It is best to call a Denver DUI attorney immediately if ever you get yourself into a DUI (driving under influence) case in Denver. One thing that you need to understand is that DUI cases are of a specialized nature and they are categorized as criminal. So you cannot afford to take them lightly, especially after 1st July 2010 when DUI charges began to be slapped mandatory jail terms.
Why you should call a Denver DUI lawyer immediately
A DUI case in Denver might look simple and direct to you as a layman, and as such you may be tempted to go it alone after being pulled over instead of calling a lawyer. However, that should not be the way to go after being caught driving under the influence of alcohol or even drugs. The best move should be to call a Denver DUI law firm and let them deal with the arresting officer, the prosecutor and the jury from then onwards. You need to appreciate that only an experienced DUI lawyer can understand the complexities of DUI charges. With years of experience handling cases of driving under the influence as well as DUI charges in Colorado, your defense Denver DUI lawyer is bound to analyze your unique circumstances and tear the evidence down in a bid to capture any weaknesses. In summary, you need a Denver DUI attorney who is also versed in:
- evidentiary law
- criminal law
- constitutional law
What, exactly, makes a Denver DUI attorney an absolute necessity?
- First of all, such a locally based DUI attorney understands what it means in litigation terms to be arrested under DUI as opposed to driving under the influence.
- Such a defense attorney is accustomed to the conduct of the Denver traffic officers as they execute their mandate on DUI suspects.
- He or she understands the scientific details behind your BAC (Blood Alcohol Test), and how the officer gets to use the tests to prove DUI charges against you.
Generally, the cost of a DUI in Colorado can be too great for you if you do not get the right legal representation.
Minimize the Cost of DUI by Engaging a defense Attorney
The aim of a good defense lawyer is to get your charges dropped. That is no different when it comes to a DUI case. You need a lawyer who focuses on getting your case thrown out. If that proves impossible depending on your circumstances, your defense law firm should be able to argue your case such that the impact of your charges is minimized in the eyes of the jury and of the judge.
Here is the Denver DUI attorney you should look out for:
- One who is known to put on an aggressive defense
- One who appreciates the life changing implications of a DUI conviction even beyond the court chambers, considering that you may have a DUI case and yet driving is central to your career.
- One who is versed with laws relating to drunk driving within Colorado and the surrounding counties
- One who has a record of preventing unnecessary convictions
- One who is known to protect clients from unnecessary criminal penalties
- One who stands by his or her clients and advices them against taking the guilty plea
Why it is too big a risk to miss out on a competent DUI attorney
- The cost of a DUI has gone up immensely since the law review of 2010
- Specifically, penalties for those convicted of DUI have risen
- It has become mandatory to serve jail term in Colorado if convicted of DUI
- Chances of getting your driving licence revoked unless you have a really competent and experienced attorney are very high.
What respite is there then when faced with DUI?
Your respite lies in calling on a Denver DUI lawyer as soon as possible and ensuring you do not have a discussion with the arresting officer. Just showing the officer the documents demanded should suffice. In the meantime, not pleading guilty should be your mantra whether you have been pulled over for driving under the influence or on DUI charges.
Let us recap the cost of a DUI in Colorado:
- Losing your driving rights
- For first DUI offenders your driving rights could be revoked for a period of 9mths
- Automatic jail term when the BAC exceeds the set limit
- Hefty fines
- Court costs
- Punitive probation costs
- Inevitable costs on alcohol treatment
- Bad record both at the Denver law courts and the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Hefty insurance premiums as a consequence of the bad record
- Possible job loss
Can the cost of a DUI conviction then compare with the fees of a defense lawyer?
Obviously, the fees of a Denver DUI attorney dwarf in the face of such DUI costs. In any case, a DUI conviction ends up having a wider negative impact on your life as a whole.
How does your Denver DUI lawyer approach your case?
- First of all there is the legality or even constitutionality of your being pulled over at the particular spot.
- There is also the question of reasonable suspicion or even probable cause for having you stopped.
- Then comes the credibility of the arresting officer
- In addition, the credibility of the evidence can also be questioned, whether it is the BAC test or the field sobriety tests.
- The efficiency of the breath machines can be put to test.
- The procedure of assembling the evidence can also be faulted.
All these layers of your DUI case can only be effectively analyzed by a seasoned Denver DUI attorney with a view to invalidating your case and having the court set you free. In the worst of scenarios, your experienced Denver DUI lawyer will leave the courts with only the minimum of penalties to hand you.
How to Behave When You Are Pulled Over
- Keep your lips sealed. You lawyer will do the talking on arrival.
