The most serious felony DUI in Colorado is Vehicular Homicide. Regardless of whether or not the accused has a criminal history consisting of alcohol-related driving offenses, the charge is a felony with the consequence of a sentence to the Department of Corrections.
Vehicular Homicide involving drunk driving is a class three felony in Colorado, meaning that the maximum possible sentence is a prison term of 24 years. Most people convicted of vehicular homicide are sentenced to one form of prison in Colorado due to the aggravation of causing the death to another.
Vehicular Homicide is located in the Colorado Revised Statutes at section 18-3-106. It defines the crime as operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs which causes death to another person.
Vehicular Homicide – Class 3 Felony: The defendant unlawfully drove or operated a motor vehicle in Colorado while under the influence by alcohol, or drugs, or both alcohol and drugs, and the conduct was the proximate cause of death to another, in violation of C.R.S. 18-1-306(1)(a).
Sentencing Range for Vehicular Homicide – Class 3 Felony: 4-12 years in prison is the presumptive range; up to 24 years if a judge finds extraordinary aggravating circumstances.
Vehicular Homicide – Class 4 Felony: The defendant unlawfully drove or operated a motor vehicle in Colorado in a reckless manner, and the conduct was the proximate cause of death to another person, in violation of C.R.S. 18-1-305(1)(a).
Sentencing Range for Vehicular Homicide – Class 4 Felony: 2-6 years in prison is the presumptive range; up to 12 years if a judge finds extraordinary aggravating circumstances.
A bill pending in the legislature is also seeking to create a mandatory minimum prison term for vehicular assault and homicide. Despite the fact that there currently is no provision under the law, most sentencing judges in Colorado’s district courts impose prison upon conviction, even for a first offense.
Like all felony DUI charges in Colorado, the counsel of an experienced defense attorney is critical from the beginning. If you are facing a vehicular homicide charge in Colorado, don’t delay, and confirm you have the best representation to protect your future in light of these negative circumstances.