APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY REVIEW FROM THE TWENTY-NINTH
JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. CHARLES, STATE OF
LOUISIANA NO. 18, 614, DIVISION "D" HONORABLE M.
LAUREN LEMMON, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT, STATE OF LOUISIANA Joel T.
Chaisson, II Louis G. Authement
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RELATOR, CHRISTOPHER COLLINS Mark A.
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Stephen J. Windhorst,
and John J. Molaison, Jr.
M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE.
writ application, defendant challenges the trial court's
denial of his motion to quash the bill of information
charging him with fifth-offense driving while intoxicated.
For the following reasons, we grant this writ and remand for
28, 2018, Christopher Collins, defendant-herein, was arrested
in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana for driving while
intoxicated ("DWI"), in violation of La. R.S.
14:98. On October 18, 2018, the District Attorney for St.
Charles Parish filed a bill of information charging defendant
with fifth-offense DWI, alleging that defendant had four
prior DWI convictions. On February 4, 2019, defendant filed a
motion to quash the bill of information alleging that the
four prior DWI convictions could not be used as predicates
because they fell outside of the ten-year cleansing period
set forth in La. R.S. 14:98(C)(3). After a hearing on February
25, 2019, the trial court denied defendant's motion to
quash. Defendant seeks review of that denial.
motion to quash is the proper vehicle to attack a predicate
DWI conviction on the basis that it falls outside of the
cleansing period. When the issue presented in a motion to
quash is exclusively a question of law, appellate courts
review the ruling de novo. See, State v. Hamdan,
12-1986 (La. 3/19/13), 112 So.3d 812, 816.
R.S. 14:98(C)(3) reads, in pertinent part:
For purposes of this Section, a prior conviction shall not
include a conviction for an offense under this Section
… if committed more than ten years prior to the
commission of the crime for which the defendant is being
tried … . However, periods of time during which the
offender was awaiting trial, under an order of attachment for
failure to appear, or on probation or parole for an offense
described in this Paragraph, or periods of time during which
an offender was incarcerated in a penal institution in this
or any other state for any offense, including an offense
described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, shall be
excluded in computing the ten-year period.
prior convictions used by the state in a repeat DWI offender
prosecution under La. R.S. 14:98 are essential matters of
proof at trial. State v. Mobley, 592 So.2d 1282 (La.
1992); State v. Krause, 405 So.2d 832 (La. 1981).
The State has the burden of negating the cleansing period.
Mobley, supra. See, State v. Rolen, 95-0347
(La. 9/15/95), 662 So.2d 446, 447.
the bill of information charged defendant with fifth-offense
DWI, committed on May 28, 2018. The bill of information
listed four predicate DWI convictions: one on June 1, 2002;
one on February 9, 1999; one on November 6, 1997; and one on
November 30, 1992. Clearly, more than 10 years had passed
between defendant's 2002 conviction and his fifth DWI
offense in 2018. After defendant filed a motion to quash, ...