High Court Reverses Reduction of DUI to Misdemeanor

In California it is possible to have a felony DUI reduced to a misdemeanor by filing a motion and giving a judge reasons why the circumstances warrant a reduction.  In Kern County, these motions are rarely granted but in other jurisdictions they are possible.  In this case the court granted such a request the case was reversed on a technicality.  Here are the facts.

Appellant pled no contest to driving with a BAC of .08% or more, admitted DUI priors, and admitted violating probation in another case. She was placed on formal probation and required to complete a felony drug court program. At appellant’s successful drug court graduation, her counsel’s oral motion to reduce the felony charges to misdemeanors and dismiss them was granted. The prosecution appealed because it did not receive the required two days’ written notice of the request to reduce the charges (Pen. Code, § 1203.3, subd. (b)(1)), or 15 days’ notice of the petition to dismiss charges (§ 1203.4, subd. (e)(1)). Appellant countered that any error was harmless because she was overwhelmingly successful on probation. Nonetheless, the prosecution is entitled to due notice. Reversed.

It is certainly possible that the same result will occur.

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