Because many laws vary from state to state, it is possible for individuals in different areas to face varying consequences for alleged criminal activity. Many states increase the severity of charges when someone commits the same crime multiple times. For instance, repeat DUI offenders could potentially face felony charges in Colorado if laws change.
It was recently reported that legislation is being considered that could cause individuals with multiple DUI offenses to have felony allegations leveled against them. Under current state law, DUI charges are considered misdemeanors regardless of how many times the offense takes place. There are currently only five states in the country that do not have stipulations for felony charges for repeated DUI.
The proposed legislation states that felony charges would be leveled against an individual for the fourth DUI offense. It was also reported that such charges could come about for the third offense if the situation takes place when children are in the vehicle, if a driver leaves the scene, if property damage or injuries occur and under other circumstances. Some individuals believe that the legislation is not necessary and that instances of DUI will not decrease due to a change in law.
It is important to stay up-to-date when there is a potential for state laws to be changed, especially if an individual may be affected. If this Colorado legislation moves forward, individuals who are charged with multiple DUI offenses could potentially face more severe consequences if a conviction takes place. Until that time, parties who have been charged for DUI may wish to assess their current state of affairs and how they may wish to handle their legal situations.
Source: cpr.org, “Colo. DUI drivers could face felony charges under proposed law”, Nell London, Feb. 16, 2015