DUI happens to be one offense that is commonly committed by average people with no prior criminal history, and a lot to lose upon conviction. As someone facing DUI charges, how would a criminal conviction impact your family, your job and your career? The consequences of a DUI conviction are long-lasting; therefore, anything that can be done to minimize or eliminate the penalties that you face is well worth investing your time and energy in. Not only would you have to pay fines, do community service and endure a suspended license, but your insurance premiums would skyrocket, costing you a fortune in the long run. For any type of DUI charge, you need an attorney like Chris Cessna who can aggressively fight on your behalf. Read on to learn more about our firm's areas of practices:
Blood Alcohol Science
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the concentration of alcohol in a person's blood stream. Since alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood it can be measured within a few short minutes of consuming an alcoholic drink. However, there are factors that can affect how alcohol affects a person. For example, food in the stomach can slow down the alcohol absorption process.
When a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they will be asked to submit to a breath or blood test. If the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) measures .08% or more, they will be charged with DUI. Whether a person submits to a blood or breath test, neither testing method is infallible.
Boating Under the Influence
Like drinking and driving, boating under the influence of alcohol is considered equally dangerous and is punished as such. Boating is a favorite leisurely activity for many Colorado families during the summer months, but often times drinking and boating go hand in hand. Since boating under the influence of alcohol is a common occurrence, law enforcement keeps an eye out for people operating a boat under the influence of alcohol.
Once a person is arrested for DUI they will have to undergo a criminal hearing and a DMV hearing where they address their driver's license. If you fail to schedule your DMV hearing within 7 days of your arrest, then you lose your right to challenge a driver's license suspension. This is a critical hearing where it's important to have your attorney present.
Don't Plead Guilty to DUI
It's a common misconception that it will be cheaper and easier to accept a plea bargain rather than fight their DUI case with an attorney. This couldn't be further from the truth. When you accept a plea bargain, it means you are pleading "guilty" in exchange for lesser charges and penalties. However, you could still be facing hefty fines, skyrocketing insurance premiums and more.
Drugs & DUI
A person can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs and even over the counter drugs and legally prescribed medications. As long as the drug you took impaired your driving, you could be charged with DUI and face the same level of penalties as an alcohol related DUI. Allergy medicines, sleeping pills, and even dangerous drug/alcohol interactions can lead to serious impairment.
The majority of first time DUI arrests are prosecuted as misdemeanors; however, under aggravating circumstances they can be prosecuted as a felony offense. In a typical first time DUI, the driver faces up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines and from 48 to 96 hours of community service.
After someone is arrested for DUI, they must schedule their DMV hearing within 7 days. At this hearing the DMV will address the future of the person's license and whether or not they will suspend it. This is a critical hearing to schedule and attend failure to do so typically result in an automatic license suspension. The other hearing that will take place is the criminal hearing.
In Colorado, drinking and then driving immediately there afterwards is considered a criminal offense. If you were caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level below the legal limit of .08%, but above .05%, then you are at risk of being charged with the offense of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).
Field Sobriety Tests
After a driver is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer will typically ask the person to perform a series of field sobriety tests (roadside tests). These tests are used by law enforcement to make a quick determination whether or not the person is intoxicated. In order to arrest a person for DUI, the police must have probable cause to do so, and having them perform a field sobriety test is one way to gain probable cause.
One DUI conviction is bad, but two or three is cause for concern. When a person is arrested for DUI the second or subsequent time, the courts believe they failed to learn their lesson the first time around. For this reason, the penalties for second or subsequent DUI offenses are enhanced.
Out of State Drivers
Out of state drivers visit Colorado every day, whether they are skiing at a ski resort, or rafting down the Colorado River, or driving through on their commercial driver's license to deliver goods, anybody can be arrested for DUI. It's important to note that if you are arrested for DUI in Colorado and live somewhere else, it will most likely impact your driver's license in your home state.
Anytime a person drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes bodily injury to someone else, they can be charged with the crime of vehicular assault. Due to the fact that there is a victim to the crime, it is treated more severely than a simple DUI. If you are convicted of vehicular assault in connection with DUI, you may face jail, fines, community service, victim restitution and more.
When a drunk driver is in an accident with another driver, a pedestrian, a bicyclist or even their own passenger and causes death, they will be charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter as it is sometimes called. If you have been charged with vehicular homicide in connection to a DUI case, it's imperative that you secure legal counsel right away.
Whenever you are facing any type of criminal charges big or small, you are facing the wrath of the criminal justice system. Local prosecutors and judges are under a great deal of pressure by organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to prosecute DUI cases to the full extent of the law. Hiring a lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your criminal case. It's a common misconception that a DUI case can't be fought and won, and this simply isn't true. If you were arrested for DUI in Arapahoe County, please contact the firm right away to schedule a consultation. We care about your future and your family, let us help you fight the criminal charges against you.