Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is a serious criminal offense resulting in serious consequences, including jail time, loss of a commercial driver’s license (CDL), loss of driving privileges, and a conviction on your record that limits future employment — and puts your current job or career in jeopardy.
A DUI conviction can be a life-changing event.
It’s understandable to be afraid of going to jail. It’s also common to just want to “get it over with” and accept whatever plea bargain the D.A. throws your way.
It’s normal to feel fear and embarrassment after being charged with a DUI, especially if this is your first DUI offense. No one wants to deal with the uncertainty of facing criminal charges.
A DUI case can derail your life and plans, but let any former prosecutor tell you: accepting a deal from the district attorney without first consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
If you have been arrested for a DUI charge or first-time DUI, call or text now for a free consultation.
You should contact a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer immediately if you have been pulled over and arrested for a DUI. Call our law office today, and a criminal defense lawyer will help you with a free case evaluation. This is where we will review your criminal charges to determine the best strategy to resolve your legal matter. You are welcome to visit either one of our two locations. Free consultations can also be done virtually or over the phone. Call now or schedule a free consultation here.
The cost of a DUI can be expensive. If you are convicted of DUI in Colorado Springs the potential penalties can include loss of insurance coverage, higher insurance premiums, the loss of a job or career, and a harder time getting a job in the future.
A DUI offense in Colorado Springs can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. There are also “aggravating circumstances” — elements of the crime that require stiffer penalties or longer jail time — if found guilty. The penalties will likely be greater if you are facing a felony DUI or additional charges.
Some examples of aggravating circumstances include:
If any of these aggravating circumstances existed at the time of arrest, Colorado state law requires that an interlock ignition device be installed in any vehicle being operated by the offender — even if this is your first DUI!
If your job requires you to drive or you hold a commercial license, a DUI conviction can severely affect your source of income and your family. A DUI case often results in license suspension or being required to use an ignition interlock device to operate a motor vehicle.
Your DUI record can also harm your job and future earning prospects. Ignoring the situation will not make it better. It will often make it worse. You only have a limited amount of time to request a DMV hearing to stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
There are also times when you can get a DUI and not even realize you did anything wrong. For example, some people do not realize that you can be charged with DUI for driving after taking prescribed medication or that you can get a DUI when you are just sitting in your car without driving. But a DUI does not have to be the end of your world.
At Right Law Group, we understand that people sometimes make mistakes, and we are here to help. Our experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyers have defended numerous clients following drunk driving arrests. We can analyze your circumstances and prepare a proper defense. We know the Colorado DUI laws as well as the judges and prosecutors and will strive to get your most favorable outcome.
Contact Right Law Group today for a free case evaluation if you are unsure what steps to take. 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.
“A DUI arrest can be a costly mistake,” says Alexis Austin, attorney at Right Law Group. “There are enormous costs that stem from a DUI conviction. All have a lasting impact. Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job, or freedom. Call today for a free case evaluation. It doesn’t matter where you live in Colorado; driving under the influence is a serious crime.
A DUI in Colorado is classified as a criminal offense and a major traffic violation. If your DUI charges include property damage or injury to another person, you may face felony charges, as well. Your next actions will impact the outcome of your case. You need to educate yourself, so you can make a final decision on how you will defend yourself against your DUI charges.
You have a seven (7) day window to request a hearing with the DMV to prevent the automatic suspension of your license in the next (30) days. You need to act now.
Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job, or freedom. Call today for a free case evaluation.
While being pulled over for a DUI for the first time can be frightening, it’s important to remember that a DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI arrest is not a conviction. If it is your first offense, the law will work in your favor if you keep your emotions in check and make good decisions.
Remember: It’s important to get an experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer who can successfully take you through the steps. Here are some things to be aware of and some initial steps you’ll need to take to get your situation moving in the right direction.
Key points to remember and implement immediately following a DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI arrest in Colorado that will directly impact your trial outcome.
You have to realize that if the officer that stopped you has the evidence they need to arrest you, there is nothing you can do or say to prevent your arrest. What you say can hurt you and damage your chances of DUI dismissal and a positive outcome in court.
Remember: your best option is to say nothing.
