Felony DUI amended to misdemeanor DUI after out-of-state convictions not counted due to recent case law
State of Kansas vs. JJ: Client charged with felony DUI after being stopped on I-35 for speeding. Client had 2 prior Missouri DWI convictions within the last 10 years. These two convictions were used to elevate the new DUI charge to a felony based on the number of priors. After hiring us, we filed a Motion to Strike the two prior Missouri convictions under a new case, State vs Stanley, that ruled that prior out-of-state convictions under statutes that are more broad in scope than the Kansas statute that incorporates the phrase "operating....to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating the motor vehicle" will not be counted as "prior convictions." The Missouri statute 577.010 does not contain the above language contained in the Kansas statute. We review all prior convictions to determine whether a challenge to the criminal history is proper and worthwhile. The statutory language of the out-of-state statute must be similar to the Kansas statute in order to count against the accused. The State vs. Stanley ruling has literally opened the door for such challenges and provides relief in some instances to accused DUI offenders who, unfortunately, have prior DUI convictions.
Practice area(s): DUI / DWI