Most people are aware of the typical consequences of a DUI conviction that often include the loss of one’s license, an increase in the cost of car insurance, and increasingly large fines. While there are some universal consequences related to a Colorado DUI, there are also some serious unintended consequences that can accompany a DUI conviction. These include:
Loss of Car Insurance
While your rates are almost guaranteed to go up upon being convicted of a DUI, it is possible that you may lose your car insurance altogether. Most of the time, you will be able to get insurance from another carrier, but a DUI conviction can almost double the amount you pay for car insurance.
Increased Health and Home Insurance Rates
It is possible to see an increase in health and home insurance rates after a DUI conviction. While they probably will not be as noticeable as the increase in car insurance premiums, insurance companies can still raise these rates because of a DUI conviction.
Suspension or Revocation of Professional License
If you hold a professional license, such as that for a lawyer or a nurse, a DUI conviction can put that license in jeopardy. The agencies governing professional licenses likely have rules that allow them to suspend or revoke a professional license because of a DUI conviction, especially if the conviction is part of a pattern of poor behavior.
Loss of Job
Your employer can fire you for a DUI conviction. This is especially common in situations in which employers assert their right to fire individuals over any criminal offenses. As an “at-will employment” state, Colorado employers have the right to dismiss an employee for a number of reasons that may include a DUI conviction. Even if your employer does not specifically have a policy that allows him or her to dismiss you for a DUI or other criminal offense, the amount of time you will need to take off for court-related appearances and other incidental appointments related to your DUI conviction can put your job at risk.
Felony DUI Consequences
In Colorado, your fourth or subsequent DUI conviction is now considered a felony offense. You must report felonies on many job applications, and those requiring a background check will reveal the conviction. This could jeopardize your professional career both in Colorado and elsewhere. You may also be denied access to a firearm and be prohibited from enjoying other rights that are restricted for those with felony convictions.
The most recent bill proposed is HB 17-1288 which was passed and signed by the governor on June 6th, 2017. In effect on August 9th, 2017, it sets minimum sentences for felony DUI convictions, which is written about in more detail here. This bill requires the court to order as a condition of probation that the Defendant serve a minimum of 90 days in jail or 120 days in jail for if an alternative sentence program is available and authorized.
Legal Assistance with Colorado DUI
As you can see, there are many potential consequences related to a DUI conviction. However, there are also many potential options available to aid you in your defense. An experienced Colorado criminal attorney focused on helping clients facing DUI and other alcohol-related charges can be an important component of successfully defending against these types of charges, and in turn avoiding potentially serious unintended consequences like those listed above. If you are facing a DUI or other alcohol-related offense, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more about what these charges could mean for you and how you might be able to defend against them.
(image courtesy of Lionello Delpiccolo)