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Driving Under Suspension in Colorado

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Driving Under Suspension in Colorado

Driving under suspension, also known as driving with a suspended license, can carry significant penalties in Colorado. If you have been accused of driving on a suspended license, you may need to work with an experienced traffic lawyer to help protect your freedoms and decrease some of the penalties you might otherwise face.

WHAT DOES DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION MEAN?

Driving under suspension means driving after your license has been suspended.

Colorado drivers may have their licenses suspended for several reasons. Most often, Colorado residents face license suspension for drug and alcohol-related charges, usually driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Colorado drivers who refuse to take a drug or alcohol test, in accordance with Colorado’s express consent law, may also have their licenses suspended. Drivers may also have their licenses suspended after acquiring too many points on their license for traffic violations or for getting caught driving without liability insurance. Criminal convictions, including failing to stop at the scene of an accident—especially one that involved serious injury or death, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault may also result in license suspension or revocation.

When a driver’s license is suspended, the driver temporarily loses their ability to drive legally. A driver who has had their license revoked permanently loses that privilege indefinitely. Driving under suspension means driving in spite of a legal ruling that you cannot operate a motor vehicle.

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WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE IN COLORADO?

In Colorado, driving on a suspended or revoked license can cause you to face misdemeanor charges. The penalties may include:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A fine of up to $500
  • Continued suspension, including lack of eligibility to reinstate your license for up to three years, if you have been convicted of driving on a suspended license more than once within five years

If your license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI, you may find yourself facing a minimum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine to a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Second convictions and convictions thereafter can result in growing penalties.

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HOW CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION?

A criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights after you have been charged with driving under suspension in Colorado.

AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP DEFEND YOU

Sometimes, an attorney can look at the evidence related to your license suspension and prove to the courts that your license should not have been suspended in the first place, which can lead to the charges against you being dropped. Other times, the attorney can help show that you had already taken steps to correct the suspension and assumed that you could legally operate your vehicle again, but someone else dropped the ball; the paperwork never got filed, for example. Finally, an attorney may show that you had mitigating circumstances that required you to get behind the wheel in spite of your suspended license.

Having an attorney on your side can prove critical to your defense. Often, an attorney can find potential arguments that you may not have realized applied to your case, making it easier to build a case in favor of avoiding further penalties.

AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP REDUCE THE PENALTIES YOU MAY FACE

Like many misdemeanors, driving on a suspended license in Colorado offers a range of potential penalties. Ideally, you would like to face the bottom end of that range, avoiding unnecessary jail time and fines, for example. Often, a skilled attorney can help reduce the consequences you may face for driving on a suspended license in Colorado.

Without an attorney, you may find that the court tries to make an example of you or impose the maximum consequences. When you work with an attorney, however, your attorney can help argue in your favor, presenting compelling reasons why the court should reduce those fees or that jail time as much as possible. As a result, you may not only avoid those direct penalties, but you may reduce the other challenges you would face as a result of those penalties, including potential job loss, loss of income, or loss of your license for a longer period of time.

If you have been charged with driving under suspension, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to help protect your rights.

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 fines

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.

CALL NOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED

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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 HAPPENS IF YOU GET CAUGHT DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE IN COLORADO?

If you get caught driving with a suspended license in Colorado, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. You may face possible jail time and heavy fines as well as the potential for losing your license even longer. If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to receive a comprehensive defense that can help protect you.

IS DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE A FELONY IN COLORADO?

No, driving with a suspended license is not a felony in Colorado. Rather, it is considered a misdemeanor.

HOW DO YOU REINSTATE YOUR LICENSE IN COLORADO?

The length of your license suspension will depend on why it was suspended. Generally, the terms of the suspension will lay out when you can apply to have your license reinstated. Once your suspension period has ended, you will need to legally reinstate your license before you get behind the wheel. You may need to:

  • Pay a $95 fee
  • Take care of any additional costs and fees associated with license reinstatement
  • Attend any alcohol- or drug-related programs ordered by the court
  • Complete the written and road driving tests

Once you have completed those steps, you can legally have your license reinstated, which means you can drive again.

Even if your license is suspended, you may have the right to apply for a limited or provisional license, which will allow you to operate a vehicle to get to and from work, handle transportation of children or other individuals in your care, or manage some personal responsibilities. An attorney can help determine whether you may be eligible for a provisional license and what steps you might need to take in order to retain some measure of freedom.

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Colorado Springs Traffic Lawyer Near You

If you’ve been charged with driving under suspension in Colorado, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. Traffic attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, a Colorado Springs traffic lawyer can help you fight for a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or another more favorable outcome. Contact us right away for a free case consultation.