This is required by most states and is punishable under the law if refused. The chemical test is designed to show a variety of information, most notably your current blood alcohol level. From this level, the officers can deduce the level of alcohol in your blood at the time of the arrest. If you have refused field sobriety tests, then you have little to fear from this and much to lose by refusing. Take the test.
Never use a general attorney for DUI court cases. DUI laws are complex and require an in-depth understanding of the legal system. While other attorneys may be able to represent you in court, only a specialized DUI attorney can hope to gain you a favorable outcome in your DUI defense.
Posting bail is often required after an arrest. While most individuals may be released without bail, some cases require the aid of a bondsman. These individuals will require a fee upfront. Once the fee is paid, they will post bail for you. While this can be expensive, it is less than paying your entire bail to the court. A bail bondsman guarantees that you will be at your hearings. The bondsman will likely come looking for you if you fail to appear in court.
After your time of arrest, you have a limited number of days (usually 10) to make a formal request for a DMV hearing, including weekends and holidays. This hearing will determine whether you are allowed to keep your driver’s license. If you or your attorney do not request a DMV hearing, your license will be automatically suspended.
The arraignment is the portion of your trial during which you enter your plea. Do not plead guilty. It is possible to fight DUI charges and win the case. However, you must ensure that you have an experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer on your side to do this. A plea of not guilty leads to the trial process, during which it is possible to show that you were not driving drunk or challenge the merits of the case in another manner.
DUI, or driving under the influence, occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or when the driver has a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 (UDD) are charged with impaired driving based on blood alcohol levels of 0.02 or higher, and CDL license holders can be charged based on blood alcohol levels of 0.04 or higher.
Laws concerning DUI, DUI per se, and DWAI appear under Title 42, article 4, and part 13. The State of Colorado divides these offenses into two distinct categories: driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Colorado further separates DUI into two distinct categories: DUI and DUI per se.
In a DUI per se, the prosecution must prove the driver’s drug or alcohol blood levels were above .08 percent while driving or within two hours after driving. In a DUI per se, the driver may not appear to be under the influence. A DUI breathalyzer or DUI blood test will determine if blood levels violate legal limits. In a standard DUI, the prosecution proves that the ingested alcohol or drugs affected the driver’s mental or physical ability to drive.
Colorado DUI laws make it a crime to operate a motor vehicle either (1) while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or (2) with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater.
Drivers with a BAC of 0.05% to less than 0.08% face charges for the lesser Colorado offense of DWAI.
Colorado’s criminal sentencing and administrative penalties for DUI, DUI per se, and DWAI become more severe with each successive conviction:
You can win a Colorado DUI, DUI per se or DWAI case regardless of the allegations. There’s a winning defense strategy for your situation. Even if the prosecution alleges you drove with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.20 percent, under 0.08 percent is the legal limit, or claims your impaired ability to drive led to an accident, you can still win a court case. An experienced DUI defense attorney knows the defenses that could persuade a prosecutor to reduce the charges or even dismiss them.
The best defense for your case depends on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the nature of the charges. As a top Colorado DUI attorney Alexis Austin, attorney at Right Law Group, explains, “People plead guilty to DUI mistakenly because they feel the evidence is stacked against them.
Experience has shown me that very rarely is the evidence insurmountable. Law enforcement mishandles DUI investigations procedurally and evidentially, and some prosecutors leverage fear and unfamiliarity to intimidate defendants. In almost every case, the best move for a defendant is to consult with an experienced Colorado Springs DUI attorney rather than trying to go it alone.”
The following are 20 DUI defense summaries provided by our Colorado DUI defense lawyers that can help you beat your DUI charges: If you have additional questions or want to speak with one of the attorneys of our Colorado DUI defense team, we invite you to contact us at Right Law Group.
Colorado DUI breath tests are subject to a wide range of errors. These include (but are not limited to):
Law enforcement most commonly uses DUI breath testing to measure BAC, but it’s not always accurate. A DUI breath test isn’t a direct measure of the level of alcohol in your blood. It calculates the level of alcohol present in your breath and then estimates the likely level of alcohol in your blood.2 Breath testing errors are a top Colorado DUI defense. DUI breath testing is often unreliable, generating erroneously high BAC readings. Understanding how this happens can be the basis of a successful DUI defense strategy.
