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Colorado Springs DUI Arrest

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Colorado DUI Arrest: Were You Arrested for DUI? You ONLY Have 7 DAYS to Request A DMV Hearing.

Have you been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Colorado? If so, read on for more information about the state’s DUI arrest process, laws pertaining to DUI charges in Colorado, and why it is important to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

What Do I Need to Know About DUI Arrest in Colorado?

A DUI charge in Colorado is a serious situation that can result in stiff penalties including incarceration, license suspension, and fines upon conviction. In addition, you can be forced to complete community service hours and to attend alcohol education classes either in person or online.  Hiring an attorney who is experienced in defending those who have been charged with DUI is extremely important as your attorney can work on getting your charges reduced through plea negotiations or may even be able to help you to get the charges dropped as a result of faulty tests, improper procedure, or violations to your rights.

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Here Are the Colorado DUI Laws You Need to Understand

Colorado’s DUI laws are progressive, meaning that the consequences get more severe with each conviction. There are also stricter penalties for higher levels of intoxication. The sentencing guidelines are as follows:

  • Upon conviction of your first DUI offense in Colorado, you face up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a nine-month revocation of your license, up to 96 hours of community service, and alcohol education classes. Each subsequent DUI conviction within a ten-year look-back period poses higher penalties, a longer period of license revocation, and more community service hours.
  • The legal level of intoxication is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, if your BAC is at .15 percent or higher, you will be considered a persistent drunk driver, even on your first offense.
  • If you refuse to submit to chemical testing to determine the alcohol concentration in your blood or breath, you can be designated as a persistent drunk driver, and be required to undergo alcohol education classes and mandated to have an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle for at least one year.
  • If you have been convicted of a DUI in another state within the past ten years, it can count as a Colorado DUI conviction and subject you to higher penalties if you are convicted of DUI in Colorado.

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Colorado DUI Arrest Process

The Colorado DUI arrest process includes the following steps:

  • Your choice of tests: When you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you are given the choice to submit to either a blood test or a breath test. You do not have to be read your Miranda rights before being given these tests. You can also refuse to take either test. However, if you refuse to take a blood alcohol or breath alcohol test, you will be automatically charged with a DUI and will lose your license. If you submit to the test and the results reveal an intoxication level over the limit, you will also face a DUI charge and suspension of your license as well as other penalties.
  • Express Consent Hearing: If your license is suspended, you can contest the suspension within 60 days after your arrest through an express consent hearing. This hearing, which you must request within 7 days following your arrest, is generally held at your local DMV office, can help you to regain the use of your license as you continue on through the DUI legal process.
  • Arraignment: This is the initial hearing about your DUI process in which you are made aware of the charges against you and the penalties you face upon conviction. Your attendance at the arraignment is required; if you miss this hearing, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. However, if you have a DUI lawyer representing you, sometimes they can appear at this court date for you saving you a trip to the courthouse. 
  • Pre-trial negotiations: Your attorney will meet with the prosecutor in an attempt to negotiate a plea deal in your case.
  • Trial by jury: If a plea deal cannot be negotiated in your case, litigation begins. Litigation includes the examination and cross-examination of witnesses as well as the presentation of evidence. Your attorney may attempt to get some of the prosecution’s evidence suppressed, such as the results of your breath or blood alcohol test. This means you would have a motion hearing before trial. 
  • Sentencing: After the presentation of evidence and the examination of witnesses, the jury will decide if the prosecution made its case and decide whether to convict you of the DUI charge. If you are convicted, the judge will determine the sentence that will be imposed in accordance with the state’s sentencing guidelines.

Should I hire a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer?

Yes, if you have been arrested for a DUI, hiring a lawyer is an essential act that is necessary in order to reduce the penalties you face and to protect your freedoms. You should contact a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer immediately if you have been arrested or charged with DUI. In Colorado, you only have seven days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing from the DMV if you choose a breath test or refuse testing, otherwise, your license will be automatically suspended. If you choose a blood test you only have seven days from the date of your blood results to request a hearing. You will want to have an experienced DUI lawyer or your side to make sure you have the best chance possible at keeping your license.

We understand that mistakes happen. When they do, you need an experienced Colorado Springs DUI attorney to defend you. We can analyze your circumstances and prepare a proper defense. We know what constitutes a DUI in Colorado. We also know the judges and prosecutors and will strive to get you the most favorable outcome.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

What is the sentence for misdemeanors in Colorado?

  • Class 1

  • 6 to 18 months in county jail, and/or
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • For extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months.
  • For 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
    • Peace officer,
    • Emergency medical provider,
    • Firefighter, or
    • Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
  • Class 2

  • 3 to 12 months in county jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000 in fines
  • Class 3

  • Up to 6 months of county jail, and/or
  • $50 to $750 in fines2

What are Colorado felony penalties?

  • Class 1

  • Life imprisonment
  • No Colorado crime carries the death penalty.
  • Class 2

  • 8 – 24 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or
  • $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • 5 years of mandatory parole if the offense is a crime of violence. Otherwise, 3 years of mandatory parole.
  • Class 3

  • 4 – 12 years in prison, and/or
  • $3,000 – $750,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 3 felonies, the maximum sentence is 16 years in prison.
  • Class 4

  • 2 – 6 years in prison, and/or
  • $2,000 – $500,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence is 8 years in prison.
  • Class 5

  • 1 – 3 years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 2 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence is 4 years in prison.
  • Class 6

  • 1 – 18 months years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 1 year of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.

CALL NOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED

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Getting You To A Better Place Fast

At Right Law Group, we understand the stress you are under. Our Criminal Defense Law Firm is here to guide you down the right path to your legal challenge. Whether you are facing your first DUI, a drug charge, need a restraining order, or are facing another type of criminal charge, our firm is committed to your well-being and protecting your rights the right way.

What happens after a DUI arrest?

After a DUI arrest in Colorado, your license will automatically be suspended unless you request an administrative hearing with the DMV. You only have seven days to request this hearing so you need to act fast.

Does a DUI count as an arrest?

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a criminal offense, so if you are charged with a DUI, yes that does count as an arrest. Even if the officer does not take you to jail, if they tell you they are arresting you for DUI, then you have technically been arrested. Whether you are then convicted or not will determine how the case progresses in court in the future.

What happens when you are charged with DUI?

In Colorado, a DUI charge is for someone found driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, generally meaning they had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, or under the influence of drugs. If you are charged with a DUI in Colorado, you need to request a hearing with the DMV within seven days – otherwise your license will automatically be suspended. After you are charged, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney to walk you through the necessary steps.

Experienced DUI Lawyer

Colorado Springs DUI Attorney Near You

What is a DUI? If you are unsure and need help navigating the Colorado DUI laws, contact Right Law Group today for a free case evaluation. You may be able to keep your license. Call us now to get help. An experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer can help get you through this. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.