If you were convicted and sentenced prior to a new law going into effect, are you subject to additional penalties imposed by that law?

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If you were convicted and sentenced prior to a new law going into effect, are you subject to additional penalties imposed by that law?

I was convicted and sentenced early 2009 of my second DWI within 5 years. I was given an 18 months revocation period and also 5 years probation. I have served the 18 month revocation and went to apply for my license but was told due to new laws I have to get an interlock device installed on my car. However, since I was convicted and sentenced before these new laws were put into place, why am I being force to install the interlock without a court order?

Asked on August 21, 2011 New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could challenge the interlock requirement as an ex post facto law.  Ex post facto means a law that has a retroactive or retrospectice effect because it increases the punishment beyond that of the law in effect when the act was committed.  An ex post facto law is unconstitutional unless it is a law which reduces the punishment.  An increase in possible penalty is ex post facto regardless of the length of sentence actually imposed.


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