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Colorado Criminal Traffic Lawyer Series – Driving Under Suspension – Points 42-2-127 C.R.S.

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer For Driving Under Suspension Cases

Denver Colorado Driving Under Suspension Attorney

Colorado Criminal Traffic Lawyer Series – Driving Under Suspension – Points 42-2-127 C.R.S. – One of the most common traffic crimes leading to an unexpected arrest after a traffic stop – is the crime of Driving Under A Suspended License.

Colorado Criminal Traffic Lawyer Series - Driving Under Suspension - Points 42-2-127 C.R.S.

Colorado Criminal Traffic Lawyer Series – Driving Under Suspension – Points 42-2-127 C.R.S.

This article is intended to help you understand the crime, how it happens, and the consequences.

What Is A Driver’s License Restraint In Colorado?

A “Restraint” or having your Colorado driver’s license “restrained” means the denial, the revocation, or the suspension of a person’s license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle in this state or another state. 42-2-138(4)(b), C.R.S.

Having a driver’s license in a state as large and as diverse as Colorado is critical. This is not Manhattan – in Denver and all across the state – having the right to drive is tantamount to survival.

Losing your driver’s license is not only a hardship – it is a punishment us far worse than the sometimes ridiculous reasons for having lost that driving right in the first place.

The Penalties For Driving Under Suspension In Colorado

Like all traffic crimes – there are two tiers of penalties in Colorado from a conviction for Driving Under Suspension – the sentence in the criminal courts and the “sentence” of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In the “criminal side” of Colorado Driving Under Suspension cases – if you are convicted in the absence of a plea bargain – the sentencing judge must sentence you to a mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail and up to 6 months in jail plus there is a possible fine of up to $500. A judge is not allowed to suspend this mandatory sentence. In addition, the court fine can be up to $500, plus mandatory fees and surcharges.

The DMV then follows that up with “automatic”extension of the period of suspension of 1 year with no possibility of obtaining a probationary license. In addition to the sentences outlined above, a conviction leads to an habitual traffic offender “strike” on your driving record. Accumulating three habitual strikes in a certain period of time will make you a habitual traffic offender, which can lead to a felony charge if driving in certain situations.

After you appear in court – if you do not plea bargain the ticket and you are convicted of the crime of Driving Under Suspension – the court sends a notice of the Driving Under Suspension conviction to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The points are put your record – it is ” analyzed” and the new suspension period is then “tacked on.”

How Is A Colorado Driver’s License Suspended In The First Place? How Did This Happen?

Literally thousands of Colorado drivers lose their license to suspensions each year – however many of those are able to obtain probationary licenses to continue to drive ( see below).

Many of those suspensions are because people lose their right to drive for economic reasons such as financial hardship or unbearable work schedules.

The Most Common Reasons For Colorado Driver’s License Suspensions

  • An outstanding judgment on a traffic ticket.
  • Driving without insurance.
  • Failure to pay child support.
  • Failure to appear on a ticket.
  • Failure to appear at a hearing for points’ suspension.
  • Driving while under restraint or suspension ( resulting in an additional suspension period of one year after the date that would have allowed for reinstatement
  • An outstanding judgment for violation of an ordinance or statute related to the regulation of motor vehicles.
  • An outstanding judgment for toll evasion.

Reacting To A DMV Letter Of Point Suspension Is Better Than Being Arrested – The DMV Hearing For The Red (Probationary) License

You may be quick enough to after receiving a point suspension letter to “head the suspension off” by asking for a hearing at the DMV and applying for a Red License ( a Probationary License)

The Right To A DMV Hearing – Is It Possible To Obtain A Probationary (RED) Driver’s License?

The state of Colorado CAN issue you a probationary license that would allow a person who has been suspended to drive for limited and “essential” driving purposes.

This license is discretionary with the DMV – (compare this to the ignition interlock driving program which is not within the power of the DMV refuse if the applicant meets the statutory criteria.

