Colorado Habitual and Felony DUI Offenses

DUI Denver

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In Colorado, the laws for repeat DUI offenders are steep. In fact, after a third DUI conviction, the charge becomes a felony. This means that convictions for a fourth or subsequent DUI face much harsher sentencing, including prison.

At DUI Law Firm Denver, we work with clients charged with any drunk driving offense, including habitual offenders. We’ve found the quicker clients contact us, the better the outcome because we begin managing your case right away.

What are Habitual and Felony DUI Offenses?Habitual and Felony DUI Denver

Habitual offenders are those individuals convicted of multiple DUI or DWAI charges. In fact, even if you’ve only ever received convictions for DWAI, on your fourth offense it becomes a felony. This means prison time instead of incarceration in the county jail.

Felony charges also apply to vehicular assault and vehicular homicide. A vehicular assault charge is when serious bodily harm results from reckless or drunk driving. A vehicular homicide charge is when death occurs from reckless or drunk driving. Both are serious crimes with serious consequences.

Vehicular Assault DUI Penalties

  • 1 to 3 years prison
  • $1,000 to $100,000 fine
  • 2 years mandatory parole

Vehicular Homicide DUI Penalties

  • 4 to 12 years prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 5 years mandatory parole

How Habitual DUI Differs from Vehicular Assault and Homicide

A fourth or subsequent DUI leads to serious consequences if convicted. However, when an officer stops you for a suspected DUI they cannot force you to consent to a chemical test. With suspicion of vehicular assault or homicide, the officer can by law forcibly restrain you and conduct a chemical test.

Another difference between a habitual DUI charge and vehicular assault and homicide happens in the plea process. Because vehicular assault or homicide involves an actual victim, the law stipulates that the alleged victim has a right to see the plea deal. This makes the plea process much more complicated.

Seek A Strong Defense for Habitual or Felony DUI Cases

To build your best chance for a solid defense, it is critical to seek legal guidance immediately when charged with a felony DUI. At DUI Law Firm Denver, we take a team approach and begin work on your case right away.

Do not settle for years lost to prison. If you try to handle a plea deal for habitual offender charges on your own, you are likely to fail. The process requires both detailed legal knowledge and experienced negotiation skills. Instead, know your rights and your options. We will help you understand both! In fact, we have the knowledge and experience to defend your case against the other side. We use both science and the law to make the strongest case possible to get you the best outcome.

Application of Habitual Criminal Statute to Felony Driving Offense.
C.R.S. § 18-1.3-801 provides as follows:

Application of Habitual Criminal Statute to Felony Driving Offense.
C.R.S. § 18-1.3-801 provides as follows:

