My husband is currently in criminal court proceedings for burglary and fraudulent schemes The prosecutor just got records from another state for the same thing that happened almost 20 years ago. In them cases he took a plea for 3 years prison sentence and restitution. He did his time and paid back everything he was suppose to. He’s in a similar situation and the prosecutor is trying to use his past history for the current case to show there is a pattern. Can they do this? Is there any way for my husband to stop it from being used against him?
Many times the State will bring up older criminal convictions in order to subject a defendant to enhanced sentencing. Whether your husband's old conviction from another state will be treated as a historical or even non-historical prior felony conviction is a question that can be best answered after reviewing the record of conviction. The charges that your husband is facing are fairly serious, and a previous conviction can make the time that he faces potentially harsher.
It would be best to see about obtaining an attorney in your husband's case to see what his exposure is and to see if there are any viable defenses to the current charges. My office offers free one hour consultations online at www.calendly.com/molinalaw - you can schedule an appointment that best fits your schedule. Or you may call at 602-718-1249. At the very least we can review your case and look at the prior conviction and give you a better idea going forward of what to expect in your case.
Best of luck,
Answers on Avvo are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice; specific answers require knowledge of all the facts. You should consult with an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advice upon which you can reasonably rely.
A past conviction for fraudulent schemes can often be admissible to show intent in a new fraud charge. Otherwise, past convictions may or may not affect sentencing, but they may be able to be brought up if he testifies.
Any answers given are for general information and are not intended to give legal advice. Any answer may change if additional facts and circumstances are known. Legal advice for a specific situation can only be given after a personal meeting and careful consideration of all facts and circumstances. Answering questions in this forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.
At a minimum, the fact that he has a prior felony conviction, even though it is 20 years old, is going to prevent him from being eligible for probation on this new offense if he is convicted as charged. That means, if he is convicted, he must receive a prison sentence. The jury will NOT be told that a conviction mandates prison.
Whether or not the jury in this case can be told about his prior conviction during the trial will depend on the specific facts of and surrounding the past case and a judge’s ruling in this case. Your husband’s attorney will likely have to file motions to preclude (keep out) use and/or reference to the prior.
Your situation, your circumstances, and the best course of action for you cannot possibly be determined through this exchange. My comments are not intended to be legal advice on how you should act because there is too much information about you and your circumstances that I do not have. I hope to provide you with some additional information to consider but urge that you seek a personal consultation with a qualified attorney before you chose to act. Many criminal defense attorneys (myself included) offer free consultations.
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