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Uncertified DOT driving record + JOC on CCAP + court of appeals opinion = proof of countable prior OWI offense

State v. Kory v. Ambroziak, 2017AP22-CR, 9/19/17, District 3, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Ambroziak argued that he was incorrectly sentenced for a 2nd-offense OWI because the State had failed to prove the existence of a prior OWI-related offense beyond a reasonable doubt. But the court of appeals held that the State carried its burden. Thus, the circuit court correctly sentenced Ambroziak with second-offense OWI penalties.

State v. Risse, Appeal No. 2015AP586 (Wis. Ct. App. 1/12/16)(unpublished) held that a defendant cannot rebut the State’s evidence of a prior OWI-related offense in another jurisdiction merely by submitting a database entry printout showing no prior OWI-related offense in that jurisdiction.  The same principle applies to the State: “the State cannot rely on information in Wisconsin’s CCAP database to prove a prior conviction.” Op. ¶8.

The State argued that Ambroziak’s case was different. It did not rely simply on a CCAP record to prove a prior OWI offense. It also supplied an uncertified DOT driving record and a court of appeals opinion. The court of appeals agreed that these three documents together provided sufficent proof of a prior OWI conviction.

¶10 Ambroziak selectively focuses on the CCAP record. Unlike Risse, No. 2015AP586, unpublished slip op., ¶17, the CCAP record was not admitted here solely to prove or disprove a prior OWI-related charge. Rather, viewing the sentencing documents collectively indicates three items of proof. First, according to the DOT driving record, Ambroziak had a judgment of conviction for an “Implied Consent” violation that was at some point pending on appeal. Second, that appeal had been resolved, and this court affirmed a judgment convicting Ambroziak of a refusal. County of Shawano, No. 2015AP462, unpublished slip op., ¶1. Third, the judgment of conviction , as indicated on CCAP, stemmed from the proceedings reflected in both the DOT driving record and County of Shawano. We conclude all of those documents, together, constitute “other competent proof” establishing that Ambroziak had been convicted of the prior implied consent violation beyond reasonable doubt

As explained in our post on Risse, the place to start when analyzing the evidentiary value of a state-maintained database record is State v. Bonds, 2006 WI 83, 292 Wis. 2d 344, 717 N.W.2d 133.

Note to appellate lawyers: In Footnote 4 the court of appeals reminds us that while we may cite 1-judge opinions issued on or after July 1, 2009, we are required to include a cop y in the appendix to our brief. The parties here did not do so.

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