In the sentencing phase of a DWI 2nd, can the prosecution bring up crimes in which you were not convicted? For instance, if you were charged with a DWI second more than 10 years before and it was dismissed and reduced to a reckless driving, can this be discussed in the sentencing phase of your trial?
Yes, if the prosecution can prove the prior offenses/bad acts beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court should instruct the jury that, if the prosecutor hasn't proven the prior offense/bad act beyond a reasonable doubt, then they cannot consider it. I usually file a request for notice of all prior offenses/convictions/bad acts, and fight hard to exclude any evidence that the State can't prove. Many attorneys will tell you that in the punishment phase of a trial, almost anything goes, with some limitations. If you're represented by counsel, and considering a trial, ask your lawyer these questions.
Prosecutors just love the punishment phase of trial. With a cooperative judge they can throw just about anything up on the wall to see what sticks. A lawyer with experience can blunt this effort to some extent. By anticipating and handling issues at jury selection or by making a good record for appeal, the defense lawyer can sometimes make life miserable enough for the prosecutor that they'll give up on some of this "junk." In any case, good luck.
Since this case resulted in a conviction for reckless driving, the matter could be discussed. The prosecutor could imply alcohol was involved in the offense and not violate your rights since the matter was originally filed as a DWI but later reduced. The truth, no matter how potentially deceptive is always permitted, since it is the truth.
You should always let your attorney know about ALL possible problems in your past, especially at the punishment phase, because you have been convicted and the presumptions against harm have been overcome.
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