I just got a DUI in and am nervous that the prosecutors will find my first DUI six years ago in another state under my maiden name. How likely is it will they find it and will it definitely be charged as my second offense?
They will find it as it's not only your name that is stored in the data base but other identifying factors such as your social security number, dob, etc. So its very likely it will show up on your RAP sheet. Prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years can be used to enhance any subsequent arrests so you need to retain a lawyer to help you on this case.
You must assume that it will be found by the State. Moreover, many courts have the Office of Probation do a record check shortly before the expiration of your probation, so the court is likely to find it as well. Many judges will actually ask you whether you have any prior DUI convictions at the at the time of sentencing. Some of them will even place you under oath before asking the question. Lying under oath is perjury, an offense in itself which carries a potential jail sentence. You should also note that DUI convictions now are frequently available in on line criminal conviction databases which can be searched by the public. You need to be honest with your attorney, who may be able to place your DUI history in the proper perspective. For example, you may have an undiagnosed, or improperly diagnosed, disorder for which you have been self medicating over time, despite having placed yourself in the hands of medical professionals.
There are circumstances when you may lawfully hold back information concerning a prior DUI. If your case actually has been expunged by the court where you received your DUI, you may have been restored to the DUI free record that you had prior to that conviction. But, you need to discuss this with your attorney -- some such dispositions are less than full expungements and some are not expungements at all -- they merely protect you from some of the consequences of a conviction -- such as license suspension or revocation. In addition, some Juvenile Court DUI findings do not have the force of an adult criminal court conviction and you may be entitled to have such a finding excluded from the new DUI adult court's consideration at the time of sentencing. Once again, you must disclose this to your attorney to determine how best to handle your particular situation. It is far to risky to simply keep the information to yourself, not disclose it to your attorney, and simply hope for the best. I wish you well.
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