Charged with Drunk Driving Again: Second Offenses in Colorado
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
Everyone deserves a second chance after a DUI.
After all, your first DUI may have been a simple mistake. People are less forgiving, however, after a second DUI arrest.
If you thought you had to fight hard after your first DUI charge, you are going to need to fight twice as hard to avoid the heavy penalties that come with a second DUI conviction.
In this post, we’re going to detail how consequences increase with second DUI offenses.
Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction in Colorado
If you are convicted of a second DUI in Colorado, you may face the following penalties:
Drivers may face up to a year without a license. This can seriously affect your ability to get to work or live a productive life.
Ignition Interlock Device Installment
Colorado may not give out this penalty after a first-time conviction, but it is mandatory after a second. Once a driver gets their license back, they will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) that requires them to take a breath test before they drive. These devices cost to install and come with monthly fees as well.
After a second conviction, you will have to spend 10 days behind bars – minimum. You could face up to a year.
Alternatively, you could be placed on probation with a set of conditions you have to follow.
DUI penalties aren’t just a pain – they’re costly. Penalties may include between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines. If your driving caused an accident, you may also have to pay restitution to victims.
Offenders could have to take a mandatory alcohol education course to finish their sentence. Judges may also sentence the offender to community service.
If you are still allowed to drive after your DUI, a judge may tack 12 points onto your license. This could have a serious effect on penalties if you are subsequently arrested for DUI or reckless driving.
Penalties will be increased even further if you face aggravated charges. A .017% BAC counts as an aggravating factor. If you were arrested after causing a crash or hitting someone with your car, you may also face charges like manslaughter.
Second Colorado DUI Offense? A Plea Negotiation May Be Your Best Bet
There are a lot of possible sentences for a second DUI. Some are worse than others. Even something as seemingly innocuous as losing your license could cause you to lose your job.
As you talk to your lawyer about the various ways to defend yourself, don’t discount the option of entering into a plea negotiation to reduce the charges and consequences you face.
How does it work?
A plea negotiation is pretty simple. It is an exchange of a guilty plea for a reduced sentence. You will still have the crime on your record and be subject to even harsher penalties for a third or fourth DUI, but you will have more control over your sentence.
Of course, you still have the option of fighting the charges. It is possible that the Breathalyzer was broken or that the police officer unlawfully searched your car or took a breath test.
If you fight the charges and win, you don’t have to face any penalties, and can easily expunge the arrest and charge from your criminal record. However, if you fight the charges and lose, you won’t be able to negotiate your sentence and may be subject to the maximum penalties.
DUI arrests and charges are no joke in Colorado – especially if it’s not your first time. Before you make any big decisions about your case, consult with a Denver criminal defense lawyer.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.