The Lux Law Firm
Charged with a DUI? Let me help you.
There is a sinking feeling in your stomach when you face involvement with the judicial system. This turns to dread and fear if you are facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
You may wonder if you will lose their license, job, car, or worse yet if you will end up behind bars. What follows is the realization that you must address the charges. At that point, the immediate concern is, I have been charged with DUI; What should I do now?
Drivers in Colorado whom the police have accused of DUI should seek legal help immediately. Turning to a well-thought-of criminal defense law firm is a crucial step for the accused driver.
If a driver seeks to protect their rights, fight unfair charges, and put themselves in the best position to deal with a DUI charge, here is what they should know.
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DUI Is a Serious Legal Matter
Sometimes people feel that their DUI charge is not very significant, especially if no one was injured. That is a dangerous attitude to take. Statutes in Colorado indicate that DUI is a severe offense.
What to Do After Being Pulled Over for a Suspected DUI in Colorado
From the moment police pull someone over for suspected DUI, every action and decision the person makes is crucial. You should, first and foremost, make no statements or admissions of guilt. Even if the police charge you, these statements will not help:
- Arguments, or
- Admissions of guilt.
The only statement is one of “I need to speak to my lawyer.” Otherwise, exercise a right to remain silent.
The advice above holds throughout the process of dealing with a charge of drunk driving. If law enforcement has already charged you and you are awaiting a hearing, you should speak to no one until you have a lawyer. This includes:
- Members of law enforcement;
- Insurance companies; and especially
- The prosecutor.
If the driving incident involved another driver or property of another, do not make statements to that person or their lawyer.
Also, never assume that it is safe to address all the charge details with family and friends. Your first conversation needs to be with a superb DUI attorney. They will discuss what can and cannot be said and will most likely speak on your behalf going forward.
An Example of a DUI Charge
A tale of an unforeseen outcome may help you best understand why your first step should be to contact a lawyer if law enforcement charges you with DUI, here is a narrative to remember:
A young banking executive attends a work gathering and has a drink or two. This is an individual who has never been in trouble with the law, has no history of drinking issues, has a reputation as responsible, and has always been respectful to law enforcement.
After the gathering, they go for drinks with new coworkers. They do not feel inebriated, and no one addresses their behavior or drinking. Soon they walk back to their office building and go directly to the parking garage.
As they leave the garage and begin driving home, they see the dreaded flashing red lights. The officer pulls them over and asks for a license and registration.
The driver complies, assuming that perhaps they were going a tad too fast. The officer then asks them to step out of the car and take a sobriety test. Again, they comply with no concern.
They chat with the officer afterward, explaining that they had a few drinks at a work party and after with friends. The driver jokes it off, saying their binging days are well behind them.
They feel that they are bonding with the officer. They mention where they work and have their work lanyard still on. They mention what a great party the bank provided.
Before they can process that this chat is not a friendly one, they are handcuffed and charged with suspicion of DUI. The police have their full statement of a night of drinking.
Now, they face a criminal conviction and serious criminal punishments, points on their insurance, and possibly the loss of their job. Continuing to talk is simply a wrong choice on every level.
That is why one should be quiet and get a lawyer. In addition, under our United States Constitution, you have a right to remain silent because what a person says can, and often is, used against them. It is the lawyer’s job to know what can and should be said and when.
How a Colorado DUI Lawyer Can Help
Well-versed DUI attorneys know the many steps to take to defend a person charged with DUI.
For instance, regarding the scenario above, they will determine several things, including whether:
- The traffic stop was legal;
- The sobriety test was warranted;
- Law enforcement accurately recorded the sobriety test results;
- The police bodycam was on, and if so what it showed; and
- Whether there was an illegal police interrogation.
If the case goes to court, there is, even more, your attorney will do. Your lawyer will discuss your options with you and:
- Work to get the charges dismissed;
- Work to have the prosecutor lessen the charge;
- Work out a plea deal;
- Keep you abreast of the next steps in the proceedings; and
- Advise you throughout on the possible outcomes of the case.
Without question, a reputable DUI lawyer will defend you to the fullest and seek the most lenient sentence if there is a conviction. In addition, if the media reports the case, the lawyer can make all statements on your behalf and shield you from their scrutiny.
What are the Penalties for a DUI Charge in Colorado?
Colorado Statute C.R.S. 42-4-1307 explains some punishments upon a DUI conviction. Much depends on whether it is the first offense and, for instance, whether the incident harmed a person or property. Other objectionable behavior (i.e., resisting arrest) may also impact the consequences.
People must understand that there is always the possibility of imprisonment and hefty fines. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the court may impose other penalties, including:
- Completing an alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program at the person’s own expense;
- Probation with a requirement for the person to appear before the Court at any time during the person’s period of probation;
- A requirement for the person to use an approved ignition interlock device during the period of probation at the person’s own expense;
- Continuous alcohol monitoring using such technology or devices as are available to the Court for such purposes; and
- Extensive community service.
The above are only illustrative. Judges have great discretion regarding the incarceration, rehabilitation, and restitution-based punishment they assign.
Also, there are times when punishment may be extreme as a deterrent for others. Finally, a DUI conviction stays on one’s record and can even impact employment.
Only a Colorado DUI attorney can answer the question of what may happen in a specific individual’s situation. The person facing a charge should not spend an inordinate amount of time wondering, I have been charged with a DUI; What should I do now? Instead, they should take action and get a lawyer.
Addressing a DUI Charge Against a Minor
One of a parent’s worst fears is to have their new teen driver behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Their immediate concern is that they do not injure themselves or another. From that point, a parent often focuses on how to get their child out of legal trouble.
Even parents who are confident in their ability to deal with the judicial system should not do so without legal representation. The time and money you will spend on providing your child with top-notch representation is the best assistance and protection you can provide.
Much of what happens when a person is charged with DUI will depend upon the legal protection they engage in and how quickly they engage it. If the charge is a personal one or is against a loved one, the goal should be to get a lawyer. Legal help is available 24/7 at The Lux Law Firm.
Contact a Colorado DUI Attorney Today
The Lux Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Austin M. Lux uses his intimate understanding of the legal system and skills as a trial attorney to advocate for his clients.
Austin is a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and is actively involved in the Colorado Springs community.