“Mouth alcohol” is misread by DUI breath testing instruments as the presence of alcohol in lung tissue alcohol (alveolar air). This reading can occur under several circumstances:
You can challenge the results of a breath test as part of your DUI defense strategy.
Medical conditions may be triggered by the stressful encounter with law enforcement and being required to take a DUI breath test. The mouth alcohol levels increase due to the medical condition and are misread by breath testing instruments.
An experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer from our law firm will know how to leverage your medical condition to defend you in court.
Medical conditions such as GER, acid reflux, and heartburn can serve as a defense to DUI charges.
Ketosis is a chemical state where stored fat is used for energy, releasing alcohol in breath and urine. It turns to isopropyl and is picked up as high alcohol content on a DUI breath testing device. These machines do not distinguish between ethanol (alcohol in beverages) and isopropyl.
Ketosis is commonly caused by:
People who ascribe to keto, carnivore, or paleo diets or who have diabetes can fight DUI charges on this basis.
It takes 50 minutes to three hours for alcohol to absorb into the system.6 This phenomenon, called “rising blood alcohol,” may be leveraged as a defense regardless of how BAC levels are measured in either a DUI breath or blood test. If your blood alcohol levels were still rising at the time of your arrest, the chemical test results would show a higher degree of BAC than when you operated your vehicle.
As with DUI breath tests, the potential for error exists. Inaccuracies may be due to several factors.
Your DUI defense attorney may make what is called a “blood split motion” to learn how your blood test was conducted, and your sample was stored. Improper handling of your BAC results or blood samples will allow your attorney to have them excluded from evidence, which could lead to the dismissal of your DUI charges.
Title 17 of the Colorado Code of Regulations sets forth strict guidelines for DUI chemical test samples.
If there are any violations of these specific regulations and any violations of Colorado’s Title 17, BAC test results may be compromised. Your DUI blood test may be excluded from evidence if Title 17 isn’t properly handled in the following cases.
A law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion or believe you are engaged in criminal activity before:
It will be suppressed if “probable cause” is not supported by evidence gathered by the arresting officer.
It will not be used against you in your DUI case and may result in reduced charges or dismissal.
Miranda rights are not required in a Colorado DUI arrest. They are required, however, in the following instances:
Colorado DUI law calls this custodial interrogation when the arresting officer asks questions that solicit incriminating responses after you’ve been arrested or are in custody.
The arresting officer must read you your Miranda rights if you’re in custody and the officer conducts a custodial interrogation. The officer must advise you of your Miranda rights when these conditions are met. Otherwise, any subsequent statements will be excluded from evidence upon a motion by your DUI defense attorney.
The arresting officer may claim things about your appearance at the time of the arrest. A flushed face, unsteady gait, watery eyes, slurred speech, and even the smell of alcohol on the breath do not prove impairment or indicate BAC above legal limits. Every one of these descriptions can be caused by something innocent: sunburn, fatigue, allergies, illness, and a drink within legal limits. An experienced attorney will know how to address these allegations during a hearing.
DUI field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable. Colorado standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) are only 65-77 percent accurate indicators of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Data shows that accurate readings only happen if they are administered and scored (which is rarely the case). Other factors contribute to the unreliability of SFSTs and make it difficult for sober people to pass sobriety these tests:
Your DUI defense attorney will ensure the prosecutor is not able to present SFST results as reliable evidence in your DUI case.
Erratic driving, such as weaving and speeding, is often due to inattention or distraction and has nothing to do with DUI. Police may assume bad driving is DUI related. Not all bad or distracted driving results from DUI. It’s not unusual to drop something while driving and try to pick it up. Perhaps you were trying to change a CD, or your passengers distracted you. Eating or entering an address into your GPS is just as likely to cause a moment of poor driving. Any of these activities are something sober drivers do every day and are effective strategies for building a successful DUI defense.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) readings can be affected by factors other than the actual amount of alcohol in your body. Examples of factors when DUI Test devices don’t tell the whole story are:
People tend to assume that DUI chemical test readings of BAC “over the legal limit” equate to DUI. This assumption is wrong, and your DUI defense attorney will let the prosecution know the reality of your situation.
