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The Court Errored in Admitting Prior DUI Evidence

Posted by John P. Rutkowski | Mar 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

On appeal the Court found that the Trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence that the defendant committed a DUI five years earlier. Stating that even if defendant's two DUI offenses were strikingly similar, evidence of prior DUI was not relevant to prove a material fact in issue in present DUI prosecution. And that the  evidence was not admissible to prove absence of mistake or accident or to rebut defense theory. The defendant's testimony did not open door to presentation of evidence of prior DUI. Therefore it was error by the trial court in admitting evidence and the error was not harmless, especially given state's reliance on evidence in closing argument and potential for use of evidence to establish that the defendant had a propensity to commit DUI offenses. The appeals court ordered a New trial.

Read Opinion Below:

About the Author

John P. Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-seven years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as an Assistant State Attorney in Florida before going in to private practice and representing good people in bad times who have been accused of criminal offenses, dui, and appeals.


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Put Mr. Rutkowski's twenty-seven years experience practicing in the areas of DUI, BUI, Administrative Driver License Suspension Hearings, Administrative Hardship License Hearings and Criminal Traffic. Contact Mr. Rutkowski today for a free telephone consultation.

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