If you are pulled over for driving on a suspended or revoked license – an offense referred to as driving under restraint (DUR) or driving after revocation prohibited (DARP) – you can face severe penalties up to and including possible incarceration. While Colorado no longer has mandatory jail time for some first-time DUR offenders, judges still frequently impose jail time on individuals caught driving without a valid license. If you are facing charges for DUR, our attorneys can fight to protect your freedom and your right to drive.
Were You Caught Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License?
Driving under restraint is a misdemeanor under Colorado law. Section 42-2-138(1)(a) of the Colorado Revised Code provides:
“Any person who drives a motor vehicle or off-highway vehicle upon any highway of this state with knowledge that the person’s license or privilege to drive, either as a resident or a nonresident, is under restraint for any reason . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
As you can see, in order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor will need to prove you had “knowledge” that your license had been suspended or revoked. While Colorado prosecutors have several ways to prove this (note that “knowledge” does not require specifically knowing that your license is invalid), there are several possible defenses to DUR charges as well. At Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., we are skilled at challenging DUR charges under a variety of different legal theories – including insufficient knowledge, unconstitutional traffic stops, emergencies, and more. To find out if you have grounds to fight your DUR case, we encourage you to call us at (303) 384-5280 for an initial consultation.
Penalties for Driving Under Restraint
The criminal penalties for DUR vary depending on both (i) the reason your licenses was suspended or revoked, and (ii) whether you have any prior DUR convictions. These penalties are discussed below:
DUR Penalties – First Offense, Not Alcohol-Related
If this is your first offense and your license suspension or revocation is not the result of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), driving while ability impaired (DWAI), or underage drinking and driving (UDD), the possible penalties if you get convicted for DUR include:
- Up to six months in jail
- Up to a $500 fine
DUR Penalties – Second or Subsequent Offense, Not Alcohol-Related
If this your second or subsequent DUI charge for a non-alcohol-related suspension or revocation, the possible penalties are the same as for a first-time offense, but also include an additional three years of driving restraint.
DUR Penalties – First Offense, Alcohol-Related
For a first-time DUR offense involving a license suspension or revocation resulting from a conviction for DUI, DWAI, UDD, or alcohol-related administrative suspension, the penalties are more severe:
- 30 days to one year in jail
- $500 to $1,000 in fines
Importantly, the minimum 30-day jail sentence is mandatory for violation of alcohol-related restraints. The judge hearing your case is not allowed to substitute probation or a suspended sentence for jail time, although in-home detention is a possibility (C.R.S. Section 42-2-138(D)(I)).
DUR Penalties – Second or Subsequent Offense, Alcohol-Related
For a second or subsequent DUR involving an alcohol-related suspension or revocation, the potential penalties include:
- 90 days to two years in jail
- $500 to $3,000 in fines
- Four years of ineligibility to obtain a driver’s license
Like first-time offenders, repeat DUR offenders for alcohol-related restraints face a mandatory minimum period of detention as well.
Additional Consequences of a DUR in Colorado
Along with fines and possible jail time, DUR offenders in Colorado also face other potential ramifications. For example, in addition to the statutory fines, you will be required to pay court fees and surcharges. In addition, a DUR conviction counts as a habitual traffic offender strike on your driving record. Accumulating three habitual strikes in a seven-year period can lead to the loss of license for 5 years and multiple years of incarceration for certain traffic offenses. As a result, you need to take your DUR charges very seriously—you need an experienced defense attorney on your side.
Contact Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. about Your Colorado DUR Case
The Denver, CO attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. have handled hundreds of DUR cases throughout Colorado. This includes not only years of experience as defense lawyers, but also prior experience as county prosecutors. If you are facing charges for DUR in Denver, Aspen, or elsewhere in Colorado, you can trust our background and our results.
To find out more about how we can help you fight your DUR, contact us today.