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Colorado DUI Penalties

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What Are The Colorado DUI Penalties? If You Were Charged With A DUI You ONLY Have 7 DAYS to Request A DMV Hearing.

Colorado’s DUI laws have a progressive penalty system that gets stricter on a second, third, and fourth DUI basis. Offenses are misdemeanors unless a driver has had three or more convictions, in which case a Class 4 felony will be applied. Colorado DUI penalties are different if the person under the influence causes serious injuries or death.

Colorado Springs DUI Penalties

The state’s laws consider you to be “under the influence” of alcohol if your blood alcohol content level (BAC) is 0.080 or higher or if you are suspected to be under the influence of other chemicals such as marijuana, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs. If your results are below 0.080 but higher than 0.050, you may still be charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI). You can be charged with DUI if you refuse to submit to a chemical test.

Substantial incapacitation that renders you incapable of operating a vehicle will result in you being guilty of a DUI.

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Here Is What You Need to Know About DUI Penalties in Colorado:

First DUI Penalties

A first-time conviction is considered a misdemeanor that results in:

  • Jail: 5 days to 1 year
  • Fine: $600 to $1,000
  • Public Service: 48 to 96 hours
  • License Suspension: 9 months
  • Points: 12 DMV points

Offenders may have to take one or more alcohol education classes.

Note: If a defendant’s BAC is 0.15% or higher, the individual will be considered a persistent drunk driver (PDD) and will be charged as a repeat offender.

Second DUI Penalties

A second-time conviction is considered a misdemeanor that results in:

  • Jail: mandatory minimum of 10 days to 1 year
  • Fine: $600 to $1,500
  • Public Service: 48 to 120 hours
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • Points: 12 DMV points
  • Ignition Interlock Device: 2 years

Alcohol education classes may be required.

Third DUI Penalties

A third-time conviction is considered a misdemeanor that results in:

  • Jail: 60 days to 1 year
  • Fine: $600 to $1,500
  • Public Service: 48 to 120 hours
  • License Suspension: 2 year
  • Points: 12 DMV points
  • Ignition Interlock Device: 2 years

Alcohol education classes may be required.

Fourth or More DUI Penalties

Colorado law (42-4-1301 C.R.S.) states that after three or more violations, the driver will be charged with a class 4 felony if the driver was found guilty for the prior convictions. A felony is a much more serious crime that will result in:

  • Fines of $2,000 to $500,000
  • Colorado State Imprisonment of 2 to 6 years and 3 years of parole

DWAI Penalties

DWAI penalties are less severe than their DUI counterparts, but they still have a progressive system where each offense results in harsher punishment.

Colorado DWAI penalties are:

  • First-time offenses result in 2 to 180 days in jail, fines of $200 to $500, and 24 to 48 hours of public service.
  • Second-time offenses result in 10 days to 1 year in jail, fines of $600 to $1,500, and 48 to 120 hours of public service.
  • Third-time offenses result in 60 days to 1 year in jail, fines of $600 to $1,500, and 48 to 120 hours of public service.

All DWAI offenses result in 8 DMV points, and if a fourth charge is filed against a driver and they’re found guilty, they will face the same punishment as a person with four or more DUIs.

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Penalties if a DUI Causes Serious Injury or Death

Drivers that are involved in an accident while being impaired will immediately face a felony charge if the accident resulted in serious injury or death. The charges faced include:

Vehicular Assault

An accident that results in serious injuries will be considered a Class 4 felony and warrants:

  • Fines of $2,000 to $500,000
  • Prison sentence of 2 to 6 years, and 3 years of parole

Vehicular Homicide

If the accident results in the death of another driver, a Class 3 felony will be assessed, which comes with more severe penalties. A defendant, if found guilty, will face:

  • Fines of $3,000 to $750,000
  • Prison sentence of 4 to 12 years and 5 years of parole

Colorado DUI Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving

Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy for all underage drivers. If an underage driver has a BAC of 0.05% or higher, they will be treated as an adult and face the respective DUI and DWAI laws.

If the driver’s BAC is 0.02% or higher, they will also face a progressive system that allows for the first offense to not be considered a crime. Subsequent offenses are a crime.

  • First offenses have fines up to $150, license suspension of up to 3 months, 24 hours of community service, and 4 points on their license.
  • Second offenses have fines up to $300, license suspension of up to 6 months, 48 to 120 hours of community service, 4 points on their license, and 10 to 90 days in jail.
  • Third offenses have fines up to $300, license suspension of up to 6 months, 48 to 120 hours of community service, 4 points on their license, and 60 to 90 days in jail.

Any convictions after the fourth offense may require alcohol or education programs at your own expense.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

What is the sentence for misdemeanors in Colorado?

  • Class 1

  • 6 to 18 months in county jail, and/or
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • For extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months.
  • For 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
    • Peace officer,
    • Emergency medical provider,
    • Firefighter, or
    • Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
  • Class 2

  • 3 to 12 months in county jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000 in fines
  • Class 3

  • Up to 6 months of county jail, and/or
  • $50 to $750 in fines2

What are Colorado felony penalties?

  • Class 1

  • Life imprisonment
  • No Colorado crime carries the death penalty.
  • Class 2

  • 8 – 24 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or
  • $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • 5 years of mandatory parole if the offense is a crime of violence. Otherwise, 3 years of mandatory parole.
  • Class 3

  • 4 – 12 years in prison, and/or
  • $3,000 – $750,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 3 felonies, the maximum sentence is 16 years in prison.
  • Class 4

  • 2 – 6 years in prison, and/or
  • $2,000 – $500,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence is 8 years in prison.
  • Class 5

  • 1 – 3 years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 2 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence is 4 years in prison.
  • Class 6

  • 1 – 18 months years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 1 year of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.

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At Right Law Group, we understand the stress you are under. Our Criminal Defense Law Firm is here to guide you down the right path to your legal challenge. Whether you are facing your first DUI, a drug charge, need a restraining order, or are facing another type of criminal charge, our firm is committed to your well-being and protecting your rights the right way.

What is the penalty for DUI in Colorado?

The penalty for a DUI in Colorado depends on a number of factors. The primary factors are whether or not the driver has had any previous DUI convictions, what their BAC was at the time of arrest, and if anyone was seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by the impaired driver. Penalties could include fines, jail time, community service, alcohol classes, interlock device requirements, and license suspension.

Is there mandatory jail time for a DUI in Colorado?

Jail time for a DUI in Colorado will depend on if the driver has had any previous DUI convictions. For a first offense, jail time is not mandatory but still possible. Mandatory jail time starts with a driver’s second DUI conviction.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Colorado?

In Colorado, a DUI charge will stay on your record permanently unless you are given a deferred sentence. It is also important to note that Colorado does not have a “lookback” period, meaning that if you are charged with a 2nd DUI 15 years after your first, it will still be considered a second offense for penalty purposes.

Experienced DUI Lawyer

Colorado Springs DUI Attorney Near You

Have you been charged with a DUI and are now facing Colorado DUI penalties? If you need help navigating the Colorado DUI laws, contact Right Law Group today for a free case evaluation. You may be able to keep your license. Call us now to get help. An experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer can help get you through this. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.