Getting charged with DUI is sure to be a scary and stressful time in anyone’s life. Every individual case comes with a high level of uncertainty. However, DUI cases can have drastically different outcomes based on a variety of factors. If you have recently been charged with Driving Under the Influence, there are a few things that you can do to help you prepare for your upcoming DUI court date.
What is the Punishment for Being Convicted of a DUI?
Colorado law defines a DUI as “a person who drives a motor vehicle or vehicle under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs.” In most cases, DUIs are classified as a misdemeanor. If you are found guilty, and it is your first time being convicted of this crime, you could be charged anywhere from $600 to $1,00 in fines, have your license suspended for up to nine months, have to serve 48 to 96 hours of community service, and have to attend alcohol education classes.
The punishment and fines could increase on your second and third convictions. However, if you have been convicted of a DUI more than three times, you could be charged with a Class 4 felony, which means that you could be looking at prison time as well as a hefty fine that could range anywhere from $2,000 to $500,000 plus court costs.
How to Prepare for Your Upcoming DUI Court Case
In addition to talking with your attorney and gathering any evidence that may help your case, there are a few other things that you can do to help your court case run a little smoother. It is important to note that by taking the steps listed below, the court will not perceive this as an admission of guilt. It will simply help you in the future if you are convicted of the crime.
1. Begin Community Service
Most DUI convictions will require that you complete at least 48 hours of community service. By starting a community service program before your court date, you will be able to get ahead of your sentence and greatly reduce the hours that you will have left to serve if you get convicted.
If you have been charged with a DUI in El Paso County, you are required to register with Front Range Community Service. If you live within the County, you are required to register in person. However, if you live outside of the county, you can contact the office and have them fax or mail your registration forms to you. If you were charged in a different county, contact the public service office in your County.
2. Start Taking Alcohol Education Classes
If your license is suspended, you will be required to take a level 2 alcohol education class. The level 2 class is usually around 24 hours to complete. If you have time before your court date, it is also a good idea to also take Level 2 Alcohol Therapy with the same provider. You will not only benefit from Alcohol Education Classes if you are convicted but even if you are found not guilty, these classes are filled with a plethora of valuable information that can stay with you for years to come.
There are several Alcohol Education Classes in Colorado Springs. AspenPointe is a state-certified facility that offers both Level 2 Alcohol Education and Level 2 Alcohol Therapy. They offer a shuttle program that will pick you up and drop you off to ensure that you are still able to attend class even if you are unable to drive.
A Turning Point is also located in Colorado Springs and offers comprehensive Level 2 Alcohol Education Classes and Level 2 Alcohol Therapy.
3. Take the MADD Victim Impact Panel Program
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offers a Victim Impact Panel program. This program was designed to show the realities of drinking and driving. During VIP class, people who have been personally affected by someone who was driving under the influence will speak in from of the audience and share their story. This two-hour program can be very informative and educational. However, it is not a replacement for Alcohol Education Classes. You can learn more about these classes here.
At the end of the class, you will be given a certificate that verified you attended. Be sure to save the certificate and give it to your attorney so that it can be filed with the court.
Completing any of these steps listed above could possibly persuade the District Attorney to offer a better plea deal or reduce the charges. Also, if you are convicted, any programs that you complete before your court date will count towards your sentencing and could help you to finish your probation quicker.
While all of the tips listed above will help you, the best way to prepare for your court case is to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Reach out today – having a lawyer on your side who is experienced with fighting DUI cases can help to dramatically improve your chances for a positive outcome.