Colorado law takes driving under the influence seriously. If police arrest you for DUI, you potentially face severe consequences if a judge convicts you. It is essential that you understand what is at stake with your DUI charge and how you may work to strategically mitigate the potential penalties of your arrest.
You do not have to automatically accept your DUI without a strong defense strategy that takes all the factors of your case into account. Before you contemplate how to build your DUI defense, learn more about the penalties of a DUI conviction in Colorado.
First DUI offense and potential consequences
The law takes into consideration whether this is your first DUI offense or if you have previous DUI charges or convictions. A first-time offender may have mitigating circumstances surrounding his or her arrest, while a multiple offender is more likely someone who has a chronic issue and needs further intervention to try to prevent the offense from reoccurring.
There may be two different cases if police charge you with a DUI in Colorado: an administrative proceeding and a criminal proceeding. You risk losing your license in both these proceedings. The judge in the criminal hearing may impose jail time ranging from five days to one year, fines from $600 to $1,000 and even an ignition interlock device for eight months.
Second and subsequent DUI convictions
With a second or subsequent DUI offense, the penalties become harsher. A judge can revoke your Colorado license for one year if the second offense is within five years of the first offense. On a third offense, you could face an indefinite license revocation. Jail time can run from 10 days to one year. Fines in a second and third conviction range from $600 to $1,500.
In addition to the potential jail time, fines and license revocation in DUI convictions, there is also the reality of having a criminal record. This can negatively affect your chances of finding or keeping employment or applying to university. Since the consequences of a DUI conviction are so far-ranging, it is essential that you seek an appropriate criminal defense strategy.