A driver accused of causing an accident while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in Colorado faces serious criminal penalties, including incarceration and a driver’s license revocation. If there is a serious injury alleged as a result of the DUI accident, felony vehicular assault charges will be filed against you. Further, vehicular homicide is charged in Colorado when a driver is accused of a DUI accident that resulted in the death of another.
The DUI attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. dedicate their practice to defending people accused of drunk driving offenses. If you have been accused of an alcohol-or-drug-related accident, contact us immediately at 303-384-5280 so we can consult with you and determine what the best course of action to take is depending on your circumstances. Because DUI accidents are serious in the eyes of the law, you should act quickly to preserve your rights and make sure you receive the best result possible in your DUI case.
Careless Driving and DUI in Colorado
Most accidents that result from a DUI allegation in Denver also include the charge of Careless Driving. In Colorado, C.R.S. § 42-4-1402 makes it illegal to drive in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances. The additional charge of Careless Driving could cause further driver’s license and auto insurance consequences in addition to the penalties for Driving Under the Influence. Careless driving is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor which carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days, $300 fine and community service hours.
Careless driving is a class 1 traffic misdemeanor when the driver’s actions result in some bodily injury to or death of another, including a pedestrian, passenger, or an occupant of another vehicle. The maximum penalty for careless driving with bodily injury is up to one year in the county jail and up to a $1,000 fine, plus community service. A conviction for careless driving carries four points against your drivers license, while a conviction for careless driving resulting in death carries twelve points and up to a one-year suspension of your Colorado driving privileges.
As a practical matter, if a driver in Colorado is charged with a DUI which resulted in the death of another, the driver will be charged with vehicular homicide rather than careless driving resulting in death.
Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-306(1)(a), Vehicular Homicide occurs when a person is killed due to a DUI accident or as the cause of another’s reckless driving. Vehicular Homicide is a felony in Colorado that carries a possible prison sentence of up to 24 years
Reckless Driving and DUI
Under C.R.S. § 42-4-1401, reckless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense in Colorado and can subject a driver to three months in jail and up to a $300 fine for a first offense. In addition to these criminal penalties, a person convicted of reckless driving will have eight points assessed against his or her driver’s license, and will endure a habitual traffic offender strike. Nevertheless, to convict a driver of reckless driving the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver drove “in such a manner as to indicate a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” C.R.S. § 42-4-1401(1).
Third Degree Assault and DUI in Colorado
A DUI accident involving injury may result in a Third Degree Assault charge if the injury is not alleged to be “serious.” In Colorado, Third-Degree Assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor which can result in a jail sentence of up to two years. Third Degree Assault in a DUI accident is charged if the police allege that the driver knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to another or negligently causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon (i.e., an automobile).
Colorado Vehicular Assault and DUI in Colorado
The law pertaining to vehicular assault in Colorado is located at C.R.S. § 18-3-205. Vehicular assault is charged when a driver causes serious bodily injury to another while driving a motor vehicle in a reckless manner or under the influence of alcohol. See C.R.S. § 18-3-205(1)(a), (b)(I). The penalties in Colorado for vehicular assault include a prison sentence of up to twelve years. See C.R.S. § 18-1.3-401(1)(a)(V), (9).
Colorado Vehicular Homicide and DUI in Colorado
Pursuant to 18-3-106(1), Vehicular Homicide occurs when a person is killed due to a DUI accident or as the result of another’s reckless driving. Vehicular Homicide is a felony in Colorado with a possible prison sentence of up to 24 years.
If you have been charged with a DUI involving an accident, it is serious. No matter how many criminal charges accompany your DUI charge, you owe it to yourself and your family to contact an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. At Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., our legal defense team is dedicated to protecting your rights and obtaining the best outcome in your DUI accident case. Contact us today at (303) 384-5280 or through this website.