If I got a DUI and then moved to another state, can I handle the case from here without having to go back to court?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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If I got a DUI and then moved to another state, can I handle the case from here without having to go back to court?

I got a DUI in illinois nearly 4 years ago. I never made it passed the pretrial stage. I became homeless and have sense moved to Iowa where I now have a full-time job, a fiancee and children. I still have an active warrant for my arrest but I want to know if I can legally handle this case with the help of an attorney without having to go back or turn myself in. Could I could transfer it to here somehow? If I turn myself in I would likely lose my job and wouldn’t be able to provide for my family.

Asked on August 5, 2019 under Criminal Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, the case cannot be transferred because Iowa has no jurisdiction (power) over a crime (DUI) committed in another state. It needs to be dealt with in the other state. As for whether it can be dealt with by a lawyer without you--that is very unlikely. DUI is treated seriously by the courts, and even if a lawyer can negotiate some plea and punishment you can live with, you would certainly have to appear to accept the plea in court--and if there is any incareration or imprisonment, even very brief (e.g. a weekend), you'd have to serve it in the state were the DUI occured. Retain a DUI attorney in the state and county where the offense occured to advise as your options and represent you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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