State v. Hulbert

In State v. Hulbert, 209 W.Va. 217, 544 S.E.2d 919 (2001) the Court recognized that State v. Nichols, 208 W.Va. 432, 541 S.E.2d 310 (1999) established that prior convictions constitute status elements of offenses such as third offense domestic assault or domestic battery and as elements of the charged offense are proven as part of the guilt/innocence stage of a trial. The Court observed that "under longstanding rules of criminal law, the burden of alleging and proving each element of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt rests with the state and may not be shifted to the defendant." 209 W.Va. at 227, 544 S.E.2d at 929 .