Could A New Law In Colorado Make 3rd DUI’s In California A Felony?
There is a proposed new law being considered in Colorado, which would make a third DUI a felony. Representatives of Weld County are reintroducing a bill that would make a third offense for driving under the influence a felony. If this law passes, and the results prove to be beneficial to the public in reducing DUI’s, it could have an impact on other states, including California. The proposed law would allow prosecutors to seek class 4 felony charges for people charged with their third DUI within seven years or their fourth during any time period. If passed, the bill would also lengthen the time period convicted drunk drivers are required to have interlock devices installed in their vehicles. Rather than one year, it may be as many as five years.
It appears that Colorado is cracking down in a serious way on people who drive while intoxicated. California, Orange county specifically, is extremely strict when it comes to DUI and thus, may be watching Colorado carefully to see how this all plays out. Orange County is continually trying to come up with new ways to seek out and crack down on individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Currently, in California, all DUI’s are misdemeanors unless they fall within one of three categories:
- If an individual has any prior felony DUI charges on their record, a new DUI will be a felony
- A fourth DUI within a 10 year period of time
- If, due to an individual’s driving under the influence, any person other than the defendant suffers any injuries.
A conviction for a 3rd DUI in California may include the following:
- Fines ranging anywhere from $390.00 to $1,000.00 (fees and enhancements may also be included)
- The Court can impose 120 days in jail or, up to 1 year. Orange County typically requires jail time on a 3rd
- Five years probation
- 18-month DUI classes.
- An individual convicted for a 3rd DUI will also be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car and face a three year license suspension.
Although Orange County is extremely strict when it comes to DUI’s, an aggressive DUI defense attorney may be able to work out alternative sentencing, which may include community service and/or house arrest. People often feel that there is nothing that they can do if arrested for DUI. Although this is sometimes the case, having a good DUI defense attorney look at your case may make a big difference. He or she will know what to look for when it comes to police officer conduct and violation of rights. Also, having the representation of a well respected and experienced attorney often times can help to minimize the severity of the punishment.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced DUI defense lawyer before going to Court.