Since the new Colorado felony DUI law took effect in August 2015, prosecutors across the state have reportedly filed at least 1,177 felony DUI charges against motorists. Breaking this down, that’s about 100 new felony DUI cases filed in Colorado on a monthly basis.
This is according to the latest data from the Colorado Judicial Branch, which is tracking both the incidence of felony DUI charges filed in the state and the outcomes of felony DUI cases. One of the goals of this tracking effort is to reportedly evaluate the impacts and costs related to felony DUI charges and cases in Colorado.
Brief Background on Felony DUI Charges in Colorado
For over a year, felony DUI charges have been available for cases involving a 4th (or subsequent) drunk driving offense. By law, these charges:
- Are Class 4 felony charges, which can be punishable by up to 6 years in prison and fines totaling as much as $500,000
- Can be filed against motorists licensed in Colorado or other states
- Can apply even when prior DUIs were acquired in other states and/or were incurred years (or even decades) ago.
It’s important to note here that, for the charging and sentencing purposes, a wet reckless conviction will usually count as a prior DUI.
How Are Felony DUI Charges Usually Resolved in Colorado?
Interestingly, many of the felony DUI cases that have been initiated in Colorado over the past year or so are still pending in courts. Of those that have been resolved, however, it appears that a good number of them are resulting alternative sentencing, rather than prison time.
For instance, in Pikes Peak alone, reports indicate that, of the 30 felony DUI cases that have been resolved to date, only half resulted in prison sentences.
This is notable because it indicates that judges are using discretion to hand down alternative sentences, rather than prison time, for some defendants. Possibilities for these types of alternative sentences can include (and may not be limited to):
- Alcohol treatment and education programs
- House arrest
- Work release programs.
What Should I Do If I’m Charged with a Felony DUI?
Call an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible to start protecting your rights and interests. The bottom line is that, when it comes to felony DUI charges in Colorado:
- The potential penalties can be extremely harsh, with some of them having long-term (if not lifelong) impacts.
- There may be various defense options in your case, and a lawyer can help you identify these options – and pursue the best one(s).
Get Your DUI Defense Started Now: Contact a Broomfield DUI Attorney at The Datz Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been arrested for or charged with any type of DUI offense in Colorado, it’s time to contact a Broomfield DUI attorney at The Datz Law Firm.
Bringing more than decade of criminal justice experience to every case we take on, our lawyers are skilled at protecting the rights of the accused and helping them successfully navigate the complexities of the legal system. Our goals are to:
- Provide the same quality of legal service & representation that we would expect if we were in your shoes
- Help you resolve your legal issues so you can move forward to a brighter future
To discuss your best options for fighting Colorado DUI charges, schedule an initial consultation with us today by calling (720) 879-1114 or by emailing us via the contact form on this page.
Our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, we make ourselves available anytime of the day or night to talk about your important legal matters (via phone or email) – or simply to discuss your worries and concerns regarding your criminal charges and case.
From our offices in Broomfield, we represent clients throughout the Denver metro area, as well as throughout Boulder County, Broomfield County, Jefferson County, Weld County, Adams County, Arapahoe County and Douglas County.