If you’ve just moved to North Carolina from another state, you might be wondering if you still have a DUI conviction on your record. You weren’t arrested in this state, so why should you have to deal with the consequences in this state? However, a DUI conviction–and criminal convictions in general–tend to follow people wherever they go.
Will you still have a DUI on your record?
While may not have been arrested for a DUI in North Carolina, most states share criminal records with each other. The police will probably find your conviction if they look up your criminal history. Additionally, if a judge gave you any penalties in court, the state will likely enforce these penalties.
For example, if you lost your license after a DUI, the license suspension will probably continue in other states. You could still be on the hook for fines and other penalties. If you get another DUI in a different state, you’ll officially get a second or third charge instead of your first. In other words, don’t assume that you’ll lose your criminal record when you move to another state. If you’re not sure about your situation, talk to a criminal defense attorney before you make any major decisions.
For this reason, it’s important to hire an attorney if an officer charges you with a DUI. A DUI conviction could stay on your record for years, making it harder to live your life. You could also face license suspension for a year or more. An attorney can’t promise that they’ll defeat the charges, but they could give you the best defense and get the charges reduced as much as possible. It’s better to take a chance with an attorney than accept the DUI and wonder later if you could have fought the charge.
Do you have to plead guilty when you get a DUI?
When the police pulled you over, they might have made you take a breathalyzer or sobriety test. With this evidence on their side, it might seem like the case is already closed. However, your attorney might advise you to plead not guilty and challenge the results of the test in court. Test results can be flawed, and they’re subject to the officer’s personal interpretation.