Being accused of impaired driving after you have already been through at least one prior DUI case can be as stressful as it may be scary – especially in light of the fact that penalties for subsequent DUIs in Colorado can be harsher than they are for first-time convictions.
What can help in these situations can be:
- Getting answers about what to expect from a case – Having realistic expectations can help you overcome your anxiety so you can start focusing on your defense.
- Retaining an experienced DUI defense lawyer – An attorney can help you figure and pursue your best defense options.
To help with the first point, below, we have answered some commonly asked questions about multiple DUIs in Colorado.
Answers about Colorado DUIs for Those Facing DUI Charges Again
Q – Is a second DUI in Colorado a misdemeanor?
A – In general, yes, as long as there were no aggravating factors associated with the incident, such as an accident, injuries or death. Despite the fact that a second DUI in Colorado is usually filed as a misdemeanor, however, the penalties can be more severe than they are for first DUIs and can include (but may not be limited to):
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $1,500 in fines
- Up to 120 hours of community service
Here, it’s also important to note that these penalties can be impacted by whether or not drivers:
- Refused BAC testing during a prior DUI case and/or this DUI case (as refusals can lead to longer automatic license suspensions)
- Got the second DUI within – or outside of – five years of the first DUI (with harsher penalties potentially imposed if the first case with more recent).
Q – When are felony DUI charges filed in Colorado?
A – In Colorado, felony DUI charges are generally reserved for a fourth DUI case or when an alleged DUI has resulted in serious injuries and/or deaths.
For fourth DUI cases without aggravating circumstances, however, the charges are usually Class 4 felonies that can punishable by up to 6 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
Q – How long does a DUI stay on someone’s record in Colorado?
A – If someone has been convicted of a DUI in Colorado, the case will stay on his or her criminal record indefinitely because there is no “washout” period in the state.
That being said, however, when multiple DUIs arise, how long ago the prior cases were can be an important factor – particularly if the priors were relatively recent (like within five or less years of each other).
When this is the case, the penalties can be harsher – and having a strong defense will be pivotal to minimizing the potential impacts of the case.
Q – Do DUIs from other states count as priors in Colorado?
A – Yes. This is very important for motorists to know, particularly if they have three priors in other states, because it could position them to be charged with a felony in Colorado.
Contact a Broomfield DUI Attorney at The Datz Law Firm
For superior DUI defense representation in Colorado, contact a Broomfield DUI attorney at The Datz Law Firm. Call us at (720) 256-2404, or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.
Although our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., we make ourselves available anytime of the day or night to talk about your important legal matters – or simply to discuss your worries and concerns. The bottom line is that we are flexible, available, and responsive.
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.