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."
Passed by the House in April and the Senate in May, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1288 into law on Tuesday -- making Colorado's already strict felony DUI laws even tougher.
Colorado authorities have never been compromising or lenient to any extent when it comes to prosecuting drinking-related offenses and seeking harsh outcomes for convicted offenders.
Just how serious are Colorado law enforcers when it comes to looking for alleged impaired drivers and obtaining criminal drunk driving convictions?
When laws change, it can be for the better or worse. In the case of those facing a felony conviction in Colorado for driving under the influence, it can actually work to your benefit. In fact, because the guidelines are so loose, it's possible to receive no incarceration at all, even on a fourth offense.
Colorado's recent felony DUI expansion was brought to bear in a very real way recently, during the sentencing of a man who had numerous prior DUI convictions across several states. The defendant was appearing to face his ninth DUI charge in Colorado.
Laws that get tough on crimes that the public loves to hate are often relatively easy to get passed and build plenty of political goodwill for the public servants who author and support them. However, these types of laws can have unanticipated consequences that demand they be reconsidered. Here in Colorado, just such a law has reversed our statewide decline in prison occupancy.
A felony DUI is unlike other forms because it is intended for those who have caused harm to another person due to their negligence. If you're in a situation where you were driving while intoxicated and hit a vehicle or a pedestrian, you could be facing this charge. A felony DUI has harsher penalties than a misdemeanor, and that means you could have to spend time in prison or have high fines and costs to pay.
In our previous blog post, we discussed the fact that Colorado law allows judges discretion when they are handling felony DUI cases. That means that the case you present as your defense could have a big impact on the sentence you receive if you are convicted of the crime. The fact is that any DUI charge can severely impact your entire life.