Until just a few days ago, driving under the influence (DUI) charges that did not involve any violence, injury, or other criminal activities were almost-guaranteed to be considered a misdemeanor at the worst, regardless of the number of prior convictions someone might have. All of that has changed, though, now that Colorado lawmakers have enacted legislation regarding repeat DUI offenders that is more in line with many other states in America.
Due to this new legislation, fourth-time DUI offenses in Colorado will be considered a felony. In addition to typical DUI punishments, such as lengthy license suspensions and the installation of an ignition interlock device, felony convictions for this offense will now include up to six years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.
Why the Escalation in Penalties?
Law enforcement officers across the state see the new legislation as a better deterrent to people who believe that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a generally benign or victimless crime. Whether raising the punishments will actually drop DUI arrest and DUI-related accident numbers in Colorado is up to speculation.
People opposed to the new law cite multiple past studies regarding crimes and penalties which indicate that there is no strong correlation between harsh punishments and lessened criminal activity. Furthermore, they believe that half a million dollar fine and more than half a decade behind bars is simply too extreme for penalties that could be used against someone who did not even harm anyone else.
Don’t Take Any Chances – Get Representation Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Colorado, you need the assistance of a Colorado Springs DUI attorney from Clawson & Clawson, LLP, especially if this is your fourth time being arrested for this violation. The strict penalties are already stacked against you and, due to the recent nature of the legislation, it could be possible that judges are eager to use harsh punishments against alleged offenders.
Litigation is a complex matter and you should not attempt to go into court alone. When you retain our services, we can do the heavy lifting for you and shield you from overzealous prosecutors. Contact us right away to start building a case that protects your rights and your freedoms as someone who has been criminally accused.