A man from Aurora has received a surprising sentencing. The man, who pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence, had five prior DUI convictions going into the sentencing hearing for his sixth. Despite this record, he was given only probation.
Although the district attorney’s office was seeking a sentence of four years of prison time, due to the several prior DUI’s on the man’s record, the Arapahoe County judge delivered a sentence of merely five years of probation with 75 hours of community service.
While the decision may be hailed as a victory for those who wish to see judges expressing their flexibility within sentencing, there are some members of the community who are offput by the decision. There are some who remain non-plussed by the recent laws passed in Colorado, which joined 45 other states to establish felony DUI legislation. While the freshly minted laws are a move toward harsher punishments for repeat DUI offenders, the law itself does not stipulate any specific jail times for those who are found guilty of felony DUI.
It’s this kind of internal flexibility within the recent felony DUI legislation and some other similar laws in Colorado that allows great personal leeway for judges to use at their discretion when delivering sentences. Those facing similar charges may receive a wide range of sentencing, depending on the flexibility of the judges who hear their cases. Individuals who are facing a felony DUI charge, or any form of DUI, should carefully consider their representation. The guidance of an experienced, qualified defense attorney can mean the difference between receiving a sentence of probation and community service and a sentence of multiple years of jail time.
Source: kdvr.com, “Aurora man pleads guilty to sixth DUI, sentenced to probation,” CHUCK HICKEY AND KEAGAN HARSHA, Aug. 09, 2016