Here at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara, we are committed to keeping you updated about the latest criminal laws that affect your life in Colorado. As of August 5, 2015, a new law is in effect making a fourth DUI offense in Colorado a felony charge.
Before the bill, it was possible to get an unlimited number of DUI convictions in Colorado while only receiving a short stint in jail as punishment.
Under the new law, a fourth DUI would be subject to possible conviction as a felony punishable by a maximum of six years in state prison and fines up to $500,000.
So what does this mean for you?
The Fourth DUI Charge Isn’t a Mandatory Felony
The law states that judges will have the discretion to dole out a punishment they think fits the case. It must be decided that treatment for the offender would be unlikely to work or would present an “unacceptable risk to public safety” in order to impose the felony punishment. However, it is anticipated that many fourth-time offenders will receive this charge to keep the roadways safe and discourage others from reaching four strikes.
The Four Offenses aren’t Limited to Colorado
If you have three convictions for DUI, DWAI, vehicular assault, and/or vehicular homicide in any of the 50 states, a DUI in Colorado could become a felony. Remember, a DUI in one state is a DUI in all.
It Will Cost you Money
Prison time is not cheap, but many believe that the cost of keeping people behind bars is much better than losing innocent people to drunk driving accidents. An estimated 117 people will end up in prison during the first year of the new law, according to estimates made by the legislature’s nonpartisan staff.
Preventative Measures are Included in the Law
Language in the new law encourages courts to consider addiction treatment for offenders and to take steps to prevent repeat drunk drivers from reaching that fourth offense. When repeat offenders have their license revoked, they’re now required to get a conditional license and use an interlock device for two to five years. This used to be a one-year requirement.
Questions? Let Us Know.
If you have any questions about this new law or DUI law in Colorado, contact the attorneys at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara. We’re solely focused on criminal defense, including DUI defense, in Denver. We firmly stand by the idea that you are innocent until proven guilty, and are committed to getting your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. You deserve the best—we’ll make sure you get it.