Assuming DUI Chemical testing conditions are perfect, there is still an inherent +/- error rate of between 0.005 percent and 0.02 percent with all Colorado DUI chemical testing equipment. With that in mind, your DUI defense attorney may challenge the results of your BAC test when BAC levels are between 0.08 percent and 0.10 percent.
Colorado DUI checkpoints must comply with strict legal requirements. In Colorado, DUI sobriety checkpoints must comply with strict legal standards. This means:
Your Colorado DUI defense attorney can challenge your arrest and fight the DUI charges whenever these requirements aren’t satisfied.
A Colorado DUI chemical blood or breath testing device can produce erroneously high BAC readings due to Radio Frequency Interference (“RFI”). That’s because electromagnetic static produced by high wires or even buildup on people can interfere with DUI blood and breath device function and produce an erroneously high BAC. RFI or EMI (electromagnetic interference) may be caused by the following:
An RFI or EMI disturbances can devalue or even invalidate your DUI blood and breath testing results and are a strong DUI defense strategy (42-4-1301 (6) (IV)(II) C.R.S.), (42-4-1301 (6) (IV)(f) C.R.S.).
The State of Colorado distinguishes between two types of impairment: mental impairment and physical impairment. No sign of mental impairment at the time of your DUI arrest could be a defense to your DUI charges. Law enforcement officers most frequently cite physical impairment as evidence of DUI during Colorado DUI investigations.
Physical impairment might include:
However, medical and legal experts agree that alcohol and/or drug-related impairment always displays itself in the form of mental impairment first. If an officer testifies against you, citing behavior that does not display mental impairment, you may be able to challenge the allegations you were DUI under (42-4-1301 (1) (g) C.R.S.) Colorado’s DUI law.
There’s something wrong when there’s a discrepancy between your BAC and your alleged impairment. When you reportedly exhibited no impairment or slight impairment but had a high BAC, this is called a disconnect DUI case. If the evidence seems untrustworthy, you and your DUI defense attorney should challenge the results of your DUI blood or breath test as part of your DUI defense strategy. A “disconnect” between evident impairment and BAC results is a red flag that can point to a successful DUI defense strategy.
If the police or witnesses did not see you driving, they can’t prove you were guilty of driving under the influence. Some examples might be:
A “no driving” DUI defense should be considered when the police didn’t see you operating the vehicle.
Law enforcement must follow proper police procedures. If you have experienced or witnessed misconduct while dealing with police and can support your claims with evidence, your DUI charges may be dismissed despite being guilty of DUI! Examples of irregular procedures may include:
Improperly obtained evidence or manipulations will be suppressed during court testimony.
The prosecution may even reduce or even dismiss DUI charges depending on the severity of the misconduct.
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So far this law group has been fantastic. I get updates on my case all the time. They keep me informed, which makes me feel better. Extremely nice personnel who are very helpful and answer all your questions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The punishment for a DUI in Colorado will depend on a few factors. The main two factors being the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of the driver, and whether this was their first DUI conviction or if they had any previous ones. For a first-time DUI, depending on their BAC, a driver can face jail time up to one year, the revocation of their license for 9 months, community service, and alcohol classes. These penalties will be even steeper with consecutive DUIs.
Colorado’s legal limit is a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08. Anyone operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
In Colorado, a DUI is most often considered a misdemeanor. However, if the DUI in question causes the severe injury or death of anyone, or if it is the driver’s 4th or more DUI (in any amount of time), the charges will most likely be elevated to a felony.
The period of license revocation for a DUI in Colorado depends on the particular circumstances. For first a first DUI in Colorado, the minimum license revocation period is 9 months (which could be increased for extenuating circumstances). This period will also be longer for any subsequent DUI convictions the driver faces.
Yes, Colorado is considered a zero-tolerance state. This means that for drivers under the age of 21, it is unlawful for them to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .02 – .05. A first-time offense within this range is considered an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. Any BAC over a .05 would be charged as usual.
There is no mandatory jail time for a first DUI unless the driver’s BAC was above .200. However, depending on the BAC, and other factors (such as serious injury or death) there is the possibility of jail time from 5 days all the way up to 2 years.
A DUI conviction in Colorado will stay on someone’s criminal record (and thus show up on any background checks performed) for 10 years after the conviction.
In the state of Colorado, a DUI will result in 12 points to your license.