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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    California DUI 13 years ago and driver's license troubles

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Oregon.

    Hi there. As the title states, I got a DUI in California 13 years ago. I was not and I am not from California. At the time, I was a resident of New Mexico and I was passing through. My NM license was taken away but was mailed back to my address in New Mexico. It was a long while ago, but I'm assuming they told me that I had a court date that I needed to attend, which I didn't. If I'm remembering correctly, the date wasn't for a couple months and couldn't afford to fly back to California and I certainly couldn't afford to live in my van and wait around for the date. This happened in Redding California.

    So, I figured that all was fine because I certainly wouldn't be moving to California anytime soon and I certainly wouldn't have any reasons to drive around there either. Years passed and I moved to Seattle and I had no problems going on with my life and getting a driver's license there. Once I finished school, I moved to Portland Oregon and here is where that DUI has come back and had bit me in the butt.

    I can't get a driver's license here. The computers don't inform the DMV why but it gives them a California number for them to give to me. I called the number years ago and kept getting conflicting information with each person I was passed onto. One said I had to just pay a fine while another said I had to go back to Redding and go to court. In any case, I couldn't and I still can't afford either. I've financially struggled since I've moved to Portland and I'm pretty much stuck here till I can find some stable work. Anyway, I've been driving to Washington to renew my license, which has worked fine till now.

    Yesterday I got pulled over for having a stupid plastic covering over my license plate (it came with the car). The officer noticed my driver's license, and from all my expired and current insurance cards, it would have been stupid to lie and say I just moved here. It was obvious that I've lived in Oregon longer than a year and didn't want to get caught lieing. I was given a pretty ugly ticket of $247 and was given a month to prove to court that I have an Oregon DL.

    I'm wondering what my next move should be and would love some advice. I was thinking I might try a DMV office in another county. Does anyone know if this would make a difference? Should I just pay the ticket and keep hoping I don't get pulled over again? I found some site recently where someone mentioned a "1650 waiver packet" ( [url=http://hubpages.com/hub/outofstateholdonlicense]When You Can’t Get a License Outside of California Because California Suspended Your License[/url] ). Does anyone know if this might be applicable to me? I can't seem to get through on the phone number provided.

    Thank you for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    The 1650 waiver gives you relief from the administrative sanctions from the DMV if you now live out of state (like SR-22, CA classes, etc..). However you have a bigger issue as well as there is almost certainly an FTA and a warrant still pending. Best bet would be to employ a lawyer in Redding to resolve this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Wish I had the money to hire a lawyer. Is there a way to acquire a defense attorney in CA for those of us with lint in the pocket? Is this something I might be able to do without having to go to Redding? Maybe the easiest thing to do is just pay the ticket and hope I don't get pulled over ever again in Oregon. Ughhh. What would someone in my position expect if I made it all the way to Redding to make a court date? If this is the only thing I can do, I'd rather not go blindly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Assuming there IS a warrant (and this is reasonable to assume) you might be able to schedule a hearing in Shasta County Court, or, you might be able to surrender yourself on the warrant. At your arraignment, you may well be eligible for publicly appointed counsel.

    Here is their website for contact info:

    [url=http://www.shastacourts.com/menu.php?page=home]Superior Court of California - County of Shasta[/url]

    - Carl

    A Retired Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    St. Richard's
    Quote Originally Posted by leequa View Post
    It was a long while ago, but I'm assuming they told me that I had a court date that I needed to attend, which I didn't.
    Why did you think your lack of means translated into a waiver from standing trial for a serious crime?

    You had 13 years, why didn't you put some money aside for the day of reckoning that would surely come?

    Your best bet is to appear (in California) and resolve this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I wish I could share how this came about...the DUI, but it sounds so stupid and like such a lame excuse, I will fight the urge to do so. Let's just say that I wasn't DRIVING drunk but I was definitely inebriated by the time the officer finally came around and did the breathalyzer. I wasn't going to be driving the rest of the evening as I was living in my van at the time.

    Anyway, yes I've avoided it like it would go away. Yes, I should have saved money to take care of this. My field of interest has not been financially kind to me for a good long time. I've been living hand to mouth for most of those 13 years, and not because I'm some idiot, but because, for a lack of a better word, $$hit keeps happening. So, should of could of would of doesn't change where I'm at and doesn't do a lick of good. Had I known the law better, I can safely say the outcome of that evening would have been a whole hell of a lot different.

    Sure, I came on here hoping to hear something positive and uplifting. Can't blame me for being hopeful. I want to puke thinking that I have to add this onto the already heavy burden I carry, and now, I just want to know what to expect.

    Thank you!

    Last edited by leequa; 06-20-2009 at 07:58 PM. Reason: didn't want to sound arguementative with the last responder
  7. #7
    If you turn yourself in in Portland I wonder if CA will even pay to extradite you to Redding.

    I am not familiar with the administrative waiver for your license, but that sounds like your best bet.

    What I am about to say will probably ruffle some feathers.

    If you truly have no money and are eligible for a public defender then NOW is the time to have this taken care of in CA. The courts are overloaded, the pd's are triple booked and CA has no money. I do not work in CA, but I have heard that DA's are cutting deals especially with people like yourself who are non-violent offenders who would otherwise be a financial drain on the system (both to the court and to the prison system). Basically, CA doesn't want you even though you are 'wanted'.

    Last edited by lenny71; 06-21-2009 at 07:53 PM.
  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    If you turn yourself in @ Portland, they'll probably hold you (in jail) for about three days while they wait for CA to respond to their inquiry re extradition.

    CA won't pay to extradite, & he'll be released with the same problem.

    You have to appear in the original court which issued the bench warrant.
    The Judge may remand (jail) you, as you proved you won't appear at a future hearing. If you can talk to the Prosecutor, you may be able to resolve this with a plea bargain which allows you to complete an alcohol class outside their county (in order to clear your driving privilege in CA). Fines can be paid or worked off in community service - but that requires your staying in that jurisdiction for a while.

    No matter the budget crises, CA Judges do jail some people when they have the discretion. Some Judges hate FTAs - it's commonly called 'contempt of Judge'.
    Expect to serve some jail time. How much, depends on the Judge you appear before.

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