Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a criminal offense under Colorado law, and suspected offenders are charged in criminal court. If convicted of DUI, the court may sentence offenders to certain penalties, such as time in jail, fines, and more. Such penalties from the court are referred to as “direct consequences” and will vary from case to case based on certain factors. For example, direct consequences will likely increase if you have multiple DUI convictions already on your record or if you have other charges simultaneous with your DUI, such as vehicular assault or possession of drugs.
The following are some examples of potential direct consequences of a Colorado DUI:
- Conviction on your permanent criminal record, which can increase penalties for any future offenses;
- Time in jail;
- Probation, which can be costly and have strict conditions;
- Fines and court costs;
- Participation in DUI Court;
- Alcohol evaluation and substance abuse classes;
- Community service;
- Attending a Victim Impact Program;
- Suspension of your driver’s license;
- Requirement of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle; and
- Restitution for any damage that was caused during the DUI.
In addition to direct consequences, convicted DUI offenders may also face a number of “collateral consequences.” These consequences are not imposed by the court, but instead are authorized by state statute, imposed by a state agency, or are simply naturally occurring consequences of having a conviction on your record. In some case, collateral consequences may have a more long-lasting effect on a person’s life than direct consequences such as jail time.
The following are some examples of potential collateral consequences of a Colorado DUI:
- License revocation by the Department of Revenue;
- Increased insurance rates;
- Possible negative effects on visas or other immigration proceedings;
- Suspension, loss, or denial of a professional license;
- Denial or discipline from professional schools;
- Employers and potential employers will see the conviction on your record and may terminate you or deny your application;
- Disqualification for jobs that require a driver’s license or a clean driving record;
- Inability to rent a car for a period of time;
- Potential denial of a concealed weapons permit;
- Inability to own or possess firearms if you received a felony DUI conviction;
- Possible negative effect on child custody proceedings;
- Having your conviction be public record and available via online searches and databases; and
- Possible civil claims if any injuries or deaths occurred during the DUI.
As you can see, the list of potential direct and collateral consequences is long—and these are only some of the possible penalties. Because all of the consequences of a DUI conviction can have a substantial effect on your freedom, finances, reputation, professional opportunities, and more, you want to avoid a conviction whenever possible.
At the Denver office of the Tiftickjian Law Firm, our experienced DUI defense attorneys work to fight your DUI charges and help you avoid that conviction on your record whenever possible, along with all of the potential consequences that may come with it. If you have been arrested for or charged with DUI in the Denver area, call our office today at (303) DUI-5280 for help today.