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Do Out-of-State DUIs Count as Priors?

In today’s day and age, people move around a lot. It’s not uncommon to move out-of-state because of school, a sweetheart, a job offer you can’t refuse, or simply the need for a change of scenery. Considering how often people move, it’s not unusual for someone to get a DUI in one state, and years later, get a DUI in a different state. So, the question is, “Can an out-of-state DUI count against you as a prior DUI offense?”

In reality, all but five states share information about DUIs with one another thanks to the Driver License Compact. Under the Compact, DUIs are considered “priorable” offenses, which means that for each subsequent conviction, you face harsher penalties.

If you got a DUI in another state, will it count as a strike on your record and will you face harsher penalties for your first California DUI as a result? Can an Orange County DUI attorney file a motion to strike a prior (the DUI in the other state) so it won’t be counted against you?

You May Have a Legal Argument

Essentially, if the out-of-state DUI would have been considered a DUI in California, then the DUI is considered valid for the purpose of priorability. You can’t just strike it because it occurred elsewhere. Let’s say the DUI occurred in Oregon and it resulted in a conviction. If you were convicted, the question whether it can be used as a prior in the California case is a highly technical issue and requires expert analysis from a skilled DUI lawyer.

Can a motion to strike a prior be filed in this case? It is possible; however, it comes down to whether it’s applicable in your case and how the Oregon statute defines the offense. If the Oregon law defines the offense more broadly than California’s law, you may be able to argue that what you were convicted of in Oregon, would not be considered DUI in California.

Do you have a DUI in another state and now you’re facing DUI charges in Orange County, California? Let an attorney from our firm do a statutory comparison, and see if it’s possible to file a motion to strike a prior. This is a highly technical question and can only be answered accurately by a qualified lawyer, who has all of the information.

Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation. Board Certified in DUI defense, Attorney Landry has the knowledge and skills to defend you!