One of the questions that persons who have been arrested for DUI in Colorado have is whether they will have to go to prison after a conviction.

Obviously, that is a distressing thought, and while people may be more open to the idea of performing community service, undergoing an alcohol education program, or paying any of the other penalties that may be attached to a DUI conviction in Colorado, nobody wants to spend any time in prison at all.

DUI charges are serious affairs, and a DUI conviction in Denver can result in a number of penalties that will affect you for years to come. Because DUIs are taken so seriously in Denver, one of the penalties for this crime is jail time. There are a number of DUI charges that can be filed against you, depending on the severity of the offense and your prior record. For instance, if it is the first time that you have been arrested for DUI, you may have a much better chance of getting away with no jail time as part of your penalty.

Prison time for first-time DUI is rare in Colorado. However, in some cases, the judge may decide to sentence a person to jail for a first-time DUI conviction. Often, in these cases however, the amount of time that you actually have to spend in prison is very low. For a first-time DUI, you may have to pay fines, undergo an alcohol education program, and undergo several hours of community service.

However, things get markedly more serious if it is your second or third or subsequent DUI conviction. The law takes a very stern view of persons who have been arrested multiple times or convicted multiple times for driving under the influence, and prison time is definitely a possibility in such cases.

Subsequent DUI convictions come with harsher penalties, and the amount of jail time that you have to spend depends on the specifics of each case. Prison time may be mandated if you have been convicted for the second DWI offense. The situation can become more serious when there is a brief time gap between the first and second offense. Broadly, if you have been convicted for a second time of DUI within five years of your first conviction, then you may have to spend time in jail.

For a third conviction, a person may be sentenced to a prison term of 60 days in jail with no hope of being substituted by electronic monitoring.

Sometimes, however, minimum prison terms can be substituted by electronic monitoring. However, in those cases where the law requires a mandated prison sentence, it is not possible to substitute electronic monitoring for prison time.

Every DUI charge in Colorado comes with a minimum and a maximum prison sentence attached. You can get a part of the sentence suspended, or even the entire sentence suspended. However, this depends on the specifics of each case. It’s very important for you to understand the consequences involved, and the legal options available for you by speaking with a Denver DUI defense attorney as soon as one is arrested.

You can also apply for alternate sentencing options in Colorado. One of those options is house arrest. Typically, a first time DUI conviction in the state of Colorado can result in a jail term of at least two days. You may be required to perform community service of up to 48 hours. However, your attorney could help get the minimum jail sentence possible for you in your case, or get jail time suspended from your sentencing altogether.

Possible alternatives to jail sentences for DUI are the Home Detention program, Work-Release, Work Crew, as well as the Multiple Offender DUI Program. In the home detention program, the person must remain at home instead of jail, and will be monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet. Electronic home monitoring is also considered an alternative to time in county jail as a condition of probation. As part of the Work Release Program, you will be allowed to work during certain hours, and must remain incarcerated during the other hours. The Multiple DUI Offender program allows individuals who have been convicted at least three times of DUI, to start off with jail time, and then move on to a work release program. Speak with a Denver DUI defense attorney about the options applicable in your case.

Is It A Good Idea to Plead Guilty to a Lower DUI Charge?

Soon after you have been arrested for DUI, you are likely to feel very anxious. If this is your very first DUI, then you have no experience with how the justice system works, and you probably just want to get the entire thing over and done with. If you were arrested for DUI, speak to a Denver DUI defense attorney.

If, for instance, the prosecutor offers you a plea deal under which you plead guilty to charges of Driving While Alcohol Impaired, and in exchange, receive no jail term, you may be likely to jump at the chance. What should you do in a situation like this? You may not really want to immediately jump at a plea deal, even if it seems like an attractive offer. After all, you can avoid a jail term, and this is the one thing that most people, who are facing DUI charges, dread the most.

However, it’s also important to understand that the prosecutor probably does not have that much evidence to convict you of DUI. It’s not that easy to establish that you were legally intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol. You may therefore, not want to immediately accept a plea deal, assuming that you do not have any other choice.

Speak to a Denver DUI defense attorney, and go through all of your options, including any plea deal offer, before you decide to go ahead and accept any agreement. Remember, even a DWAI guilty plea will remain on your record, so it’s best not to be hasty.