A judge may remove a strike from your criminal record with a Romero motion. Some DUIs in California are prosecuted as felonies. This means that may get treated as a strike by the court. Does this mean you can request a Romero motion for a felony DUI charge?
In short, the answer is that you may request a Romero motion for some DUI charges. However, this does not mean the court will approve your motion. Get more information about Romero motions and DUI charges with this article.
Basic Information About a Romero Motion in California
The state of California has a Three Strikes Law. This law increases the penalties faced by individuals with multiple felony convictions. Under the three strikes law, you face a longer prison sentence each time you are convicted of a “serious” or “violent” felony.
For example, let’s say you have one strike on your record. You are accused of a second felony. Upon conviction, you may have your prison term doubled. Individuals with two strikes face even harsher penalties. A third strike could result in 25 years to life in prison.
So, where does a Romero motion come in? A Romero motion asks a judge to temporarily ignore your past strikes. The strikes are not considered for the purposes of sentencing your case. This may allow you to spend significantly less time in jail after a conviction.
California’s Three Strike System and DUIs
Originally, any felony conviction in California could lead to a strike on your record. This changed as the three-strike program was adjusted over time. Currently, strikes are usually only assigned if you are convicted of a serious or violent felony.
Many drivers do not consider DUIs to be serious or violent crimes. However, they may still count as a strike in the court system. This is especially true if you are charged with a felony under:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23153: DUI Causing Injury
- California Penal Code Section 191.5(a): Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
- California Penal Code Section 191.5(b): Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated – Ordinary Negligence
These charges apply if you caused an accident that led to an injury or a death. They may all leave a strike behind on your record. You may also get a strike if you are charged with a felony because you have three previous misdemeanor DUI convictions.
Get help understanding strikes and DUIs by contacting a lawyer. You can speak to an attorney at the Simmrin Law Group about this aspect of the law by calling (310) 997-4688.
Requesting a Romero Motion for a California DUI
You may spend 16 years in prison for a felony conviction for DUI with injury. However, let’s say you have a strike on your record before you are charged with a DUI causing injury. Since the DUI causing injury charge would be your second “strike,” you would face additional penalties. Your prison time could get doubled to 32 years.
You may want to request a Romero motion in this situation. A Romero motion allows a judge to ignore your past strikes. They would not count against you during sentencing. Note that you may still end up facing 16 years in prison.
Romero Motions Are Not Always Approved for a DUI
It’s important that you understand that a Romero motion will not go through automatically. The judge must decide whether or not to approve your motion. Judges must consider each Romero motion “reasonably.” Judges are not permitted to dismiss a strike purely because:
- The court system is congested.
- You pled guilty.
- It is more convenient.
Additionally, the judge may consider your background and previous offenses when handling a Romero motion. You should also know that a Romero motion may get appealed by the prosecution. Sometimes, the higher court upholds a judge’s decision. However, Romero motions have been overturned in the past.
You can get help filing a Romero motion from a DUI lawyer in California. A lawyer can also build your defense for a felony DUI charge, working to bring you a not-guilty verdict, so you do not face a strike on your record.
Contact a Lawyer About Requesting a Romero Motion for a DUI
You may request a Romero motion for a DUI in some cases. A successful Romero motion may help reduce your prison time after a conviction. Get help filing for a Romero motion with the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to us now by calling (310) 997-4688. You can also fill out our online contact form. Start working with a DUI lawyer today.
We are ready to go over your legal situation with a free consultation.