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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver: The Difference Between First and Second DUI Offenses

September 27, 2017

Any time that you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Colorado, it’s serious. The potential penalties that you may face for driving under the influence are nothing to take lightly. But, did you know that the penalties may differ depending on whether this is your first or second offense? Here’s what you need to know according to John L. Buckley, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver:


Jail Time

There is always a possibility that you will have to spend time behind bars if you are convicted of DUI, regardless of whether it is your first or tenth offense. However, the time that you will be ordered to serve may vary depending on your prior criminal record. First time offenders could face anywhere between five days to one year in jail, whereas defendants who have already been convicted of DUI once before can face between 10 days and one year. Most judges do not put first time offenders in jail unless given a reason to do so, but they may not be so lenient with those who have already been convicted of this crime once. Get the answer to the question “What are the Colorado DUI laws?” here.



In addition to possibly spending more time behind bars, DUI offenders should also expect to pay more in fines if they are convicted for a second time. First time offenders can face fines of $600-$1,000, but the maximum fine increases to $1,500 if this is your second conviction. Five hundred dollars may not seem like a huge difference, but every penny counts when you are dealing with the many other costs of having a DUI on your record.


Community Service

Besides the potential fines and jail time, both first and second time DUI offenders may be ordered to perform dozens of hours of community service. If you are convicted of DUI for the first time, the judge may order you to perform between 48-96 hours of community service. The next time that you are convicted of DUI, the maximum number of hours that you can be sentenced to is increased to 120. Your time is valuable, so this 24 hour increase in potential community service hours is nothing to take lightly.


License Suspension

Anyone who is convicted of DUI is considered a high-risk driver. As a penalty for putting others’ lives in danger, the state will suspend your license after a conviction. If this is the first time that you have been convicted, your driver’s license could be suspended for up to nine months. However, if this is the second time that you have been convicted, you could be stuck with a suspended license for up to one year.


If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.