If the penalties fora DUI changed after you were arrested and charged but before your court date, which penalties apply?

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If the penalties fora DUI changed after you were arrested and charged but before your court date, which penalties apply?

I was arrested and charged with a DUI last month but the penalties changed this month. My court date isn’t until next month. Which set of penalties would be given to me?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Ex post facto laws are not allowed by the U.S. Constitution. If you committed a crime on day 1 with a penalty of 1 year jail time but the charges were not brought or the conviction didn't occur until the penalty was 2 years jail time, your defense attorney would need to argue to apply the newer law would be considered ex post facto. Now, sometimes the opposite occurs wherein something that was criminal is now considered legal. Again, you would need to check with your defense attorney on the retroactive effects of such penalties.  Usually if the sentencing scheme is lessened with the new law, it is not considered to be an ex post facto issue but one that retrospectively applies to the acts committed. There are exceptions but generally these policies apply most often in the criminal law arena.


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