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CO's tough vehicular homicide law applied in driver's case

Colorado vehicular homicide DUI likely sounds to readers like a particularly severe criminal offense.

That is indeed the case. An online overview of the topic stresses that, "Vehicular homicide is a serious criminal charge that can result in a long prison sentence."

Colorado statutory law denotes vehicular homicide as a strict liability offense carrying stringent and undeniably life-altering penalties. A DUI-related charge that follows the death of a third party is a Class 3 felony offense that can potentially bring a 12-year prison term for a convicted offender.

That is precisely the outcome that recently befell a young Colorado woman convicted on two driving-related felony counts by a jury earlier this year. The Denver Post reports that she was sentenced last week by an Adams County judge to 12 years in prison.

The maximum penalty was imposed because the woman reportedly fled an accident scene in Aurora after striking and killing a pedestrian on a late December evening last year. Police say that her blood-alcohol content registered more than twice the legal limit for drunk driving in Colorado.

The tale is of course tragic, and we know that our readers empathize foremost with the surviving family members of the fatal accident victim.

Having noted that, though, we also stress that sentencing outcomes for convicted offenders must be firmly tied to established evidence. That is simply to say - as noted in the above-cited overview of vehicular homicide DUI - that, "The facts of every case are different." They must be adjudged fully and fairly as a prerequisite to announcing a criminal sentence.

"All kinds of factors can affect actual punishment," duly notes the Colorado law commentary, which makes an accused party's timely consultation with a proven defense attorney an imperative for securing an equitable case outcome.

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