Some felony convictions in the state of California are considered “strikes.” California has a Three Strikes Law on the books. Individuals with three strikes (or three felony convictions) may face lengthy prison sentences. In fact, getting three strikes could lead to life in prison.
You may have heard of a Romero motion that is associated with strikes in California. What is a Romero motion? This motion allows a judge to temporarily “remove” a strike from your criminal record. This may reduce the amount of time you spend in jail after a conviction. A Romero motion may apply in DUI cases. Use this article to find out how.
DUIs May Count as Strikes in California
Violent or serious felonies may count as a strike against you in the state of California. Many drivers do not realize that DUIs qualify as strikes in some cases. You may face felony charges for a DUI if:
- You have three previous misdemeanor DUI convictions.
- You have one previous felony DUI conviction.
- You hurt someone in a DUI accident.
- You killed someone in a DUI accident.
DUI causing injury and vehicular manslaughter charges may both result in a strike on your record. The prosecution may also argue that a felony based on previous misdemeanor convictions should be treated as a strike. This may greatly increase the amount of time you spend in prison for a DUI.
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A Lawyer May File a Romero Motion for You
Let’s say that you have one or more strikes on your criminal record and you are charged with a felony DUI. You may face additional time in prison due to your strike(s). However, a lawyer could help you avoid this additional prison time. Your lawyer may file a Romero motion in order to accomplish this.
Romero motions are named for Jesus Romero. His lawyer requested that the judge “strike” the previous strikes on his record. The judge agreed to remove the strikes in the interests of serving justice. The judge’s decision stood up upon appeal.
Therefore, judges have the right to waive a strike in some situations. However, you should know that the strike does not disappear completely. The court simply ignores the strike for the purposes of sentencing you this time. If you are convicted again, the strike may count against you.
Restrictions on Granting a Romero Motion in California
Judges do not approve Romero motions in all cases. Instead, there are a number of factors the judge may consider before temporarily ignoring a strike on your record. Your judge may look into:
- Your age when you were previously convicted
- The amount of time since your last conviction
- The severity of your current charges
- Your history of violent crimes
- Your apparent remorse or cooperative attitude
The above list represents only examples of some considerations that go into a Romero motion. A lawyer can discuss additional information about a Romero motion with you. Call (310) 896-2723 to find out if a Romero motion would be the right choice for you.
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Effects of a Strike on a Sentence for a DUI
Some drivers wonder if going through a Romero motion is worth it for a DUI charge. Let’s consider the effects of a strike on a DUI conviction to consider the value of this motion. Let’s say that you have a strike on your record already. You are charged with a felony DUI because you have three previous misdemeanor charges.
Normally, a conviction for a fourth simple DUI would result in three years in prison. However, if the DUI counts as your second strike, your sentence could get doubled. This means you could end up spending six years in prison.
The penalties are more severe for a “third strike.” If you have two previous strikes on your record, you may face 25 years to life in prison. However, you may prevent this increase to your sentence with a Romero motion. You could also avoid a prison sentence by building a defense with a DUI lawyer. Start getting legal help in your corner right now. Contact a law firm to discuss your situation.
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Get Information About Romero Motions From a DUI Lawyer
Want more information about a Romero motion in California? Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group to get legal details about this motion. You can contact a member of our team right now. Reach out to us to get a free consultation. One of our DUI lawyers can focus on your defense today.
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