If you are facing criminal charges for alleged crimes committed out of state, you need to know how to handle them. You may be expected to come to court in that state and could face harsh penalties if you try to avoid doing so.

When you’re dealing with a DUI or other charge from out of state, your priority should be finding someone within the state to help you with your legal case. Doing this may help you minimize the number of times you have to travel back to the state and make it more likely that your case will be handled correctly.

Jurisdiction matters in criminal cases

No matter what you’re accused of, jurisdiction will matter. States are allowed to have jurisdiction when a crime is committed there. That means that you will be held accountable based on the other state’s laws and regulations.

So, even if you did something that was legal in Pennsylvania while in New Jersey, you could face penalties if that same action is not legal in NJ. Many people are surprised to find that laws vary significantly between states, which is why it’s important to double check before you go there.

For example, if you carry a weapon, you may need to have a different type of license once you cross state lines or to carry it in a specific way to keep it legal while traveling within the state. Sometimes, people who are just visiting may not be allowed to carry without special permissions, either.

No matter what kind of case you’re fighting, it’s important to know how the state you were in will handle the case. Some states have alternative options for the criminal court process, while others will put you through a traditional court system. Your attorney can help you figure out what you need to know about the charges you’re facing in the other state, the likelihood of being imprisoned upon conviction and other information that you need to know so you can defend yourself to the highest level possible. Getting organized and knowing if you need to return to the state is the first step.