DUI: Prior Conviction Sentence Enhancements

What Qualifies?

Any DUI convictions with 10 years may be used to enhance the minimum mandatory penalties in a subsequent DUI offence. Some of the prior convictions include the following violations:

  • Offenses involving alcohol and drugs according to VC § 23152, 23153, 23103.5 (“wet reckless”);
  • Out-of-state prior convictions and federal DUI convictions * must be similar to California VC § 23626 13352(d);
  • Prior convictions while operating a boat involving alcohol and drugs; and
  • Dismissed convictions under PC § 1203.4.

However, unconstitutional priors which resulted in a conviction from the state of California or out-of-state that was not for a prior conviction comparable under California Vehicle Code.

How Can You Challenge A Prior Conviction?

Before deciding on how to proceed, the attorney must request information regarding your prior conviction form the court. Requested documents may include minute orders, written waiver of constitutional rights, or the transcripts of the prior plea proceedings.

Additionally, the attorney may advise to request for bifurcation which would separate the prior from the recent DUI charge.

According to Vehicle Code § 41403- 41403(a), an attorney may file a motion to strike the prior conviction and must indicate in writing the specific alleged deprivation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. However, the defendant will have the burden of proof to prove by a preponderance of evidence supported by a factual and legal basis. Vehicle Code § 41403(b)(4).

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