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When a DUI becomes a felony in Colorado

You might not consider driving after drinking to be as bad as stealing from a shop or committing another crime. Yet, you may be forced to reconsider if you are charged with a felony DUI.

This can happen when a court considers that there were aggravating factors to your DUI charge. For example:

You have had had three prior convictions

The law is designed to deter drunk driving, and repeat offenders usually get heavier sentences. If you have been previously charged with drunk driving and convicted three times, you will likely face DUI felony charges on your subsequent arraignment. Remember that it does not matter how long ago your three convictions were.

You caused another person serious bodily harm

If you were driving while intoxicated and caused extensive bodily injury to another, you can be charged with vehicular assault or vehicular homicide in case of a fatality. Serious injuries include:

  • Serious permanent disfigurement
  • Second or third-degree burns
  • Fractures
  • Loss of a bodily or organ function

Vehicular assault or homicide is a felony offense in Colorado, and you can be charged even if it is your first  DUI offense.

There is so much at stake

For a felony offense in Colorado, you are likely to end up in jail for a considerable time if convicted. That’s in addition to some pretty steep fines running into thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is crucial to get legal help if you face drunk driving charges. A well-crafted defense strategy is your best hope to beat or reduce your charges.