While it might seem like a drunk driving conviction is a life-changing event, many individuals find themselves facing the criminal justice system subsequent times. Based on numerous factors, Colorado penalties for repeat DUI charges carry significant consequences.
People who are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence a second time face strict penalties. Should you be found guilty of a second DUI, the penalties you face under Colorado law as a “repeat offender” are far harsher than they are for first-time ones.
Penalties convicted first-time DUI offenders face
Colorado law allows a judge to sentence anyone convicted of their first DUI to up to a year imprisonment or two years of probation. The court can also impose a sentence of up to 96 hours of community service and $1,000 in fines for a first-time DUI conviction. The presiding judge can also ask the state to suspend a motorist’s driver’s license for up to nine months.
How penalties increase for subsequent DUIs
A judge has a lot of leeway in sentencing anyone convicted of their second DUI. The court must impose at least a 10-day jail term but can sentence a defendant up to four years in prison for their offense. The court can also put a two-time DUI defendant on probation for up to four years. A judge may also assess up to $1,500 in fines and order a defendant to complete as much as 120 hours performing community service. Plus, secondary DUI convictions can result in a year-long license suspension.
Defendants with four or more DUI convictions may end up spending up to 180 days in jail or a bit more if they participate in a work-release program. They may also have their license suspended for up to three years after their conviction — and that’s only if nobody ends up hurt through their actions.
Steps to take if you’re facing repeat DUI charges
You may feel like you have little control over your future when you’re facing repeat DUI charges. It is important to seek answers to your questions as soon as possible and take steps to limit your exposure to the full force of the criminal justice system.