It can be easy to get behind the wheel after drinking too much, especially if you are on vacation or attending a social gathering in a nearby area. Depending on the circumstances, such as when it is your first offense, you may be sentenced to probation. If you live in a different county or state from where the DWI took place, or if you are planning to move in the near future, this can cause a potentially difficult situation. However, the court may take your circumstances into consideration and allow you to serve your probation in the county or state where you live. Here are some tips for when your DWI happens in a jurisdiction other than the one you reside in.
You Must Attend Court Where the DWI Took Place
While you may be able to serve your probation sentence in your own area of residence, you will have to go through the criminal process at the court that issued the charges.
Communicate Your Circumstances to the Court
If you wish to serve your probation in your home jurisdiction, communication is key. If made aware of your circumstances, the court may try to accommodate you. However, if you do not make clear to the court that you live elsewhere and express your wish to serve your probation in your home jurisdiction, your attempt to leave may be interpreted as a violation of the terms of your probation, which can cause even more trouble for you.
You Must Obtain a Court Order
In other words, the charging court must formally issue its permission to allow you to serve your probation in your home jurisdiction.
Services Must Be Available in Your Area
If your DWI sentence includes nothing more than probation, this will probably not be an issue. However, in a small city or remote area, services such as alcohol/drug screening, counseling, or ankle monitoring may not be available. It is important to find this out beforehand and communicate it to the court as well.
You Must Verify Completion of Your Probation
When you return home to serve your sentence, you will work with a probation officer who will monitor that you are satisfying the terms of your probation. You must communicate and cooperate with your probation officer. Otherwise, he or she has the authority to report any violation to the court regardless of what jurisdiction you are in at the time.
If this is your first offense, it can be a difficult and confusing process to navigate. An experienced DWI lawyer, like a DWI lawyer in Fairfax, VA, will be equipped to guide you and advise you on the right way to communicate your situation to the court.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into what DWI probation looks like outside your area of residence.