If you are arrested for a fourth drunk driving offense in Colorado, you can face felony charges, as Colorado felony DUI law officially declares. According to the provisions of this statute, a fourth DUI in Colorado can be filed as a Class 4 felony, making it punishable by up to six years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
This now puts Colorado with the majority of U.S. states that have felony DUI laws, leaving only four states – Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – without such laws for alleged repeat offenders.
Facts about Felony DUIs in Colorado
A fourth DUI in Colorado can now be filed as felony. Here’s what’s important to know about the new Colorado felony DUI law, our Colorado Springs DUI lawyers explain.
The Colorado felony DUI law, which represents years of work and debate among lawmakers, has a number of important provisions that all motorists in the state should be aware of. In particular, this new law:
- Will count DUI offenses from other states – While prior DUI convictions that people acquire in Colorado will count towards establishing when a person has incurred a fourth DUI arrest, so too will DUIs people have received in other U.S. states. Additionally, it’s crucial to note that, for the purposes of this law:
- Other offenses, including DWI, vehicular assault and/or vehicular homicide, can also count as priors.
- There is no “washout” period in Colorado, so any DUI (or related) conviction accumulated over the course of someone’s lifetime will count against them.
- Will allow for treatment to mitigate penalties – Although the new Colorado felony DUI law can come with some harsh penalties, the law provides leeway for these punishments to be tempered with treatment for alcohol and/or drug addiction issues. In fact, the law explains that the court “must determine that incarceration is the most suitable option, given the facts and circumstances of the case, including the defendant’s willingness to participate in treatment.” This is good news for people facing felony DUI charges, as it can mean that there may be room to argue for treatment, rather than imprisonment, in the event of conviction.
- Is expected to lead to at least 400 incarcerations within the first 3 years the law is in effect – While this prediction may have the biggest impacts on those who are imprisoned as a result of being convicted of a felony DUI, it will also impact Colorado taxpayers who are footing the bill for these increased incarceration costs. In fact, experts have estimated that, within the first 3 years this law is in effect, the costs of imprisonment alone will be more than $27 million.
What do you think about the new felony DUI law in Colorado? Do you think it will be an effective deterrent for repeat offenders? Sound off on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
Contact An Experienced Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI? If so, the Colorado Springs DUI lawyers at The Kohn Law Firm are ready to aggressively defend your rights and help you bring your case to a successful resolution.
At Kohn Law Firm, we believe that our clients deserve exceptional service, ethical treatment and aggressive representation. That’s why we are here to help you navigate the complexities of an intricate criminal justice system, minimize the negative impacts on you and your family, and ultimately help you protect your freedom and future.
To learn more about how we can help you, set up a free initial consultation with us by calling us at (719) 328-9555 or via our contact form HERE. From our offices in Colorado Springs, we represent clients throughout the Pikes Peak region and Colorado.
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