your DUI will show up in other states’ databases when you apply for a driver’s license, purchase car insurance, or are the subject of a background check.
This means that, in any state where you may live, your potential employers, potential landlords, auto insurance companies, and even financial reporting agencies will see that you have a previous conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or a scheduled substance.
This also means that, upon arrest for DUI in another state, you will face charges as a repeat offender.
How Can Other States Find My Pennsylvania DUI Conviction?
States share driver data—specifically, information regarding infractions and convictions—through two primary sources: the National Center for Interstate Compacts’ Driver License Compact (DLC) and the National Driver Register (NDR).
All but five of the United States ascribe to the DLC, an interstate compact developed to share driver data between states. However, all U.S. states belong to the NDR.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a third database of driver convictions for all states, known as the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS).
This means that, wherever you may move, the local driver’s license bureau will have access to your records. If you lost your license because of your DUI conviction, your new state will deny you driving privileges, as well.
In addition, the police, state, and local prosecutors in your new state will have access to your Pennsylvania criminal record. If you violate the law and face charges for DUI in another state, the prosecutor will likely charge you as a repeat offender.
Can I Get My DUI Conviction Expunged?
The state of Pennsylvania makes expungement difficult. Under state law, expungement occurs after the convicted person’s death, or when they reach 70 years of age and have maintained a clean record for the past 10 years.
Otherwise, successful completion of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is probably your best chance at having your DUI conviction expunged. After you successfully complete the program, you can apply for an automatic expungement of your records. ARD acceptance is only available to first-time, non-violent offenders who plead guilty to their charges.
It is important to note that, even when you become eligible for expungement, the court can reject your petition.
What Happens If I Get a DUI in Another State?
The consequences of any subsequent drunk driving charges you face will depend on the laws of that state.
However, if you still hold your Pennsylvania driver’s license, our state will impose the penalties that your subsequent crime would carry had you committed that offense here.
For example, if you had a first offense DUI conviction on your record and moved to another state and got a DUI there, Pennsylvania will suspend your driver’s license for one year because that is the penalty for a second DUI offense.
What If I Am on Probation for My DUI?
If you received probation as a condition of your Pennsylvania DUI conviction, moving to another state may present a challenge.
In most cases, traveling out of state without the permission of your probation officer would constitute a probation violation. Likewise, you must obtain permission from your probation officer to move to another state. This involves demonstrating how such a move would benefit you and help stabilize your life.
Unless you have a job, family, school, or another compelling reason, your probation officer may decline your request.
If your probation officer grants your request, the state must transfer your case to a probation officer in your new location. This process can take several months. During that time, you must continue to comply with your current probation terms.
How Can I Get Help From a DUI Lawyer?
A DUI conviction can cause a myriad of legal, personal, and financial problems for you, whether you remain in Pennsylvania or move to a new state. If you have a drunk driving conviction on your record or if you currently face charges for a DUI, consider talking to a lawyer in Pennsylvania.
Attorney David C. McKenzie III, of the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can help you understand the challenges you face and provide expert counsel to help you make important decisions about your future. He understands the complexities of the laws and how these may affect your plans to move to another state. More importantly, he can help you avoid costly legal mistakes that could harm you even more in the future.
At the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we provide compassionate representation for our DUI clients. Contact our office today at 610-680-7842 to schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania.