The metropolitan area encompassed by Socorro, Belen, Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Santa Fe make it quite possible that you may live in one county and have gotten a DWI in another.  Or as it often happens, you may have been vacationing in New Mexico from another state, or simply driving through, and you receive a DWI in the State of New Mexico.

The first and probably the most urgent question you may have at this point is how will you serve probation in Albuquerque (or other town or county) when you live elsewhere?  And on a related note, will the judge force me to stay in Albuquerque to serve my probation?  The answer and the processes for achieving your goal are extremely important for fairly obvious reasons.

Court Order Required for Completion of DWI Probation in Another County or State

You must go through the criminal court process in the county in which you were charged. However, this is a somewhat separate issue from where probation must be served.

Unfortunately, once you have been cited with a DWI, you will have to go through the criminal process in the city or county where you were arrested.  Even if you are from out-of-state, or from another county, you will have to go through the criminal process with the charging court.

But, once you have gone through the criminal proceedings, and you finally find yourself on probation, you can ask the court to allow you to complete your probation in the county or state where you reside.

DWI Probation Services Must be Available in Other County or State for Your Charges

You must petition the court to obtain permission to serve probation in another county or state.

Whether it is community service, alcohol counseling, ankle monitoring or drug and alcohol screening, you can petition the charging court to allow you to complete your probation in the county or state where you reside.

If you live in a more remote area, or a smaller city, your attorney may need to verify that those services are offered where you reside.  There are occasions where the requested services are not available meaning that other resolutions of the case may be necessary to accommodate your residency outside the county where the charges were filed.

Must Inform the Court of Residence Outside County Where Charged with DWI

It is very important that you let the court know that you reside outside the county or state where the DWI was charged.

Even if you move out-of-state or to another county, while your case is pending, you will have to inform that court of your new residence and petition the court to allow you to do your probation requirements at your new location.

Once you are on probation, it is very important to inform the court that you have moved or are moving out-of-state or that you have moved to another city or county, because you may violate your probation if you do not inform the court that you have moved.

During the time that your case is pending and during the time of your probation, the court may limit your travel and you will need specific permission from the court to leave the immediate area of where the court is located.  Violations of these court-imposed terms of probation can result in arrest so it is important to address them with the court in advance.

Must Verify Successful Completion of Probation in Other County or State

No matter where probation is served, verification of completion of probation must be reported to the court where the DWI was charged, and typically that would include proper notice to local probation.

Rest assured that there are probation services close to where you reside, but keep in mind that you still have to complete the probation services they were ordered, such as probation officer monitoring, community service, alcohol counseling, ankle monitoring or drug and alcohol screening.  The probation officer in your city, county or state will need to verify satisfactory completion of the probation.

A probation officer in your city, county or state can still report you to the court if you violate your probation.  As such, it is very important that regardless of where you are completing your probation, that you follow all of the requirements for satisfactorily completing the probation, because even in another city, county or state, the probation officer in your area can still report your violations of your probation.

Seek Experience DWI Defense Counsel

It is important seek the assistance of an experienced DWI defense attorney.  It is equally important that you fully communicate any issues related to residency or the need to complete probation outside of the county in which you were charged with DWI.  This includes informing the attorney of any plans for relocation.

Most judges will not unreasonably deny a request to complete probation in another county or state.  However, there are processes necessary to make this happen and these processes must be followed.