If I Have a Criminal History, Can It Be Used Against Me In a DUI Case?

Those with a criminal history are often discriminated against unfairly. If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, will your criminal history be brought up and used against you?

In this Drunk Drivers Rights article we will discuss how your criminal history could effect your DUI case in court.

You Have a Criminal DUI Conviction

If you had a previous DUI conviction in which someone was seriously injured or killed, then you can expect the case to be revisited for sure. However, it should NOT be used in any way to prejudice your current case. The present case should be evaluated by the courts based on its merits alone. The previous conviction should have no legal bearing on whether you are convicted of DUI or DWI or found not guilty of DUI. It will be up to your DUI attorney to make sure that your past conviction is not used to prejudice your current case. If it is, your DUI defense lawyer will have grounds for appeal.

If you are convicted in the current case, your previous conviction might be considered by the court when considering sentencing.

Your Conviction Did Not Involve a DUI

No matter what else your previous conviction was for, from shoplifting to murder, if it did not involve drunk driving, it should not be brought up in the current case. An aggressive DUI attorney will make sure that your past criminal conviction is not made an issue to a jury or the judge.

Bias You Can’t Prove

If your case is tried before a judge, it is possible that the judge may treat you unfairly based on your past conviction.  There may be no way to prove this, though your DUI defense lawyer can file an appeal. However, appeals are expensive and the cost needs to be weighed against the potential gain.

If your case is tried before a jury, the jury should not be made aware of your previous criminal history. If a prosecutor mentions it, this would be grounds for an appeal. If your criminal history is common knowledge, it might prejudice the jury and there’s probably no way to prove it.

If you have a criminal history and are facing a DUI charge, get an experienced team of DUI attorneys to defend you. Experienced, highly-skilled defense lawyers are your best chance of getting treated fairly in the present regardless of your past.

Additionally, if you can’t afford an attorney, while you can represent yourself in court, it is not advisable to do so. There are many different federal DUI laws as well as state DUI laws that will come into play. Having a knowledgeable attorney can be the difference between a conviction or acquittal.