On February 5th, a bill proposing a new Colorado felony DUI law (House Bill, HB, 1043) is schedule to be presented before the Colorado House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. Currently, DUI charges in Colorado are misdemeanors, and there is no option for filing felony DUI charges against someone (though other felony charges can be filed along with DUI charges).
Similar Colorado felony DUI bills have been put before the Colorado legislature multiple times in the past, with the most recent version being shut down last year.
What the Colorado Felony DUI Bill Proposes
Next month, a Colorado felony DUI bill will be presented to the state legislature. If passed, it could make certain DUI charges Class 4 felonies.
If the Colorado felony DUI bills passes in the House and eventually becomes a law as it is currently drafted, here's what could happen:
- A third DUI charge drivers obtain within seven (7) years could be filed as a felony DUI charge.
- A fourth DUI charge that drivers obtain at any point in their lifetimes would be filed as felony DUI charges.
- Requirements regarding ignition interlock devices will be made much stricter, with the terms of having IIDs extended for various types of cases. In particular, the one-year IID requirement would be changed to two years (with the possibility of imposing up to 5 years, depending on the details of a case).
Colorado Felony DUI Bill: Additional Important Info
Here, it's important to note that:
- The “felony” charges stipulated by this Colorado felony DUI bill would typically be Class 4 felony charges. In Colorado, these felony charges are punishable by up to 12 years in prison (as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines).
- The DUI-related charges that would “count” against a person (in terms of establishing how many priors that individual has) including DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.
- While there has been a lot of support for passing this bill, some are concerned that imposing felony charges for multiple offenders may end up being futile, as the underlying addiction issues people may have will not be addressed/resolved and felony charges may not be effective deterrents for people struggling with such addiction issues.
Whether this bill makes it through the House next month remains to be seen, and we'll keep you advised of the latest developments as they occur.
LITTLETON, COLORADO DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEYS AT KNIGHT AND MOSES
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, it will be critical that you have an experienced defense lawyer on your side in order to ensure the best possible outcome to your case.
The skilled Littleton DUI and criminal defense lawyers at Knight and Moses focus exclusively on state and federal criminal defense, and we specialize in both misdemeanor and felony cases. We strive to obtain the best possible resolutions for our clients' criminal cases using innovative as well as time-tested strategies. To do this, we rely on our thorough knowledge of the criminal justice system attained through more than three decades of combined criminal practice. We know the police, prosecutors and judges, and they know our reputation for excellence.
To learn more about your legal rights and how we can help you build the best defense, email us using the form on the upper right-hand side of the screen or call us at (303) 797-1645.
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