DOES MY OUT OF STATE OR KANSAS DUI COUNT IN MISSOURI?
Missouri DUI Laws increase potential penalties for second, third, and subsequent DUI charges. It is important to recognize that DUI laws are different from State to State and the elements of what makes up a DUI charge can vary from State to State. When looking at the potential
impact that a prior Out-of-State DUI conviction might have on your current DUI charge in Missouri it is important for your lawyer to look at when you entered your plea, but specifically what State statute or Municipal code was in effect in that State or City at the time of the plea
to that prior DUI and challenge whether or not it will be ultimately admissible in the Missouri Court where you are currently charged with DUI.
In State v. Coday, Missouri Court of Appeals WD77619 the Missouri Court of Appeals held that a Kansas DUI conviction could not be counted in Missouri to enhance a Missouri Misdemeanor DUI charge to a Missouri Felony DUI charge.
The Court compared the Kansas and Missouri laws prohibiting Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and concluded that the defendant could have been convicted in Kansas for conduct that
would not have constituted a crime for DUI in Missouri. The Court reasoned that the Kansas DUI law was broader in that it made it illegal to "...attempt to operate any vehicle within this state while under the influence of alcohol" , while in
comparison the Missouri DUI statute requires that the person actually operate a vehicle while under the influence, the attempted operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence , while chargeable in Kansas, is not a crime in Missouri. The Missouri definition of DUI and prohibited conduct in this regard was narrower and the prior Kansas DUI convictions could not be used in Missouri to enhance Mr. Coday's DUI charge to a Felony DUI, the Court ruled.
In State v. Rigsby, Missouri Court of Appeals WD82018, the Missouri Court of Appeals held that a Illinois DUI conviction could not be counted in Missouri to enhance a Missouri Misdemeanor DUI to a Felony DUI because the Illinois statute prohibited conduct more broadly than the Missouri DUI statute. The Illinois DUI law did not require that a person be in fact impaired by the presence of of cannabis in his or her body, only that the substance was present in a breath, blood, or urine test. The Illinois DUI law was in essence a 'Zero-Tolerance' DUI law. In Missouri, by contrast, an individual can be convicted of Driving Under the Influence of a drug only if that person is is in fact impaired at the time by the drug"
Because the Missouri DUI statute was narrower in scope , the Illinois DUI conviction could not be counted in Missouri to upgrade the Missouri DUI charge to a felony.
When charging a DUI in Missouri, the Prosecutor will use Out-of-State prior DUI convictions to determine whether to charge the current DUI as a First Offense (Class B Misdemeanor), Second Offense (Class A Misdemeanor) or Third Offense or subsequent ( Felony DUI ).
Challenging the Prosecutor's use of Out-of-State DUI prior convictions to enhance your Missouri DUI to a Class A Misdemeanor or to a Felony DUI charge in Missouri is critical. A failure by your attorney to challenge the introduction of Out-of-State DUI convictions prior to trial may mean that you have
given up that right .
Please contact our office at 816.361.0964 for a free initial consultation regarding your Missouri DUI Charge .