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Out Of State Licenses

One who has been charged with a dui in Indiana and holds an out of state license may actually be at an advantage from a person holding an Indiana license. Here’s why:

When probable cause has been found by an Indiana initial hearing judge judge that an individual has either tested above the legal limit of .08 or has refused to submit to a breath test, the judge will recommend to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) that the person’s license be suspended pending outcome of the dui prosecution. Although confusing, this is not technically a court ordered suspension unless one is later found guilty of the dui.

A suspension during the dui prosecution in Indiana is an “administrative” suspension. It is imposed by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles based upon their administrative rules governing the rules to hold a valid Indiana license. Where probable cause has been determined by a “preponderance of evidence” standard (less than “beyond a reasonable doubt” to uphold a criminal conviction) that the holder of an Indiana license has tested above the legal limit of .08 or refused to submit to a breath test, an administrative suspension pending outcome of the criminal prosecution will begin.

This reality is often problematic for a dui attorney defending one from prosecution. To take a case to trial can in most circumstances take many months. The administrative license suspension will last until the dui case has been resolved in court or a minimum of six months. For a client who needs his or her license back the option to await trial and further a pending license suspension is not an option. Where a case is not eligible for pre trial dismissal and minimum license suspension can be secured, resolving a matter through pre trial agreement is often compelled.

One with an out of state license and charged with an Indiana dui may not face the above referenced hardship. This is so because the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles does not have jurisdiction to administratively suspend the license of one holding an out of state license. As a result, unlike the pre trial administrative suspension faced by the holder of an Indiana license, the out of state license may remain valid pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

If one is later found guilty of the dui, a court order suspending the license will be directed to the out of state bureau or department of motor vehicles. At that time the out of state entity will determine whether to accept the court ordered suspension and/or modify it to comply with the rules governing dui license suspensions in that state.

However, unlike the holder of an Indiana license, the out of state license holder may very well receive license credit time from the date of his or her initial hearing in court despite the fact that the license was never in fact suspended by the other state jurisdiction. Therefore, in reality, most if not all of Indiana’s imposed drivers license suspension would not be imposed against the out of state driver by the time notice is processed by the out of state license bureau.

The bottom line is that in my capacity as an owi lawyer it is not my role to question the inequality of options I am able to secure for my out of state clients. My job is to use whatever legal avenues I can utilize to my advantage in my aggressive efforts to extract the best results possible for my clients wherever they may live.

For out of state residents and/or drivers license holders, please take action now to review the information contained throughout our site. In so doing, you will be best positioned to understand owi defense and how to make owi laws work for you!

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