A repeat offender typically faces more serious penalties than a first-time offender since committing multiple crimes shows a pattern of reckless behavior and disregard for the law. This is especially true for DUI offenders in Colorado, who face harsher penalties if they are repeat offenders.
Consequences For First-Time DUI Offenders
First-time DUI offenders can face a maximum of one year behind bars, but there is no minimum jail sentence if this is your first DUI conviction. Although jail time is a possibility, most first-time offenders can avoid this penalty. These DUI offenders may also be sentenced to up to two years of probation, between 48-96 hours of community service, and between $600-1,000 in fines.
Even though it’s their first offense, they can still have their license suspended for up to nine months.
Consequences For Repeat Offenders
If a defendant is convicted of DUI for the second time, he could face fines of up to $1,500, between 48-120 hours of community service, and up to four years of probation. It’s mandatory that second-time offenders spend at least ten days in jail, but they can be sentenced to up to four years total. Second-time offenders, like first-time offenders, can have their license suspended after a conviction as well. But, the suspension for second-time offenders can last for up to one year, which is longer than what is required for first-time offenders.
The penalties get even worse if you have four or more prior DUI convictions on your record. Fourth DUI offenses—and all subsequent offenses—are charged as felonies instead of misdemeanors. Fourth-time offenders can be ordered to complete between 48-120 hours of community service and spend up to six years behind bars.
Even if the judge is lenient and decides to only sentence a fourth-time offender to probation, the law states that the defendant must serve between 90-180 days in jail. If the defendant participates in a work release program as part of his sentence, he will still have to spend between 120 days to two years behind bars to meet the minimum sentencing requirements.
These repeat offenders may also have to adjust to life without a car since their driving privileges can be revoked for up to three years.
Every DUI offender should have legal representation, but it becomes even more important if you are a repeat offender. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will aggressively defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.