Does it make a difference if you have been convicted of a DUI in California and are then subsequently charged with a DUI in another state? There are several issues and potential concerns regarding this situation.
In California, the California Penal Code defines potential sentences for a person who has been charged and convicted of drinking under the influence. It further outlines what the consequences are if it is your first DUI, your second, or more. As the number of convictions increase, the sentence does as well. For example, a second DUI will include mandatory jail time.
So what happens if the second conviction is in a different state. Does the second state have to charge it as a second DUI , or a first DUI? This is obviously a very important concern because it make a big difference in the length of probation, as well as mandatory jail time.
If you have been charged with a DUI in a state other than California, and you have a previous DUI conviction in California, the other state may deal with it as they see appropriate. They may choose to take into account the previous DUI, or they may not even know it exists.
It is very likely that the other state will not be aware of the previous conviction for several reasons.
- Each state is dealing with an overload of cases. They generally do not have the time to review each and every person’s potential criminal history in each state. They do not have the resources nor the time. They will generally just do a criminal background check in that state and base their charges upon that.
- The statute and code section varies from state to state. For example, a driving under the influence charge in California is California Penal Code §23152. This is not the same code section, in let’s say, Alabama. Therefore, prosecutors will not know to look for that code section or what it is when it shows up on a background check.
- The standards and procedures for DUI convictions in different states vary. California states that a person is intoxicated when their blood alcohol level is over .08. The percentage may vary in different states. Therefore, whereas a person may be convicted in one state for driving under the influence, they may not be in another state.
A prior DUI in California is generally not considered when it comes to a conviction in a different state. However, if it is, then there can be potential jail time, or otherwise since it would be considered other than a first time offense. It is important to have a Los Angeles DUI Attorney represent your interests and speak to prosecutors in the different state to argue as to why the first DU should not be considered.