Denver DUI Defense Attorney
Another key difference between military lawyers DUIs are taken very seriously, as they are a threat to public safety. In addition to the risk of accidents and injuries, DUIs can also lead to legal consequences such as fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges. Therefore, it is important for people to understand the dangers of DUIs and to make responsible decisions about drinking and driving. However, if a person is charged with a DUI, it does not mean the case is hopeless. A skilled and experienced Denver DUI lawyer can help defend those accused of a DUI, protect their rights, and provide them with legal advice and assistance.
At The Law Center P.C., our attorneys can provide comprehensive legal services to those who have been accused of a DUI. We understand the complexities and nuances of the law, and we can apply our knowledge and experience to help you navigate the legal system. We are committed to providing clients with aggressive but respectful representation, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the entire process. We believe in providing personalized attention and tailored legal strategies to each individual client’s case.
Whether you are facing your first DUI charge or have been charged with multiple DUIs, we are here to help. We can work to challenge the evidence gathered against you, negotiate plea agreements, and provide representation in court. We strive to ensure that the outcome of your case is as favorable as possible. Connect with us today for a consultation to discuss your options and begin building your defense.
What Is the DUI Process in Colorado?
The process for handling DUIs in Colorado can be quite complex and varies depending on each case’s specific circumstances. However, the process typically follows a general outline:
- Arrest: If a police officer suspects a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs (like marijuana), the officer may pull the driver over and conduct a series of field sobriety tests. These tests may include things like walking in a straight line, standing on one leg, or following a moving object with one’s eyes. If the tests indicate that the driver is impaired, the officer may arrest the driver on suspicion of DUI.
- Booking: After the arrest, the driver will be taken to a police station or detention facility, where they will be “booked.” This process involves taking the driver’s personal information, such as their name, address, and date of birth. The driver may also be photographed (mugshots) and asked to provide a blood or breath sample to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
- Release: After booking, the driver may be released on bail or released on their own recognizance (without bail). If the driver is released on bail, they will be required to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for their freedom. If the driver is released on their own recognizance, they will be required to promise to appear in court at a later date.
- Initial Hearing: Within a few days of the arrest, the driver will have an initial hearing in court. At this hearing, the driver will be informed of the charges against them and will have the opportunity to enter a plea. The driver can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the driver pleads guilty, the case will proceed to sentencing. If the driver pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to the next stage of the process.
- Pre-trial Conference: After the initial hearing, there may be a pre-trial conference, during which the parties (the prosecutor and the defense attorney) can discuss the case and try to reach a plea agreement. A plea agreement is a negotiation in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. If the parties are unable to reach a plea agreement, the case will go to trial.
- Trial: If the case goes to trial, both sides will present evidence and argue their case before a judge or jury. The prosecution will present evidence to show that the driver was under the influence and should be found guilty. The defense will present evidence to show that the driver was not under the influence or that other factors may have affected the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. The judge or jury will decide the outcome of the case based on the evidence presented.
- Sentencing: If the driver is found guilty, the judge will decide on a sentence. The sentence may include fines, jail time, community service, and the loss of driving privileges. The specific terms of the sentence will depend on the circumstances of the case, the driver’s criminal history, and other factors.
It is important to note that this is just a general outline of the DUI process in Colorado, and each case is unique. If you have been arrested for DUI, it is a good idea to speak with a Denver criminal defense attorney to collaborate on a defense that can help you avoid the most serious penalties.
What Are Common Defenses Against a DUI Charge?
There are several defenses that a person charged with DUI may raise to have the charges dismissed or reduced. Some common defenses to a DUI charge include:
- Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop: The police must have a valid reason for pulling a driver over, such as speeding, swerving, or running a red light. If the police did not have a valid reason for the traffic stop, the evidence obtained during the stop (including any field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results) may be considered inadmissible in court. For example, if the police pulled a driver over simply because they looked “suspicious,” this may not be considered probable cause. Any evidence obtained during the stop could be excluded from the trial.
- Faulty breathalyzer or blood test: Breathalyzers and blood tests are not always accurate, and various factors can affect their accuracy. For example, some medical conditions or medications can cause a person’s BAC to register incorrectly. In addition, breathalyzers must be properly calibrated and maintained to ensure accuracy. The charges may be dismissed if the defense can show that the breathalyzer or blood test was faulty.
- Rising BAC defense: Alcohol takes time to be absorbed into the bloodstream, so a person’s BAC may continue to rise after they have stopped drinking. If the defense can show that the person’s BAC was below the legal limit at the time they were driving but rose above the limit by the time they were tested, the charges may be reduced or dismissed. For example, if a person had a BAC of 0.05% when driving but a BAC of 0.08% when tested an hour later, they may be able to use the rising BAC defense.
- Police misconduct: If the police did not follow proper procedures or violated the driver’s constitutional rights during the traffic stop or arrest, the charges may be dismissed. Examples of police misconduct might include conducting an illegal search, using excessive force, or coercing a confession.
- Other factors: There may be other factors that affect the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, such as a medical condition, a mechanical issue with the vehicle, or poor road conditions. If the defense can show that these factors were the cause of the impaired driving, the charges may be reduced or dismissed. For example, if a driver had a seizure while behind the wheel, they may be able to use this as a defense to a DUI charge.
