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Colorado Springs Felony DUI

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

CALL NOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED

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Getting You To A Better Place Fast

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.

Is your first DUI a felony in Colorado?

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.

Can you get a DUI expunged in Colorado?

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.

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

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.

Experienced Felony DUI Attorney

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.