DUI CASE - Do I need An Attorney

FIRST TIME DUI CHARGE - DO I REALLY NEED AN ATTORNEY?

Every potential client should discuss with an attorney whether they truly need to retain counsel.

This is a judgment call.

Keep in mind that you have a right to have an attorney represent you.

If you call me to discuss your DUI case, I will give you an honest answer on whether you truly need to hire counsel.

If this is your first DUI and the underlying facts from your case are not aggravated, then you “may” decide to forgo hiring an attorney.

If your case is not aggravated, you “may” receive a reduced plea offer to DWAI.

In almost all instances, I try to advise a first-time DUI client on whether I believe they will receive a DWAI offer.

You should consider very carefully whether you really want to proceed without counsel.

There are a lot of pitfalls in proceeding without counsel.

An experienced attorney may spot crucial mistakes made by the Police.

A lot of times, a DUI client who has an attorney does better than a DUI driver who represents himself.

You should at least speak with an attorney before you decide.

You should also understand what the charge of DUI First Offense means and what a realistic plea offer will look like.

DUI FIRST - OFFENSE

Under Colorado law, any driver who drinks alcohol or takes drugs and is substantially incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle is considered to be Driving Under the Influence or DUI. This is a strict liability offense.

The offense carries up to a year in jail.

While a jail sentence will likely be handed down, the jail will sentence often be suspended so long at the driver takes care of probation.

One year probation is the norm for a first DUI offense.

While on probation, the driver will have to submit to an alcohol evaluation and attend alcohol education classes and possibly alcohol therapy as recommended.

The driver will have to attend a victim’s impact panel.

There are a long list of costs and some hefty fines.

48 hours of useful public service.

DUI FIRST OFFENSE carries 12 points against your driver’s record.

DUI PER SE – FIRST OFFENSE.

Under Colorado law, a driver whose BAC is above a .008 at the time of driving or within a reasonable period of time thereafter is DUI-Per Se.

The same penalties noted above apply.

WHAT GOES INTO A PLEA OFFER?

A plea offer in a DUI case is conditioned on a number of factors. A prosecutor will consider the following factors as aggravating. If any of these factors exist, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney.

Poor driving;

poor traffic record or prior criminal history;

a school zone or restricted traffic zone;

an accident;

injuries;

property damage;

bystanders put at risk;

children in the vehicle or put at risk;

the BAC;

refusal to submit to a blood or breath test;

driver was disrespectful;

driver refuses responsibility;

driver was in possession of other drugs or intoxicants.

DWAI FIRST OFFENSE

In a first time DUI case, where there are no aggravating factors, the district attorney “may” offer a reduced plea of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) - First Offense.

This means the driver was impaired to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol.

The penalties for DWAI are significantly reduced.

The maximum jail sentence is six months.

The fines and costs while significant are reduced.

Any jail imposed is likely to be suspended.

The driver will likely be placed on DUI Probation for up to a year.

While on Probation, the driver will submit to an alcohol evaluation and attend and complete classes and therapy as recommended.

A victim’s impact panel will still be required.

24 hours of useful public service.

DWAI carries 8 points against your driver’s record.

You should keep in mind that in any number of circumstances, a DWAI plea will not be reasonable. You should discuss your case with counsel.

CHARGED WITH DUI? WE CAN HELP.

We do things a little differently.

We will discuss your case honestly.

If we believe you can proceed without hiring counsel, then we will tell you.

CALL US TODAY AT (303) 753-0900 OR FILL OUT THE ATTORNEY CONTACT FORM. WE CAN HELP.

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