What Evidence Is Needed to Support a Strong Criminal DUI Defense?
The specific evidence needed to support a strong criminal DUI defense will depend on the specific defenses being raised and the circumstances of the case. However, there are a few types of evidence that may help build a strong defense:
- Evidence gathered at the traffic stop: This may include dashcam footage, eyewitness testimony, or the officer’s own notes about the stop. This evidence can support a defense based on the lack of probable cause for the stop.
- Evidence of the driver’s BAC at the time of driving: This can be receipts or witnesses to confirm when the person was drinking and how much they had to drink. This evidence can be used to support a rising BAC defense.
- Evidence questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test: This can include records of the device’s calibration and maintenance, as well as evidence of any medical conditions or medications that could affect the accuracy of the test. This can support a defense based on a faulty breathalyzer or blood test.
- Evidence of police misconduct: This may be eyewitness testimony, video footage, or the officer’s own notes about the arrest. This can establish a defense based on police misconduct.
- Other evidence: This can include medical records, vehicle maintenance records, or eyewitness testimony about road conditions. This can be used to help build a defense based on other factors that may have affected the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.
What Does a Denver DUI Attorney Do?
A DUI defense attorney is a lawyer who specializes in defending people charged with DUIs. These attorneys play a crucial role in the criminal justice system, working to protect defendants’ rights and ensure that they receive a fair trial. Here are some of the things that a Colorado criminal defense lawyer that specializes in DUIs may do:
- Review the facts of the case: The attorney will carefully review the circumstances of the arrest and the evidence against the defendant to determine the best defense strategy. They may be reviewing police reports, speaking with witnesses, and examining any available video footage or other evidence.
- Negotiate with the prosecutor: In some cases, the attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. This can be a good option for defendants who wish to avoid the risk of a trial and receive a more lenient sentence.
- Represent the defendant in court: If the case goes to trial, the attorney will represent the defendant in court, presenting evidence and arguments on the defendant’s behalf. This may involve questioning witnesses, introducing evidence, and making legal arguments to the judge or jury.
- Advise the defendant: The attorney will provide the defendant with legal advice and guidance throughout the legal process, explaining their rights and options and helping them make informed decisions about their case. You may need to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case, the potential consequences of different legal options, and the best course of action to take.
- Protect the defendant’s rights: The attorney will ensure that the defendant’s constitutional rights are protected at all stages of the legal process, including during the traffic stop, arrest, and trial. They may challenge the legality of the traffic stop, argue that the defendant’s rights were violated during the arrest, or raise other legal defenses as appropriate.
- Seek a dismissal or reduction of charges: The attorney will work to have the charges against the defendant dismissed or reduced, either through negotiation with the prosecutor or by presenting a strong defense in court. They may raise certain legal defenses, such as a lack of probable cause for the traffic stop or challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer or blood test results.
Are There Reduced Punishment Alternatives for a DUI Offense in Colorado?
In Colorado, there are several reduced-punishment alternatives for a DUI offense that a person charged with DUI may be eligible for, depending on the specific circumstances of the case:
- Diversion Programs: Colorado has several diversion programs that a person charged with DUI may be eligible for, depending on their criminal history and the specifics of the case. These programs allow the defendant to avoid a criminal conviction if they complete certain requirements, such as alcohol education classes, community service, or treatment programs.
- Alcohol Education Classes: A person charged with DUI may be able to attend alcohol education classes as an alternative to other forms of punishment. These classes are designed to educate people about the risks and consequences of alcohol abuse and may be ordered as a condition of probation or as an alternative to jail time.
- Alcohol Treatment Programs: In some cases, a person charged with DUI may be required to attend an alcohol treatment program as an alternative to other forms of punishment. These programs can help people overcome alcohol addiction and reduce their risk of future DUIs.
- Ignition Interlock Devices: A person convicted of DUI in Colorado may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle as a condition of probation. An IID is a device that requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer to start the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the vehicle will not start.
- Community Service: A person charged with DUI may be able to perform community service as an alternative to other forms of punishment. Community service involves performing unpaid work for a non-profit organization or public agency. It can be a good option for people who want to make amends for their actions and give back to the community.
- Home Detention: A person charged with DUI may be eligible for home detention as an alternative to jail time. Home detention involves staying at home and being monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet. The defendant may be allowed to leave their home for work, school, and other approved activities.
- Restitution: A person convicted of DUI in Colorado may be required to pay restitution as part of their sentence. Restitution is a payment to compensate the victim for any losses or damages caused by the crime. For example, if the defendant caused property damage or injured someone in a DUI-related accident, they may be required to pay restitution to cover the costs of repairs or medical bills.
These are just a few of the reduced punishment alternatives for a DUI offense in Colorado. An experienced attorney can help you understand all of your options and determine the best course of action for your case. With a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate any potential penalties associated with your DUI charge.
Contact Our Denver DUI Lawyers Today
If you face DUI charges in Colorado, it is important to speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Center P.C., we successfully defend clients against DUI charges and can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need. We can review the facts of your case, advise you on your legal options, work to protect your rights, and seek a favorable resolution. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your DUI case. We look forward to speaking with you.