When is a dui a felony in colorado?

A DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense. However, a fourth DUI in Colorado is charged as a Felony. These types of cases have serious consequences and require serious representation.   The major difference between a misdemeanor and felony DUI is that there are three or more priors.  The priors have been held to be an essential element of the Felony DUI case.

What Is Consider a Prior DUI Conviction?

Colorado law will look at any prior conviction in your lifetime that is committed in any state or territory of the United States. A prior conviction includes a conviction for driving under the influence, driving while ability is impaired, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide involving alcohol. The age of the conviction does have an impact, in some cases, on potential outcomes. A client with DUI’s from the 80’s would be handled differently from someone with more recent convictions on their record.

Additionally, the prior convictions are an essential element of the Felony DUI charge. The state would be required to establish not only that a defendant was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, but it would be required to establish the defendant had 3 or more prior offenses. This could be beneficial if there is no proof of the prior convictions, but it also has its downsides. A jury will hear about the prior convictions and could use that evidence in an unfavorable way to a defendant.

What is Punishment for a felony dui?

A fourth DUI is a class 4 Felony. This means it is punishable by up to 6 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000. A judge can impose probation. Probation would require a defendant to complete alcohol classes, community service, and submit the monitored sobriety. There is also mandatory jail time associated with probation. If a person does straight jail time, the mandatory minimum is 90 days. A person can do work release, but the mandatory minimum increases to 120 days. In-home detention is not authorized for the mandatory minimum portion of the jail sentence. It is important to remember that the mandatory minimum is the lowest amount a judge can impose on a defendant. Judges often do go above that amount, depending on the facts of the case.

For more information visit 
Aurora, CO Felony DUI Defense Attorney (coloradodefenders.com)