Fighting each DUI/DWAI/DUID charge becomes very important with proposed felony legislation. The 2014 Colorado legislature is trying to make DUI convictions a class four felony with possible prison of 2-6 years in situations where there are 2 prior convictions within 7 years or a 4th conviction in a lifetime. The talk about a felony DUI has been discussed in prior legislative sessions. The push for a felony DUI is gaining traction and some day it will become a reality. What this means is that each DUI/DWAI/DUID cases becomes more important to challenge and make the government prove the elements of the crime. It may mean taking more cases to trial and with that you need an experienced criminal defense and/or DUI lawyer who knows the ins and outs of fighting these type of cases.
Below is language from the proposed legislation:
Under current law, a DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI is a misdemeanor offense. The bill makes such an offense a class 4 felony if:
- The violation occurred not more than 7 years after the first of 2 prior convictions for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; or vehicular assault; or
- The violation occurred after 3 prior convictions for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; or vehicular assault.
The proposed legislation is not law yet but the push for similar legislation will happen until it becomes law this year or the near future. Having an experienced attorney who works on DUI/DWAI/DUI cases is very important just in case things get worse before they get better. An experienced lawyer even on a first offense is important to make sure the government can meet its burden to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many defenses to DUI/DWAI/DUID cases that an experienced attorney should explore before resolving a DUI/DWAI/DUID case with a plea.