If a Colorado law enforcement official pulls you over and believes you were drinking before getting behind the wheel, you may face serious repercussions if convicted. While even first-time Colorado driving under the influence offenders face serious penalties, as you might expect, those penalties compound considerably if you have received prior DUI convictions within a certain period.
The penalties associated with receiving a felony DUI conviction in Colorado are particularly harsh, with anyone who receives four or more DUI convictions within a six-year period now considered a felony DUI offender. As of last year, anyone who meets these criteria must now serve at least some period of time behind bars, even if a judge places an offender on probation.
Jail specifics for felony DUI offenders
Nowadays, even if a judge issues you a probationary sentence after your fourth or subsequent DUI, you can still anticipate having to serve time in jail. If your judge grants you probation, you must still typically log somewhere between 90 and 180 days in a Colorado jail. If a judge grants you work release as part of your sentence, the time you must spend behind bars extends to somewhere between 120 days and two years.
Why the change?
In a relatively recent review of Colorado's felony DUI offenders and their sentences, it became evident that repeat offenders were receiving vastly different sentences, with little uniformity with regard to punishment. Some repeat offenders received no prison time at all, while about 30 percent of the state's repeat offenders did have to spend at least some time behind bars.
Additional sentence details
Under the terms of Colorado's felony DUI laws, felony offenders are not eligible for jail sentence reductions. Furthermore, Colorado's felony DUI offenders must also log anywhere between 48 and 120 hours of community service in addition to paying fines and taking care of other consequences they may face.
The penalties faced by Colorado's felony DUI offenders are considerable, and they can have a serious impact on many aspects of your life. In some cases, you may be able to plead to a lesser charge or pursue other possible solutions that may fit your needs. Speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney to learn about your legal options.