In Colorado, the consequences of a DUI or DWAI are significant. The charge alone can lead to the suspension of you driver’s license and the penalties for a conviction can include mandatory jail time, even for a first offense.
If you are charged with a DUI or DWAI, it’s important to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Typically, the DMV will begin proceedings against your driver’s license before your first court date. The deadlines for these proceedings are strict and missing them can cause you to lose important rights. This includes your right to require the arresting officer to appear at the license revocation hearing.
Once your case moves into court, you will have the opportunity to see and challenge the evidence against you. Sometimes, law enforcement’s investigation will be incomplete or inadequate to support the charges against you. In other situations, the police may have violated your constitutional rights in gathering evidence. Often, a DUI or DWAI charge is mitigated by circumstances surrounding the arrest or by actions taken after the arrest to remedy the harm caused.
An experienced attorney will know when one of these situations applies to you and the strategic approach most likely to get you the best result for your case.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE
Colorado is a mandatory arrest state for domestic violence charges. That means that just an allegation, if believed by the police, will send you to jail until you are able to post bond. Once you are charged with a domestic violence offense, the Court will issue a mandatory protection order preventing you from returning to your home, having any contact with your partner, and preventing you from seeing your children if they were present for the alleged offense. While charges against you are pending, you will not be allowed to own any firearms and if you are convicted that prohibition becomes permanent.
You may think that the charges against you will not hold because there is no evidence of a crime outside of an allegation. Or, it might be the case that the witness against you has since recanted his or her initial statement to police. However, neither situation is likely to result in the prosecution dropping the charges against you. District attorneys routinely prosecute domestic violence cased based solely on testimony. Even testimony from a witness who has since recanted. Such testimony can and will result in a conviction against you if it is believed by a jury.
With stakes this high, it is absolutely crucial to have an attorney on your side. In the pre-trial process, an experienced attorney can help to modify some of the “no contact” conditions by showing the Court that you are not a threat to the alleged victims. An attorney can also advise you on a negotiated settlement to the case, if settlement in your best interest. At trial, a strong litigator will expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and inconsistencies in their witness’s testimony. A good lawyer will keep the jury from becoming distracted by the allegations in a case and focused instead on the lack of evidence supporting the charges against you.
FELONY CHARGES DEFENSE
A felony conviction will drastically limit your future. From employment prospects, to housing options, the ability to own a firearm, to your eligibility for certain loans, a felony conviction on your record will pervade most areas of your life. While all felonies carry the possibility of prison time and parole, some have mandatory sentences attached to a conviction while others allow for sentencing alternatives. These can include probation or even a deferment of the charge.
All felony charges are serious, but a charge does not mean that you will be convicted. A lawyer with the legal understanding of the facts of your case and the charges against you can put you in the best position for a reduction of your charges or a favorable outcome at trial. In most cases, you only have one chance to avoid the negative consequences of a felony conviction and sentence. A competent criminal defense attorney can help make that one chance count so that you can return to your life and your freedom.