Those facing their second or more DUI convictions within a designated time frame are referred to as “repeat offenders.” As you can imagine, the law takes a dim view of people who commit the same offense more than once — and the penalties can be increasingly harsh if you’re convicted.
A first-time DUI conviction is punishable by as much as a year’s imprisonment or two years of probation here in Colorado. The court also has the discretion to impose a $1,000 fine and 96 hours of community service. The judge presiding over your case can also suspend your driver’s license for as long as nine months.
If you’re facing a second DUI charge, understanding what you’re up against can help you more proactively participate in your own defense.
What you can expect during sentencing as a repeat offender
The judge over your case must sentence you to at least 10 days in jail upon your conviction for a second DUI, but Colorado’s law does allow them to impose up to a four-year prison term. The judge can also impose up to four years of probation.
Community service sentences or fines that a judge imposes are all at their discretion. They can require a DUI defendant to complete up to 120 community service hours or ask them to pay as much as $1,500 in fines post-conviction. Judges can also strip a Colorado DUI defendant of their license for up to a year.
Four or more DUI convictions may leave you spending as long as 180 days in jail. You may also have to take part in a work-release program and lose your license for up to three years after your release from jail. A judge may impose enhanced penalties if someone got hurt or died because of the defendant’s actions.
What to do if you’re facing DUI charges in Colorado
The stakes are high if you’re facing DUI charges for the second (or more) time in Colorado. The wisest thing you can do is to be proactive about your defense.