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Stiff penalties for driving under suspension in Colorado

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Whether you live here full time or are a non-resident, you must adhere to traffic laws every time you get behind the wheel to drive in this state. There are numerous reasons why you might incur a driver’s license suspension, either issued in this state or another. You’ll want to be aware that driving in Colorado under license suspension is a criminal misdemeanor.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court may issue stiff penalties if you face conviction for driving under suspension (or revocation) throughout the state. Assuming that it wouldn’t be a “big deal” if you just “run to the store” or “give a family member a ride to work” is a mistake. If the police pull you over and determine that you have a suspended license, you will be facing serious legal problems.

Driving under suspension that is non-DUI-related

If you received a license suspension for reasons other than a DUI conviction, you could face fines up to $500 as part of the sentencing in a criminal misdemeanor trial. The judge might also sentence you to jail for up to six months. Such penalties can have both an immediate and long-term negative effect on all aspects of your life, including your career and your marriage, if applicable.

Driving on or off the highway is unlawful under suspension

When you have a suspended driver’s license in Colorado or any other state, you may not operate a motor vehicle in this state. This means you cannot drive on or off the highway. In addition to criminal charges, driving on or off the roadway under suspension is also a Class A traffic violation if the reason for your suspension was not alcohol or drug related.

A DUI conviction increases penalties for violating suspension

If you incurred a driver’s license suspension because of a DUI conviction, you’re looking at a possible jail sentence up to one year for operating a motor vehicle under a suspended license. The maximum $500 fine you might incur in a non-DUI case increases to a minimum of $500 and maximum of $1,000 in a DUI-related case.

Subsequent offenses may prevent you from re-instating your license

If the court convicts you of driving under suspension within five years of a prior conviction for the same misdemeanor crime, the state can prohibit you from obtaining a driver’s license for three years following the subsequent conviction. If your prior and subsequent convictions are DUI-related, you will face a minimum of 90 days in jail and a maximum of two years behind bars.

Most people accused of a criminal misdemeanor in Colorado secure legal assistance before their cases are tried in court. This is an option afforded to every person accused of a crime, and it is typically the best means for obtaining as positive an outcome as possible.