Petty theft will not be treated as a DUI

Petty theft will NOT be treated as a DUI

Question:  I have a PC 484 petty theft conviction from about 5 years ago.  I recently got arrested for a DUI in San Fernando with a Court date coming up next month in San Fernando Court.  Since I have this prior theft conviction, will my driver license and jail time increase with the new DUI charge?  Will petty theft be treated as a DUI in San Fernando to make the penalty worse?
Please let me know about setting up a meeting so I can discuss what happened 5 years ago and my recent DUI arrest with you.  Thanks.
Answer: No, a Petty theft will NOT be treated as a DUI.  DUI and Petty Thefts are separate charges. Both can be charged as misdemeanors, but that is about where the similarity ends.  So even though you have a prior misdemeanor conviction, since that prior PC 484 petty theft has nothing to do with driving it will NOT be priorable for DUI enhancement purposes.
That being said, if you were still on probation at the time of the DUI arrest, then you could face additional penalties for probation violation on top of the penalties for the DUI.  But if  you completed the terms of your probation successfully and probation has ended for you, then that is not an issue.  Sometimes prosecutors can be more harsh based on someone’s prior criminal record even if the new charges are unrelated, but I do not expect that to be an issue in San Fernando Court based on what you described.
I would highly recommend that you call me though to discuss your DUI situation as soon as possible though.  Once I find out more about what occurred the night of your DUI arrest, I can discuss some potential defenses and ways to mitigate potential consequences, and possibly get the charges dismissed.
Phil Hache
Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney
Ph:  818-336-1384