(1)(a) A person shall be adjudged [a] habitual criminal and shall be punished by a term in the department of corrections of life imprisonment if the person:
(I) Us convicted of:
(A) Any class 1 or 2 felony or level 1 drug felony;
or
(B) Any class 3 felony that is a crime of violence, as defined in section 180-1.3-406(2); and
(II) Has been twice convicted previously for any of the offenses described in the subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a).
(b) A felony described in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) is:
(1) One based upon charges separately brought and tried, and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, in this or any other state; or
(II) A crime under the laws of any other state, the United States, or any territory suject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which, if committed within this state, would be such a felony described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1).
(c) No person sentenced pursuant to this subsection
(1) shall be eligible for parole until such person has served at least forty calendar years.
(d) Nothing in this subsection (1) prohibits the governor from issuing a pardon or a clemency order on a case-by-case basis; however, the governor shall submit a report to the general assembly on each such pardon or clemency order in accordance with section 7 of article IV of the state constitution.
(e) Nothing in this subsection (1) is to be construed to prohibit a person convicted of a class 1 felony from being sentenced pursuant to section 18-1.3-1201, 18-1.3-1302, o 18-1.4-102.
(f) This subsection (1) shall not apply to a person convicted of fist or second degree burglary, which person shall be subject to subsections (1.5), (2). and )(2.5) of this section and section 18-1.3-804.
(5) of this section, every person convicted in this state of any class 1,2,3,4, or 5 felony or level 1,2, or 3 drug felony who, within ten years of the date of the commision of the said offense, has been twice previously convicted upon charges separately brought and tried, and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, either in this state or elsewhere, of a felony or, under the laws of any other state, the United States, or any territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, of a crime which, if committed within this state, would be a felony shall be adjudged an habitual criminal and shall be punished;
(a) Fo the felony offense of which such person is convicted by imprisonment in the department of corrections for a term of three times the maximum of the presumptive range pursuant to section 18-1.3-401 for the class or level of felony of which such person is convicted; or
(b) For the level 1 drug felony offense of which such person is convicted by imprisonment in the department of corrections fpr a term of forty-eight years.
(2)(a)(I) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2) and in subsection (5) of this section, every person convicted in this state of any felony, who has been three times previously convicted, upon charges separately brought and tried, and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, either in the state or elsewhere, of a felony or, under the laws of any other state, the United states, or any territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, of a crime which, if committed within this state, would be a felony, shall be adjudged an habitual criminal and shall be punished:
(A) For the felony offense of which such person is convicted by imprisonment in the department of corrections for a term of four times the maximum of the presumptive range pursuant to section 18-1.3-301 for the class or level of felony of which such person is convicted; or
(B) For the level 1 drug felony offense of which such person is convicted by imprisonment in the department of corrections for a term of sixty-four years.
(II) Such formerr conviction or convictions and judgment or judgments shall be set forth in apt words in the indictment or information. Nothing in this part 8 shall abrogate or affect the punishment by death in any and all crimes punishable by death on or after July 1, 1972.
(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) shall not apply to a conviction for a level 4 drug felony pursuant to section 18-18-403.5(2), or a conviction for a level 4 drug felony for attempt or conspiracy to commit unlawful possession of a controlled substance, as described in section 18-18-403.5(2), if the amount of the schedule I or schedule II controlled substance possessed is not more than four grams or not more than two grams of methamphetamine, heroin, cathinones, or ketamine or not more than four milligrams of flunitrazepam, even if the person has been previously convicted of three or more qualifying felony convictions.
(2.5) Any person who is convicted and sentenced pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, or section 16-13-101(2), C.R.S., as it existed prior to October 1, 2002, who is thereafter convicted of a felony which is a crime of violence pursuant to section 18-1.3-406, shall be adjudged an habitual criminal and shall be punished by a term in the department of corrections of life imprisonment. No person sentenced pursuant to this subsection (2.5) shall be eligible for parole until such person has served at least forty calendar years.
(3) No drug law conviction shall be counted as a prior felony conviction under this section unless such prior offense would be a felony if committed in this state at the time of the commission of the new offense.
(4) A person who meets the criteria set forth in subsection (1) of this section shall be adjudged an habitual criminal and sentenced only in accordance with that subsection and not pursuant to subsections (1.5), (2), and (2.5) of this section.
(5) A conviction for escape, as described in section 18-8-208(1), (2), or (3), or attempt to escape, as described in section 18-8-208.1(1), (1.5), or(2), shall not be used for the purpose of adjudicating a person an habitual criminal as described in subsection (1.5) or subsection (2) of this section unless the conviction is based on the offender’s escape or attempt to escape from a correctional facility, as defined in section 17-1-102, C.R.S., or from physical custody within a country jail.

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What to Expect with DUI Law Firm Denver on Your Side

We’ve handled many felony DUI and vehicular assault and homicide cases. We understand the gravity of the situation. No matter your specific circumstances, we have experience in all types of cases and will fight for you.

When you work with DUI Law Firm Denver, you can expect a customized approach that employs our team’s knowledge and skills.

  • We take a scientific approach to identify holes in the defense from a failure to follow procedure or errors.
  • Our biggest asset is our extensive experience representing clients in drinking and driving charges at all levels.

If the case does go to court, we always have two attorneys present. This team approach not only looks professional and helps us manage all the details of your case in court. We have the resources to provide the defense you need and protect your interests.

Contact DUI Law Firm Denver

Don’t wait! If you face a felony DUI charge, contact us right away. We start work on your case immediately. Call today for a FREE initial consultation.

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