California Allows Prior Convictions To Be Used Against A Defendant Even If The Conviction Did Not Occur In California

By: Wallin & Klarich

Evidence of a prior offense is most often used by the prosecution to increase seriousness of the crime or to increase the sentence. For example, a defendant with a prior conviction for driving under the influence, will face much harsher punishments if the prior convictions occurred within 10 years.

The California Penal Code allows a foreign conviction to be used as a serious felony prior when the record of conviction for the foreign offense shows conduct that qualifies as a serious felony in California. In other words, if the defendant’s actions in the foreign jurisdiction would amount to a felony in California, then the prosecution may use the prior conviction against the defendant in the new case.

There are a number of circumstances where a prior felony conviction from a foreign jurisdiction may not be used against a defendant. Hiring an experienced aggressive criminal defense firm is the best way to ensure you are not exposed to potentially stricter punishments.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you hire an aggressive, experienced criminal defense firm. Hiring an experienced Southern California criminal defense lawyer can greatly increase your chances of keeping your freedom, and ensuring you receive the lowest possible sentence. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (888) 280-6839 or go to our website at for more information. We will be there when you call.

Posted In: Criminal Defense