In our criminal justice system, it's commonplace to see an alleged "repeat offender" facing harsher penalties than they initially did with their first conviction. However, in many states, due to a principle called a "look back period," judges will often disregard prior DUI convictions if they occurred long enough ago—usually a period of five or 10 years.
Colorado doesn't have an official look back period and, in fact, many judges will strongly consider the lifetime driving record of a driver when deciding on sentencing. Below, we take a closer look at how multiple DUIs are parsed in Colorado and what it means for drivers who have a prior conviction on their record.
The Potential Penalties
The principle is simple: the more DUIs on your record, the more exposed you are to more serious penalties when you have been convicted again. Every case is different, but Colorado has outlined a hierarchy of potential penalties for repeat offenders that escalates with each conviction.
- A first DUI can result in a maximum of $1,000 in fines
- A second DUI can result in a maximum of $1,500 in fines
The same goes for mandatory jail time:
- A first DUI does not come with mandatory jail time
- A second DUI comes with 10 days of mandatory jail time
- A third DUI comes with 60 days of mandatory jail time
For a complete list of Colorado's system of DUI criminal penalties, visit our DUI penalties website.
Important Things to Remember
While there is no look back period in Colorado, state statutes do make a distinction when two DUI convictions occur in close proximity of one another. When a second DUI conviction occurs within five years of the defendant's first, they are exposed to more penalties.
Still, in other cases, some judges are willing to weigh older convictions less if they occurred long ago. No matter what the defendant's legal history might be, though, it's crucial that they have dedicated, knowledgeable defense counsel by their side to challenge to state's case and advocate for them before the judge.
Are you facing a repeat DUI charge? If so, then we invite you to contact us here at the Orr Law Firm. Our acclaimed and proven Denver DUI defense attorneys are highly experienced in this practice area and know what it takes to secure favorable results for our clients.
You may still have viable defense options. Explore them with us by calling (720) 619-2676 today.