Felony DUI Colorado
Colorado Springs Felony DUI
Facing Felony DUI Charges? If You Were Charged With A Felony DUI in Colorado You ONLY Have 7 DAYS to Request A DMV Hearing.
If you were charged with a felony DUI in Colorado, read on for more information about what to expect as far as penalties and the process of getting your license reinstated after you have completed your court-ordered sentencing requirements.
Here Is What You Can Expect From a Felony DUI in Colorado Springs
A felony DUI in Colorado Springs is a serious charge that can result in serious consequences, including financial penalties, incarceration, and a restriction of your driver’s license. Your experienced DUI attorney may be able to get your charge reduced or even dismissed depending on the facts of your case, so it is important to speak to a criminal defense attorney who specializes in this type of charge as soon as possible.
If you have been arrested…
Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.
Colorado Felony DUI Laws
Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-1301 is the portion of the law that pertains to felony DUI charges, and is also known as Colorado’s Four Strikes Law due to the ability to have three misdemeanor DUI convictions that do not involve bodily injury or death before the offense becomes a felony. According to the statute:
- The fourth “strike” will result in a felony, even if no one is injured or killed as a result of your impairment.
- The prior three convictions don’t have to be recent to count against you. However, juvenile DUI convictions are generally not tallied unless they involve a deferred judgment.
- The prior three convictions did not have to occur in Colorado and they don’t have to be explicitly referred to as a “DUI.” Convictions for DWI, OUI, or other DUI-related offenses from other states still count as strikes.
- Any type of drunk- or drugged-driving conviction counts as a strike, including DUI, DUI per se (a charge given to those who test higher than .08 blood alcohol content within two hours of operating a motor vehicle and are assumed to be intoxicated without regard to individual tolerance levels), DWAI, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide.
Colorado Felony DUI Penalties
A felony DUI in Colorado can result in penalties that include:
- Up to six years in prison. In cases of extraordinary aggravation, the prison sentence can be up to 12 years. If you are sentenced to incarceration, you will also receive a mandatory 3-year parole period.
- If the judge grants probation in your case, the conditions of that probation must include 90 to 180 days in jail or 120 days to 2 years in jail through an alternative sentencing program; no less than 48 hours and up to 120 hours of useful public service; and the completion of level 2 alcohol and drug education classes.
- Suspension of your driver’s license for a period of at least 90 days.
It should be noted that if your DUI included vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, the penalties of conviction will increase dramatically, including the fines you will be ordered to pay as well as the length of incarceration.
What Makes a Felony DUI in Colorado?
DUI and DWAI charges are normally misdemeanors. However, a DUI can be charged as a felony in the following situations:
- You have three previous DUI drug or alcohol convictions.
- Your DUI was associated with an accident caused by your impairment that resulted in serious bodily injury to someone else.
- Your DUI was associated with an accident caused by your impairment that resulted in a fatality.
Other factors that may cause a DUI to be charged as a Class 4 felony include an extremely high blood alcohol concentration; the presence of a child in a vehicle with you at the time you were stopped by police or an accident occurred that resulted in your DUI charge; being charged with a DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license.
DUI Vs. DWAI
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is a lesser offense than DUI. While the legal impairment limit for a DUI charge is .08 grams of alcohol per a deciliter of blood, the limit for a DWAI charge is .05. A first DWAI offense, which is generally a misdemeanor unless it involves bodily injury or death, will result in penalties that include 2-180 days in jail, a fine of $200-500, 24-48 hours of useful public service, 8 points on your DMV driving record.
Often, the attorneys of those who have been charged with a DUI in Colorado are able to reduce this charge to a DWAI, which can result in less serious consequences. However, if your DUI was your fourth drunk or drugged driving offense or the offense involved vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, the charge will remain a felony even if it is reduced to a DWAI.
Reinstatement of Driving Privileges After a Felony DUI
In Colorado, driving is considered a privilege that can be suspended or revoked if you willingly violate the state’s traffic laws. Felony DUI convictions always result in a suspension of your driving privileges for at least 90 days. After the suspension period is up, you can apply for reinstatement of your driving privileges by doing the following:
- Obtain an SR22 certificate or rider that is added to your current auto insurance policy and is sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Install an interlock ignition device on all vehicles you own and drive and provide proof that this has been done through a Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit.
- Enroll in a level 2 alcohol or drug education program as ordered by the court.
- Retake eye, written, and road examinations for your license.
- Clear up any other penalties associated with your conviction.
- Complete a reinstatement application and submit the $95 reinstatement fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
In almost every situation, a first DUI would be considered a misdemeanor instead of a felony in Colorado. There are some situations where an aggravating factor (such as someone getting seriously injured or killed) could increase the charges to a felony.
In Colorado, DUI and DWAI convictions stay on your criminal record forever. There is not a possibility of getting them expunged or sealed. This is why it is so important to work with a DUI attorney as soon as possible to try to get your charges lessened or dropped altogether.
In Colorado, a DUI will stay on your criminal record for ten years. It is important to keep in mind, however, that Colorado has no “look-back” period, meaning that even if you get a DUI 11 years after a previous one (in any state), it will still be considered a subsequent DUI.
Colorado Springs Felony DUI Attorney Near You
When you’re charged with a felony DUI in Colorado, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. DUI attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, an attorney 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.
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