As we stressed in a previous blog post at the long-tenured Denver criminal defense firm of Shazam, Kianpour & Associates, Colorado law enforcers “have never been compromising or lenient to any extent when it comes to prosecuting drinking-related offenses.”
In fact, noted our April 21 blog entry, the state’s DUI laws “display a progressively sharper bite as time goes by.”
A signal moment confirming that assessment has just occurred, in the near wake of a law passed earlier this year that ratchets up the penalties relevant to the statutory crime of felony DUI. As pointed out by the Denver Post, the impositions of that recent enactment take effect from today.
As we stressed in our above-cited post from earlier this year, felony DUI has long been a crime that comes with a potentially dire sentencing outcome. In 2015, state lawmakers made a fourth DUI offense a felony crime allowing for a prison sentence of up to six years, coupled with a prohibitively large fine.
Such punishment parameters did not satisfy a number of legislators, who pointed to instances of judicial discretion that, in their view, resulted in sentencing inconsistencies across the state, including cases in which defendants served no time at all.
The new bill that takes effect today tightens that so-called “loophole,” with the Post noting that anyone now convicted of felony DUI in Colorado will be required “to spend some time behind bars.”
How much time will depend on circumstances and the material facts existing in a given case, which can understandably make it flatly important for a felony DUI defendant to secure prompt and aggressive assistance from a proven criminal defense advocate.
Readers can glean details regarding the new law’s sentencing particulars by accessing the above link to the Post article.