Governor Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) has signed a bill into law creating a new category for a fourth drunk driving offense. The new DUI felony law law settles years of debate over this issue and brings CO in line with the majority of other states in the Union. Up until June of this year, it was possible to be convoked numerous times for a DUI and expect to receive no more than a brief jail sentence as a punishment. You may now be wondering, is a DUI a felony?
Is A DUI A Felony In Colorado?
In certain cases, a DUI charge would be considered a felony. Under this new law, a fourth DUI conviction can now be prosecuted under this category. The penalties you could be facing would be very steep: a fine of up to $500,000 and up to six years in state prison.
A Fourth Strike DUI May Not Always Receive The Steepest Penalties
You need to know that being charged for a DUI for a fourth time won’t necessarily result in facing the possibility of several years in prison, although the judge may choose to impose the maximum sentence. Each case will be weighed on its merits and the judge has discretion to decide the punishment that best fits the case before the court.
Willingness To Participate In Treatment A Factor In Sentencing
According to the new law, 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.” The law also states that the court must also determine that treatment is either unlikely to work or would present an “unacceptable risk to public safety” before a felony punishment can be imposed.
Court Will Consider Convictions From Other States When Determining Sentencing
The above paragraph may give some readers a reason to be hopeful that they don’t need to worry (much) about prior convictions if they have recently moved to Colorado. Relocating to CO doesn’t give you a clean slate from which to start accumulating DUI convictions under this new DUI felony law.
The court will consider your prior record, including convictions for DUI, DWAI, vehicular assault and/or vehicular homicide anywhere in the US, when determining whether the new charge should be treated as a felony.
Get Expert Legal Help From An Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI offense, the best step you can take is to seek professional legal advice now. Our experienced and knowledgeable Colorado DUI defense lawyers fully understand the DUI laws of Colorado. We will create a strong defense for you and your case!
Call The Expert Colorado DUI Defense Lawyers Now!