Monder Law Group - News
An Out of State DUI Being Used Against You In Your San Diego DUI Case
The most important thing to know if any prior criminal conduct from out of state can be used against you here in California is that there must be a conviction and each element from the crime you were convicted of must match elements of the same California criminal code section definition. If the out of state conviction does not contain all the necessary elements to meet the California criminal code definition, then the court can look at the underlying conduct from the record of conviction to see if it qualifies as a crime in California. People v. Crane (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 425, 433. The record of conviction is only the charges, change of plea form, and the abstract of judgment. If a crime can be committed in multiple ways then the court can only look at the least culpable way to commit an offense in an out of state conviction. People v. Garcia (1989) 216 Cal. App.3d 233. The court cannot take into account the police reports or witness statements in determining the record of conviction. If it cannot be determined how the offense was committed and it is not disclosed in the record of conviction, then the California court must presume the least serious form of the offense. People v. Delgado (2008) 43 Cal.4th 1059, 1066 see also People v. Self (2012) 204 Cal.App.4th 1054.
For example, a Florida conviction for DUI is not the same as a DUI in California because in Florida the DUI statute is different than the one in California. In California the DUI statute is limited to driving only while Florida can be control of the vehicle and does not necessarily require driving. This is the kind of information that is necessary to determine whether the court can enhance your charges here in San Diego based on an out of state prior conviction. These two statutes from two separate states are not substantially similar to require an enhancement in your California criminal case. There are many other states where the legislation incorporates control of the vehicle instead of actual driving. You should contact an experienced San Diego Criminal and DUI defense attorney to determine whether your out of state conviction can be used against you.
If your out of state prior conviction is admitted against you then you should always ask for a bifurcated bench trial on the prior so that the jury will not hear instances of prior misconduct when determining the outcome of the case in San Diego.
If you have any questions about an out of state prior being used in your criminal case contact San Diego Criminal Attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney