Prior arrests and convictions will definitely be taken into consideration by the DA when it comes to extending an offer to resolve the case with a plea and when it comes time for sentencing. It’s also important to know that some prior charges will actually enhance the penalties of a new offense. For instance, DUI offenses are priorable, meaning that if you have a DUI within 10 years and you pick up another DUI, this is no longer a first offense. It’s now a second offense. This means that the penalties automatically start at a harsher position because the prior conduct exists. This can result in more jail time, longer DUI school, and additional consequences, which could include having to attend AA or even an outpatient program. The same is true for felony conduct, especially if the prior is a strike where your exposure automatically gets doubled if you pick up another offense.
There are serious collateral consequences to take into consideration when there are prior offenses, especially if the client is not a citizen of the United States. Even with a first offense, we are now in the territory where the client could potentially be deported, excluded from the United States or be denied naturalization based on the charged offense. When we are talking about second offense crimes, even with misdemeanors it could put them in a category where that will potentially start removal proceedings. Because of this, priors can definitely affect the outcome of a case, and it’s important that the client is very honest with their attorney about what that prior conduct was, even if they think it wasn’t important. You will want to hire an attorney who can successfully navigate a case involving prior arrests or convictions and effectively inform you of your options and help you attain desirable results.