“Essential driving” is described as driving for employment, education, health treatment purposes as well as for classes that are required for mandated alcohol and / or drug treatment.

The kinds of factors that matter to the DMV Hearings Officer before considering the issuance of the RED License are:

  • That all pending tickets are cleared.
  • The seriousness of the applicant’s criminal / traffic record as well as the present reason for the suspension
  • The need for the red license.

Take The DMV Hearing SERIOUSLY

While this is not a contested “court like” hearing – your preparation should be as thorough. The hearing is recorded and the decision is appealable (within 30 days to the District Court). You must be prepared to “make your case” for a probationary – red license. Have your documents ready – pay stubs, class schedules, employment schedules..etc and make certain your presentation is organized and persuasive.

Answer all of the hearing officer’s questions -directly and clearly. Having an attorney present will greatly enhance your chances at success if the lawyer is experienced in this area.

Findings Are Made On The Three Topics Covered At The Hearing

First – Is a suspension required based on your Traffic or Criminal History?

Second – What is the length of your suspension?

Third – Can you be issued a probationary driver’s license and – if so – what privileges will be permitted as a condition of the red probationary license during the period of suspension?

Remember ….If you fail to appear for the hearing your suspension will be set for the maximum period, one year.

Suspensions Are Usually The Result Of An Accumulation Of Points

Here are some of the point totals for common Colorado traffic offenses

    • Leaving scene of accident 12
    • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs 12
    • Driving while ability is impaired by alcohol 8
    • Speed contests 12
    • Eluding or attempting to elude a police officer 12
    • Reckless driving 8
    • Careless driving 4
    • Failure to yield right-of-way 3
    • Speeding over posted limit
    • 5-9 m.p.h. 1
    • 10-19 m.p.h 4
    • 20-39 m.p.h 6
    • 40-or more m.p.h.12
    • Failure to stop for a school bus 6
    • Driving on wrong side of road 4
    • Failure to maintain or show proof of insurance 4
    • Improper passing 4
    • Failure to observe traffic sign or signal 4
    • Improper turn 3
    • Driving through safety zone 3
    • Driving in wrong lane or direction on one-way street 3
    • Failure to signal or improper signal 2
    • Failure to yield to emergency vehicle 4
    • Improper backing 2
    • Failure to dim or turn on lights 2
    • Operating an unsafe vehicle 2

READ THE LAW – Some Of The Most Common Colorado Driving Based Statutes Are Online

To READ The Law – Follow This LINK and plug in your Crime

Refer to the following Colorado Traffic Law statutes:

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-1-102: Definitions

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-105: Restrictions & Sanctions – Minor drivers under 18

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-122: Department may Cancel License

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-125: Mandatory Revocation of Licenses and Permit.

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-126: Revocation of Licenses – Administrative

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-127: Authority to Suspend and Deny License

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-129: Mandatory Surrender of License after DUI

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-132.5: Mandatory and Voluntary Restricted Licenses Following Alcohol Conviction

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-202: Habitual Offender

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-205: Driver’s License Disciplinary Actions

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-206: Driving after Revocation Prohibited

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-1301: Driving Under the Influence – Driving While Impaired – Driving with Excessive Alcohol Content – Penalties.

• Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-1307: Penalties for Traffic Offenses Involving Alcohol and Drugs.

I am Denver, Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg. I have over 30 years of experience as a Denver, Colorado Driving under Suspension lawyer, I know this area of law and specialize in Colorado Criminal Law. I will investigate and prepare your case and defend you to the fullest extent of the law. H. Michael Steinberg

Colorado Criminal Traffic Lawyer Series – Driving Under Suspension – Points 42-2-127 C.R.S.

If you found any information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 button below so that others may also find it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at [email protected] – A Denver Colorado Driving Under Suspension Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article -Colorado Criminal Traffic Lawyer Series – Driving Under Suspension – Points 42-2-127 C.R.S. , please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy

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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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