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BloomLegalTV: Traveling with Pending Charges

Posted on May 31, 2011 in Bloom Legal TV

Disclaimer: Nothing should be taken as actual legal advice. Each and every individual case is different and you should really seek your own attorney to evaluate each and every case.

One question that was submitted was in regards to whether you could travel throughout the United States with pending misdemeanor charges.

Typically with most pending misdemeanor cases you are free to travel throughout the United States. The misdemeanor charges that are pending here in Louisiana should not affect any travel restrictions. However, there are certain types of misdemeanor charges, or sometimes specific guidelines from the judge in certain types of cases, that may impact travel. Again, if you're not sure you could have an attorney look into your specific case. But generally speaking, misdemeanors do not restrict travel throughout the United States.

Having said that, almost all pending felony cases in Louisiana have travel restrictions, wherein the defendant is not supposed to leave the jurisdiction they’re in. Jurisdiction boundaries can be the parish, or the state of Louisiana, based on your specific case.

Many times clients that are not residents of Louisiana come from out of state and get arrested on felony charges, but will need to travel back and forth to where they live and work. In this case the defendant’s lawyer can file a motion to leave the jurisdiction, but this may not always be granted, depending on the type of case, based on if the defendant is a flight risk, or the type of bond in place.

This can be very complex, and each individual case needs to be looked at by a specific attorney. Again, in no way am I trying to give legal advice, but certainly, if you are not a resident of Louisiana, and you have a felony pending in the state of Louisiana, someone should have filed a motion to leave the jurisdiction.

Another out-of-state question that was submitted was, “What will happen to my Texas driver’s license after a second DUI or DWI in the state of Louisiana? Again, I can’t address specific questions about your particular case, you need to get your own lawyer to look into each and every detailed case. That being said, DWIs are enhanceable offenses in the State of Louisiana. So that means that a second DWI and a third DWI each have elevated charges and fines and penalties associated with them.

In the State of Louisiana, first and second DWIs are misdemeanors, and a third DWI is a felony. Out of state DWIs or DUIs or other alcohol-related traffic instances can be used against you to enhance your DWI in Louisiana. For instance, if you have a pending DWI in the State of Louisiana and you have one, two, three other convictions for DUI or DWI in other states around the country, then yes, the State of Louisiana will see that when running your background check.  Upon finding previous DWI/DUI convictions, the state will use them to enhance your current DWI to a second--a more severe misdemeanor--or your second to a third, which is a felony. In some cases previous convictions must have happened in the last ten years to have an enhancing effect, but again, it’s on a case-by-case basis. Each individual case needs to be looked at by a professional attorney.

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