Can the DA bring up past crimes that you’ve already served time for in a new case against you?

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Can the DA bring up past crimes that you’ve already served time for in a new case against you?

My boyfriend served time 5 years ago for a gun possession charge. He is currently fighting another gun charge. He didn’t have a gun on him but he could have had access to my hand gun that I had in storage at his moms house where he does not live. Can the DA bring up the past charges to use to make him seem guilty?

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek consultation from a criminal defense attorney in your area on this matter.  Generally speaking, if your boyfriend takes the stand in his own behalf he puts his character in to question and the prosecutor can ask him questions as to his prior record.  That is why many defendants do not take the stand in their own behalf - even if they have rehabilitated themselves - because the prosecutor can make them look bad when they are innocent.  Get legal help on how to handle this matter.  Your legal strategy on this is very important to his defense. He may consider fighting the case without taking the stand and instead putting on witnesses on his behalf. Good luck.


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