- Put a request for a DMV hearing in the county of Colorado within 7 days after you take the BAC or even after declining to take it. At the same time, put a request that the officer who arrested you be present at the hearing.
- If you did not secure a defense lawyer when you were pulled over, hasten to find one before your first hearing at the DMV.
- Remember your mantra of maintaining your innocence all through. Chances are high that your defense lawyer will be able to water down all evidence to your advantage. So no presumption of guilt should plague your mind and make you vulnerable to the prosecution.
Valid Defense Arguments for Courts in Denver
In the state of Colorado, there are numerous defenses an attorney can use when representing you for a DUI or DWAI charge. In some cases, your attorney can use an adequate defense to convince the prosecutor to lessen the severity of the charges against you or even throw the case out altogether. Depending on the success of a defense, you may be able to retain driving privileges even if convicted.
Every criminal offense has certain conditions that must be met in order for a guilty verdict to be administered. A DUI charge is no different. Prosecutors in Colorado must prove at least 3 things in a DUI case:
- The defendant was driving a vehicle
- The defendant had consumed drugs or alcohol prior to or while operating the vehicle
- The amount of drugs or alcohol used was enough to impair driving substantially (DUI) or slightly (DWAI)
If the prosecutor cannot adequately prove any one of these three elements, then they cannot properly establish a case against you. Winning defenses will be able to challenge the prosecutor’s assertion regarding any of these three conditions. Your attorney may also bring up details that prohibit the admittance of evidence against you. There are 6 primary defenses that your attorney may use when representing you, including:
- Testimony of witnesses
- Probable cause
- Unlawful arrest
- Driving defenses
- BAC test results
- Driver’s appearance and actions
Testimony of Witnesses
Witness testimony can be used if a witness observed that you had not been drinking prior to driving a vehicle. In some cases, witnesses may not appear in court voluntarily, at which point they will be subpoenaed to testify at your court case. For a witness to be useful in a DUI case in Denver, they must have an adequate defense (e.g. you ran a red light because you were distracted by a conversation not because you were intoxicated).
Police officers in Denver must have reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop and probable cause to place you under arrest. If the rationale for the traffic stop lacks reasonable suspicion, then the judge may dismiss any evidence compiled by the arresting officer. This evidence would then be inadmissible in court. The same concept applies to whether or not the officer had probable cause to arrest you. If probable cause is absent, then your attorney can file a motion to dismiss the arrest and any evidence linked to it.
Again, an unlawful arrest is made by an officer without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The judge can suppress any and all evidence collected by the arresting officer. This may make it difficult for the prosecutor to prove that you were actually driving under the influence. Evidence that can be suppressed includes breath test results, officer observations, and virtually anything else in the officer’s official report of the incident.
If you were not driving the vehicle, then you cannot be charged with a DUI or DWAI in the state of Colorado. Officers generally pull individuals over if they suspect that they are driving under the influence. If their assumptions are correct, then the driving defense is moot. In some cases, however, officers may not actually observe the individual driving the car. They may assume that the intoxicated individual was behind the wheel based on circumstantial evidence, but this may be difficult for a prosecutor to prove in court.
BAC Test Results
Colorado state law prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. To determine your BAC, the officer will most likely administer either a blood test or a breath test. Breath tests are generally administered at the scene while blood tests are taken at the station’s medical lab. Even if the test results suggest that you had a BAC over the limit, you may still be able to challenge the results. Blood and breath tests must be administered in very specific ways and with well-maintained tools in the state of Colorado. If the arresting officer does not follow these regulations or the lab equipment is determined to be unsatisfactory, then the test results may be inadmissible. In other cases, the lab technician could have been negligent, uncertified, or incompetent at the time the test was given. If your attorney can prove that any of these played a role in procuring your test results, then the judge may suppress the evidence. In some cases, the evidence may still be shown by the prosecutor, but your attorney can illustrate why the results are invalid or unreliable.
Driver’s Appearance and Actions
One of the most common pieces of evidence used against defendants charged with DUI is their appearance and actions. If the officer observes that you have blood-shot eyes, a slower or more confused demeanor, or any other signifiers of intoxication, then they can use that as evidence against you. The right DUI attorney can offer counterpoint to the claims made by the officer. For instance, if you had difficulty performing a field sobriety test because of a prior medical condition, then a doctor may testify on your behalf. Likewise, the occurrence of blood-shot eyes may be the result of any number of catalysts including bad allergies, a lack of sleep, frequent computer use, or wearing contact lenses. A poor performance on the field sobriety test could also be due to inclement weather or poor direction given by the arresting officer.