Seems like maybe this was discussed previously, but I just can't remember. My scenario: defendant offers to stipulate to two previous DWI convictions and argues that as a result the State is "not allowed to put on proof of the convictions during the guilt/innocence". The stipulation is filed with the clerk and its filing acknowledged by the court on the record. The state offers no other proof of the prior convictions. The jury charge reads: "The defendant has stipulated before the Court that he previously was convicted two times of the offense of driving while intoxicated, to wit: on October 2, 1991 in Cause No. 20632 in the County Court at Law of Wichita County, Texas and on December 22, 1998 in Cause No. 6454F in the County Court at Law of Wichita County and you are instructed to find that the defendant has been previously convicted of those offenses." There is no objection to the charge and the the jury finds defendant "guilty of felony driving while intoxicated as alleged in the indictment". Upon appeal the defendant argues "if the evidence of the two prior DWI convictions is admitted in the form of a stipulation, the stipulation should be published to the jury" since "the Constitution gives a criminal defendant the right to have the jury determine his guilt of every element of the crime of which he is charged."
I believe my judge was influenced by Baker, 52 S.W.3d 882 and VanderHorst, 52 S.W.3d 237 in choosing the route he did. I am also aware of Orona, 52 S.W.3d 242 and footnote 1 in Weaver, 56 S.W.3d 896 and McGuffey, 12-01-146-CR (1-16-02). Anyone know of additional authority on this issue, or have a suggestion? I know why the State is arguing for admission of the stipulation in McGuffey, but does that decision mean Weaver and VanderHorst are wrong?
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